Oliver Kink (Los Gatos, CA) focused his attention on the cultural diversity and aesthetic of disappearance. In the permanent cultural changes on a global level, he is documenting the impact of the transition and modernization in China and Asian culture on the local and personal level.
The nucleus and heart of his interest are the complexity of existence that survives on the social, spiritual and visual level in our society and culture. He portrayed the Chinese people with affection and humanity and recalled truly epic descriptions of vanishing authentic life in China. His deep sense of the fragility of the Chinese world and traditional way of life was providing knowledge about the fragility of life and heritage in general. With the sustained high level of anthropological and historical skill and universality of his artistic concept, Klink reaches the spiritual connection with the Chinese people and their costumes. Clear vintage composition and the purity of Klink’s new modernism underlined the common need for humanity and fragility of human existence. In his effort to demythologizing China and the Chinese people in the American mind, a tradition, not the traditionalism becomes the main object of his photography.
The main thing about Oliver Klink ‘storytelling of consequences’ is the fact that his basic visual researching became a strong message about the relevance of heritage, old customs, and rituals. He accomplished his mission by reaching the connection between different cultures and people by underlining the quality of being different and unique.
– Drazenka Jalsic Ernecic (Croatia) senior curator
From worshipping in Myanmar temples to ancient farming in Bhutan: Spell-binding images capture the disappearing traditions of Asia
- California-based photographer Oliver Klink has spent the past 16 years travelling and photographing Asia
- He set out to document the way of life before the rise of modernisation in countries including China and India
- Talented artist said it is his aim to offer ‘a glimpse into the world as it should be’, where life is about simplicity
But in a bid to capture historical conventions before they’re lost forever, one photographer has been busy at work documenting them in a powerfully poignant way.
California-based photographer Oliver Klink has spent the past 16 years travelling across Asia to countries including Mongolia, China, Bhutan, Myanmar and India before the rise of modernisation takes hold.
Shot in black and white, the photographs show a simple life, with no technology in sight. One candid image shows a woman looking towards the camera with tattooed tribal lines covering her face and a straw hat on her head.
Another powerful photo captures two young children taking part in a ceremonial procession. They are seen wearing traditional feathered headdresses and embellished outfits as they are paraded through the streets on wooden horse-like beams.
Klink, who was born and raised in Switzerland before relocating the US, says it is his goal to ‘make the viewers dream’. He adds that he also wants to ‘offer a glimpse into the world as it should be’, where life is about living off the land not checking the next email.
Photographer Oliver Klink focuses his work on the complex ways in which modern life unfolds. His award-winning, black-and-white imagery has been featured in National Geographic and Popular Photography, among other publications. In particular, his Consequences series combines his artistic abilities with anthropological investigation.
Consequences, which sees Klink traveling to remote, yet accessible, areas, seeks to address threats to cultural diversity through modernization. In an age where globalization is expanding, how can unique traditions continue to thrive? Through visits to countries such as Myanmar, Bhutan, and China, Klink seeks these answers.
Klink’s work has a timeless feel, owed in large part of his mastery of Piezography. This digital printing process, where photographers mix their own inks, enhances the highlights and shadow of each photograph. In this way, Klink is able to pluck each moment from the background, artistically shaping the final result.
We were lucky enough to speak with Klink about his work in general and how Consequences has developed. Read on for the full interview.
In 2001, California-based photographer Oliver Klink embarked on a project to document the disappearing traditions and customs across Asia as modernization and cultural homogenization takes its toll. “When the Three George Dam was completed, the water level rose by over 100 meters (300 ft),” says Klink, and he saw the displacement of 1 million people from the edge of the Yangtze River. This proved to be just one example of how such communities are being affected by the change.
