Intimate And Intense Photos Of Shaolin Monks

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Shaolin Kung Fu, developed in China beginning in 495AD, has infiltrated popular culture in the West. Depending on your age, you might be familiar with the 70s TV show “Kung Fu” or Mortal Kombat : Shaolin Monks. Neither captures the essence of Shaolin Kung Fu. Based on Buddhism, its major forms of expression are martial arts and techniques. Shaolin emphasizes meditation, development of the body through rigorous training, and pain endurance.

Training in Kung Fu is mostly done without an opponent, as it was never meant to kill, and the poetic names of the moves imply that it is more of a meditation than a fight. However, the only difference between breaking a clay jug and smashing a human skull with one’s bare hands is consciousness of will. Despite the commercialization, Kung Fu retains a mystical character closer to a monastic discipline than to the performances of modern gladiators.

Tomasz Gudzowaty captures the monks in artistic black and white. The classical composition of these photographs only serves to enhance the amazing strength, endurance, and concentration of the monks as they train. Gudzowaty doesn’t use effects or manipulation to increase the impact of the images—he doesn’t have to. The monks provide all of the interest themselves: walking up walls, standing on their heads, balanced on a foot and an elbow. They seem fully immersed in their training—oblivious to the camera, wholly in the moment.

“Sports fascinates me as a spiritual practice, which is not readily visible today in mainstream events. I made it my long-standing quest to photograph peripheral, exotic sports.”

This series is a masterful match of content and form, skilled subjects and talented artist.

Via The Mind Unleashed

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Luciana Urtiga’s Eerie Photos Explore Ideas Of Multiple Selves And Self-Discovery

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Luciana Urtiga

 

Luciana Urtiga

Brazilian artist Luciana Urtiga creates black and white portraits that explore different aspects of self-discovery and the notion of multiple selves. By digitally altering her face and body, she creates images that showcase multiple faces/bodies or the absence of her identifiable face. By doing this, Urtiga enables her viewers to embark on a visual journey that seems to be indicative of Urtiga’s personal struggles and successes with self discovery.

The dark, eerie feel of the images help the work to become an even clearer visual testament to the the struggles of being young in today’s tough world. Who do I want to be? Where do I want to be? Should I try out different professions, and live with different people? or maybe it would all become easier if I just became invisible? These are all questions and thoughts that are visually conveyed by her work.

Simple, but strong and powerful, her work conveys universal themes that regard existential questions, most of which are more often encountered by young adults struggling to find their way in the world. (via IGNANT)

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Janol Apin Creates Literal Translations Of Parisian Subway Stops

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Janol Apin’s “Métropolisson” is a creative project that illustrates the literal translations of the names of various Parisian Metro station stops. The collection of photographs features more than 100 images of Apin’s friends posing in the underground subway stops; from an astronaut in the Champ de Mars station, to a couple dancing tango under the Argentine stop, he leaves nothing out.

With clever puns and creative costumes, Apin makes it possible for this work to be understood by anyone…there’s obviously no need to speak French to capture the essence of this work. Almost every snapshot from this series is comprehensible through the upbeat and universal imagery that the photographer creates. (via Bored Panda)

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Lauren Semivan’s Black And White Photography Digs At Our Primitive Nature

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Lauren Semivan’s black and white photography raises the dead, feels rich with ritual, and sullen from the earth. To say it is simply an abstract psychological expression would be too easy. There’s something else happening here that is magically archaic, and it’s not just the finely tailored compositions that carefully, yet seemingly casually, dig at our remains by arranging drawn fragments, bodies, vegetation, bones, and string, against a sparse backdrop. This “something else” is movement or play not just in the environment, but as or with the environment, a dreamy surreal fade that lingers.

Technically, each image is a true representation of not just what collects, but how the collection becomes. Shot with a purist sense of photography’s past, Semivan uses an early 20th century 8 x 10″ view camera and, without digital manipulation or any touch-ups at all, develops prints from a scanned large format negative. The ephemeral result, interestingly, pushes on our own anthropological or archeological impulses as a species– asking us to engage and connect with our ancestors, creatively, scientifically, and divinely.

Of her work, Semivan states, “In scientific disciplines, a line is classified as an event. Something as primitive as a scrawl on a surface reveals an aggregate of events, intersecting and changing course. Drawings made on the seamless backdrop describe an emotional space. Science is inherently experiential, as is art making. Knowing and feeling are not separate, and the whole of the environment can be used as a pedagogic instrument. Observatory elegantly draws upon a tension that exists between irrational and physical worlds. Within each image, ghosts of previous drawings.”

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