”Alternate Existence/s”

”Alternate Existence/s”

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Opening: Fri 25 Dec 2022, 06 pm – 09 pm
Exhibition: 19 Nov – 10 Dec 2022, 09 am – 08 pm
Floor 6-11-14, 198 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC

From the organizer:

Noirfoto Darkroom-Studio-Gallery is cooperating with Gốc Creation to organize the art photography exhibition “Alternate Existence/s” at Toong 198 Minh Khai. This is a very special show, displaying a variety of photographic works and artifacts from more than 40 years of practice by the fine art photographer and educator Tom Hricko, an American who has found Vietnam as his true home.

General introduction:

Noirfoto Darkroom-Studio-Gallery is an organizer of professional art exhibitions for artists in Vietnam, especially those who practice photography. Noirfoto founded the project “An Exhibition by Noirfoto” and is cooperating with Gốc Creation in the exhibition “Alternate Existence/s”, a very rare retrospective show in Vietnam. Gốc Creation has been promoting and supporting the development of the local culture and art scene for many years. Together with Gốc Creation, Noirfoto created a site-specific exhibition on floors 6, 11, and 14 in the new space of Toong 198 Minh Khai.

Coming to the exhibition, the audience will see international-quality digital prints and analogue prints made with master techniques, including the largest hand-printed photograph in Vietnam with a size of up to 120 x 180 cm. The 4×5” Polaroids with tonality relationships that cannot exist in this reality make us doubt both the real and the surreal… Multiple exposure photos with delicate objects placement and lighting captured the movement of time in contemplative still image space. Synthetic landscapes take the viewers into a parallel world and everyday scenes seen through the eyes of the photographer become a veil of incredible colors, covering the portal to the unknown… are all presented in the exhibition that reflects Tom Hricko’s 40 years of practice. In addition, the exhibition also features installation art and displays interesting and valuable documents about the author that also reflects the history of photography from the 70s to the present – from when there was only analogue and darkroom photography until the digital camera appeared and rapidly developed.

Admiring works full of fantasies both familiar and strange, the audience can find different versions of reality, their own reality. It is possible that, in each of these realities, the audience vibrates differently and discovers in themselves different aspects of emotions.

About the exhibition:

The artist’s works on display in the “Alternate Existence/s” are a testament to the unique abilities of Photography: to create parallel existences, strangely similar yet strangely different, to the seemingly ordinary objects and events of our everyday reality. From there, the artist creates new realities that can only be seen through the expression of the medium of photograph-making. It is a miracle that shakes us because of its simplicity, familiarity, and ability to transform. Tom Hricko has done his work with masterful skills in both analogue and digital media.

In his early exploratory period as an artist, at age thirty, Tom Hricko mastered his analogue techniques and created his own new realities in the darkroom – with typical interests of Modern Art: the relationship between object and image, as well as the ability of capture a span of time instead of a single moment of photography. Today, after countless adventures and the extraordinary experience of finding his true home in Vietnam, Tom sees portals between different spaces, layers of translucent reality on top of each other in any landscape of nature and human life.

After 40 years of practice, a retrospective exhibition is worthy of the artist. But, more than that, it is necessary to express the limitlessness of creativity, the potential of photography, and the tireless labor of a creator. In addition, Hricko’s career – reflected in his retrospective exhibition also reflects the last half century of rapid development and transformation of the medium of Photography itself.

Sharing his perception throughout his life, Hricko said “Photography is a process by which I can extract an image from the accepted or consensus reality and transform that image into a picture of a different, perhaps parallel, reality. The aspects of the photographic process which allow this to happen are the utilization and manipulation of optics, light, filters, color, tone, paper, or other support, among other variables, resulting in a physical object which allows a glimpse into this new and separate reality”.

About artist:

Tom Hricko (b. 1945) is a fine art photographer and an educator of photography from the US. He has lived in Vietnam (and Cambodia, for a shorter extent) since 1994. His works belong to many private and corporate collections, such as Lincoln Financial Group, Phoenix Mutual, and People’s Bank. As an educator, he taught photography and printing at the State University of New York at Purchase, NY, and the Fairfield University at Fairfield, CT. In 1980, he received the Photographer’s Fellowship of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. In the early 1990s, Hricko worked with Lexington Labs to produce photos for fine art and commercial photographers including Bert Stern with the series “Marilyn Monroe – The Last Sitting”. His arts are represented in the US by Mona Berman Fine Arts, New Haven, Connecticut.

About the organizers:

Noirfoto Darkroom-Studio-Gallery, was established in 2017 to become a space to produce, share, and nurture the values of photography, especially analog photography and photographic printing, as a form of art, both professionally and in community development.

Noirfoto builds and operates an art studio space consisting of a photography studio and a darkroom, the first and the best professionally equipped open darkroom in Vietnam for analog printing. In this space and many other places, in cooperation with local and international institutions, Noirfoto organizes workshops and classes providing photography knowledge and skills, photo contests, and talks with experts. Noirfoto is also a well-established exhibition organizer dedicated to visual artists practicing photography from emerging to established, in solo and group exhibitions.

Gốc Creation is a think tank pioneering in transforming urban spaces across Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Their vision is designing next-gen service models: from workspace, accommodation, FnB, retail; to public space, art space; and frequently blending multiple disciplines. With a groundbreaking business mindset interlaced with prolific creativity, Gốc Creation work with visionary organizations to establish distinctive and influential brands, promote contemporary lifestyles defined by aesthetics, holistic experiences, and cultural development that can profoundly transform the way people live.

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