“During my travels,” says Klink, “I have found that as human beings we are intrigued by customs – what we feel is disappearing. Unfortunately, when we meet these people, they are presented to us as an “attraction”, which tends to make them loose their true identity.” The aim of Consequences, was to bring a voice to these communities undergoing change in the process of modernization, “sometimes against their will, sometimes for the better, but most of the time at a pace that are beyond comprehension,” explains Klink. In visiting the countries of Mongolia, China, Bhutan, Myanmar, and India, Klink witnessed the alarming pace of change as agricultural fields morphed into factories, villages into cities, and cities into megatropolises.
By spending time with the local people, Klink was able to discover places which still manage to hold onto their traditions, and are, as of yet, unchanged. Yet, even in these remote regions, he still witnessed how modernization was beginning to seep in, bringing with it new technology and Western clothing. Although the influx of new technology does bring with it practical convenience, Klink found the elderly (especially) were reluctant to part with their traditional items, but were soon forced to let go. And early on, while people did not believe in devices such as mobile phones, Klink points out that they have now incorporated them into their daily lives in order to keep track of time and communicate with family members, who have moved to urban areas. “Living quarters are the biggest challenge,” says Klink, as “apartment buildings are growing like mushrooms to lure locals to have a better life.”
Don’t miss the opening of “What’s Not to Love?” at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto, California.
I am exhibiting 5 images, with one being a “premiere” release. “Vulnerable Love” was photographed in December 2016 in Africa. It depicts the feel of a relationship between a Masai warrior and a local beauty.
The image is printed with my custom mixed special inkset. Truly amazing!
Time: 5:30 – 8PM
Exhibit will be up until February 23, 2017.
Until then … Good luck with your art collection and thank you for your continuous support.
NOTE: If you can’t attend the show, check out how you can purchase the image (before they are all gone – Limited Editions!)
Honorable Mention for Javeena and Ganesha 1
Happy New Year and all the best for 2017. Let’s make 2017 the year of tolerance, human kindness and personal creativity.
Here are some great events scheduled in January/February that will get you a head start on creativity:
January 7 – February 19, 2017 (Opening reception on January 7, 4-7pm)
Women in Photography – “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not” exhibition
January 7 – February 28, 2017 (Opening reception on January 7, 6-8pm)
Brigitte Carnochan – “Love & Kisses, George” exhibition
January 19 – February 21, 2017 (Opening reception on January 26, 6-8pm)
Rania Matar – “Girl and her room, Unspoken Conversations” exhibition
January 28 – April 15, 2017 (Opening reception on January 28, 2-5pm)
Kate & Geir Jordahl – “Getting to know the map, 40 years of photography” exhibition
January 27 – 29, 2017
PhotoFairs San Francisco
February 5 – 8, 2017
Codex, 6th Biennial International Book Fair and Symposium
Various weekends in January 2017
Photography workshops at IncredibleTravelPhotos
I wish you happy holidays and all the best for the upcoming year. 2016 was a break through year for me thanks to your continuous support. Many of my workshops’ participants received coveted prices and recognition with their images. Documentary images turned into images with a personal vision and deeper meanings. As a group, your creativity was contagious and inspiring. Very well done all of you!
To become known in the world of fine art photography, you need visionary people to give you a chance. I can’t thank enough the Fotofest organization for building a platform that enables many artists to have their work seen and prosper. A special mention goes to Silvia Mangialardi and Elda Harrington (organizers of the Festival de La Luz) who propelled my work to be seen internationally and boosted my confidence to submit images to contest like PhotoLucida – Critical Mass Top 50, and more. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The future is full of unknown. Political climate around the world is changing. But we all need to strap on to what we have: creativity. It will make people forget the challenges that we face, the decision that are made against our will, and strengthen our stories
Good luck with your photography and art collection. More then ever deliver and share the joy of images.
Exciting news! “Stepwell” photographed in India last March was awarded the People’s Choice Award by BLACK & WHITE magazine.
From the editor of the magazine:”There are only 16 awards in this category so you can be confident that we felt your work stood out in a way that deserved this special attention. Once again, congratulations!”
The December edition magazine is available at newsstands and on their website. This is a very high quality printed magazine, worth subscribing to.
Black and White magazine also selected “God’s Rays” as single image award winner.