Posts Tagged ‘Hong Kong’

TEXT AND IMAGE: World Poetry Day

March 21, 2011

To celebrate WORLD POETRY DAY, we’ve decided to post one of Rebecca’s prose poems from her first book, “The Glass Between Us,” both in English and in Chinese, the latter thanks to the wonderful translation by fellow photographer and translator, Monica Lin, who is based in Hong Kong.  We are dedicating the poem to all the Chinese photographers we’ve met — both in the Hong Kong workshop, at our Hong Kong slide talk, and through the TWO LOOKS online photographic community.  In addition, since the poem takes place in the Caribbean, we decided to pair it with a relatively unknown photograph of Alex’s from Puerto Rico, which will appear in his new book, “The Suffering of Light.”–=Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

Alex Webb, Pinones, Puerto Rico, 1990, from the book "The Suffering of Light"

Reflections: 4

Sailing in the Caribbean, I catch a mahi mahi.  It takes two men to lift its four-foot body from the sea.  On the hot teak deck, I watch the creature shift its tint, from teal to indigo to aquamarine, like having a tiny sea, beautiful and raging, at my bare feet.  As it flips and flops, I feel a little afraid of this great hulking dying thing.  I wish it would fly.  I wish it would be still.  I’m ashamed how hungry it makes me feel.

Within minutes, I slip a piece of deep red sushi between my lips.  The   freshest fish I’ve ever tasted, it is heavy and sweet and otherworldly, like a slice of mango or sex in the sun after swimming in the turquoise Caribbean.  What I hope my own death will taste like.—Rebecca Norris Webb, from the book, “The Glass Between Us”

镜像:4

航行在加勒比海,我捕到一条马头鱼。把这四英尺长的大家伙从海里拖上来竟需要兩個男人。在滚烫的柚木甲板上,我看着這個造物变换颜色,从湖蓝到靛蓝到海蓝,像我赤裸的足邊一處小小的海洋,美丽而狂暴。看着它拍打翻滚的样子,我突然有点害怕这个垂死的大家伙。我希望它飞。我希望它静止。我为自己因它而饥肠辘辘感到羞愧。

几分钟后,一块深红色的生鱼片滑进我的双唇。这是我尝过最新鲜的鱼肉了,它厚实、鲜甜、超凡脱俗,如同一片芒果,又像在宝石般的加勒比海水中暢泳之后開始的性爱。真希望自己的死亡也有同樣的味道—Rebecca Norris Webb, translated into Chinese by Monica Lin, from the book, “The Glass Between Us”

HONG KONG WORKSHOP: A Thank You

January 17, 2011

We’d like to thank all the photographers we met at the Hong Kong workshop for sharing their photographs with us.  We hope to return to Hong Kong — perhaps in the fall of 2012. — Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

Yat Lee, Hong Kong Workshop, 2011

ON PRESS: Cover Stories 1; Jet Lag

January 14, 2011

Deciding on a cover image for a book of photographs from thirty years can be a little daunting.  Rebecca and I considered many possibilities, but we always came back to this particular image, the back cover of my first book, “Hot Light/Half-Made Worlds,” and  the only photograph in the survey book from India.

It looks like we won’t see the actual cover of “The Suffering of Light,” until the last day on press; however, since like many cover images, a version of this photograph also appears in the interior of the book, we have already done a press check on this version, a video clip of which you’ll find below.–Alex Webb

Alex and I often encourage photographers to try to “work from the unconscious,” to respond spontaneously to the world, to photograph “on one’s nerves” in order to remain open enough to find and make one’s most unique and dynamic images.

The good thing – and probably the most challenging thing — about being on press in Hong Kong is that working half unconsciously happens rather effortlessly – whether one wants to or not.  Checking test sheets at 4pm in Hong Kong, you can’t help but feel the strong, tidal-like pull of sleep, since 4PM is 3AM in New York City.  It’s nearly impossible to get over such severe jet lag in a week.

Maybe being half awake/half asleep on press in the topsy turvy world of Hong Kong isn’t such a bad thing.  Perhaps it’s just a short cut to collaborating with one’s own unconscious.—Rebecca Norris Webb

Rebecca Norris Webb, photograph of "Monterrey, Mexico, 1985," by Alex Webb

ON PRESS: On Waiting…

January 12, 2011

Being on press involves a lot of waiting: waiting for the plates and press to be prepared, waiting for the pressmen to make initial inking adjustments, waiting for  further inking adjustments at the direction of  the production team, and, finally, waiting for the run to be completed (sometimes compounded by alternate plates inserted for foreign editions).  And then the process begins all over again.  With this book, which has 17 signatures, that’s 34 set-ups plus delays on each run for two foreign editions (French and Italian).  That’s a lot of waiting, even for a photographer like myself, who spends so much of his life waiting and watching for photographs.

So how does a photographer try to break up this monotony? The obvious way: I took this photograph while meandering through the maze of the printing plant. — Alex Webb

Alex Webb, Hong Kong, 2011

The funny thing about waiting around on press with all these amazing photographs of Alex’s — even the street outside the printing plant is beginning to look like an Alex Webb photograph. –Rebecca Norris Webb

ON PRESS: Alex Webb’s 30 Years of Color

January 10, 2011

THE TRIP:  NEW YORK to HONG KONG

Over the next few days, Rebecca and I are going to be posting some images and rough, diaristic video about the experience of being on press in Hong Kong for my survey book of 30 years of color photographs:”The Suffering of Light.”  This is the fourth time in five years that Rebecca and I –– who edit and sequence our books together ––have been on press for either one of our individual books or our joint book.

For me, putting together a survey book of 30 years of photographs has been rewarding but also a little unsettling: while on the one hand I am looking forward to printing this upcoming book, on the other hand, I am filled with the doubts that accompany a book that reflects much of my photographic life.

Inevitably, there have already been a few detours.  Our flight to Tokyo was delayed, and as a result we missed our connection into Hong Kong and had to spend the night at a hotel near the Narita Airport. On the flight the next day, however, thanks to unusually good weather, we had a rare sighting of Mount Fuji, which Rebecca photographed with her new ipod touch (a remarkable little invention.)  And, because we’d purposely scheduled an extra travel day, we haven’t lost any time on press for the book.

Let’s just hope any other unexpected detours on press end up so well.––Alex Webb

Rebecca Norris Webb, Mt.Fuji, Japan, 2011

RNW, Narita Airport hotel, Japan, 2011

Alex Webb, "Rebecca," Hong Kong, 2011

WEBB LIBRARY: New Additions

December 13, 2010

In this new column, we’ll occasionally mention some of the books we’ve added to our ever-growing and eclectic library, which is gradually taking over our Brooklyn apartment.  (We were both English majors in college, so we have 100’s of poetry, nonfiction, novels, and photography books.)

We recently added the following four books of photography — Lee Friedlander’s America by Car, Alec Soth’s From Here to There, Jason Eskenasi’s Wonderland, David Taylor’s Working the Line — and one book of poetry: Charles Simic’s Lingering Ghosts.  They are all very different books, reflecting five fascinating and unusual ways of responding to the world and human existence. What they do all share, however,  is a sense of individuality: one cannot imagine anyone else making these books except these particular authors. It’s what both Rebecca and I prize about each of these books.

Trent Bailey’s photograph of the five books on our library’s mantelpiece also shows a detail from an early Patrick Webb painting, as well as an unusual new addition — Phinneas the Pheasant — a specimen of a ring-tailed pheasant, which happens to be the state bird of Rebecca’s home state of South Dakota.  We acquired Phinneas this fall while driving back from the  Black Hills to our Brooklyn neighborhood.–Alex Webb

NEW HONG KONG WORKSHOP ADDED MIDJANUARY:

We’ve added a two-day workshop in Hong Kong next month, in which we’ll feature the first unbound copy of Alex’s upcoming survey book, The Suffering of Light, hot off the press from the printing plant in Hong Kong.  If you’re based in Hong Kong or the area — or have photographic friends that are — please feel free to email them this link to the workshop, which is on the Magnum site.

To read more about this workshop in Chinese, please visit this link.Rebecca Norris Webb

Webb Library, 2010