Contact with nature and the climatic conditions of the place are the foundations on which House68 was designed. Conceived by Design Collective Architects, House68 is located in the state of Selangor, Malaysia, and combines the most modern techniques and trends in architecture with the traditions and needs of the region.
The house is the private residence of a very large family who explicitly requested a home with distinct and separate areas. So the architects, inspired by the typical architecture of the place, designed a two-storey house consisting of 4 pavilions intended for different functions and allowing the public and private areas to be perfectly separated.
A recurring feature throughout the structure is its openness to the outside through large windows, porticoes and terraces. The construction of these spaces is due to a main reason, that of fighting the heat and the humid climate of the region.
Thus we find large shady outdoor spaces where we can relax in the cool, and the large, recurring openings in the structure allow a continuous exchange of air, but also make the most of natural light.
For House68 materials such as wood, glass, bamboo and stone were chosen, which do not create contrasts with the surrounding environment. In fact, great importance was given to the outside of the home, where there is a swimming pool and several courtyards and ponds.
Exploring the deepest part of oneself and revealing it to the viewer, this is why Alice Milewski decided to devote herself to photography.
Alice Milewski is only 22 years old and is currently studying in Austria, but despite her young age she has already developed a well-defined style: in her shots, in fact, we find a recurring element, a fil rouge that unites all her visual narrative, namely a surreal cut.
Playing with the lights that sometimes seem to illuminate everything or with the shadows that make the colours dark and heavy, Alice creates shots that seem to come from another world. And indeed it is a bit like that.
The young photographer specializes in self-portraits, so when she works she is both the creator of the shot and the main subject. This allows her to do a lot of work on herself and to use photography as a means of expressing what is inside her, from her fears to her most personal thoughts.
The aim is that when looking at the images the viewer finds something of themselves and, as Alice Milewski did during the process of making them, the time spent contemplating them becomes a moment of introspection.
“While my images come from a personal place, the ultimate goal is that other people find a piece of themselves in my work. Art should be a mirror of both the creator and observer.”
Check out some of Alice Milewski’s shots below, but to find out more follow her on Instagram.
What are images if not luminous phenomena? It is from this reflection that about a year ago NFC Edizioni, to celebrate ten years of activity, felt the need to give life to Luminous Phenomena, a series entirely dedicated to international photography.
Luminous Phenomena stems from the desire to create a space where established and emerging photographers can express themselves freely, taking care of every aspect of the publication, from the colour of the cover to the selection of the photographs.
In these small-format books, which allow you to hold them in your hand, replacing your smartphone screen for a few moments, you rediscover the importance of the body and how it relates to its surroundings.
The first volume, released in September 2020, was dedicated to Lady Tarin, and since then three other volumes have been published, dedicated to Aleksey D’Havlcyon, Giulia Agostini and Alba Zari respectively.
Luminous Phenomena is one of those publications that should be displayed on the best shelf. We at Collater.al were lucky enough to speak directly with Amedeo Bartolini, editorial director and founder of Agenzia NFC and NFC Edizioni, and Guya Bacciocchi, director of the series, who told us more about the project.
Don’t miss the interview below, some shots included in the book and to learn more visit the dedicated website!
Before talking about this new photo book series, can you tell us how you started your journey in publishing and when you decided to found Agenzia NFC?
Amedeo: Our story started, and grew, in a moment of deep economic crisis. I founded Agenzia NFC (a communications agency) in 2010, seeing an opportunity to position myself in a sector that was perhaps a little “tired”: we needed a smarter, more dynamic reality… a couple of years later, in 2012, I followed my great passion for books and decided to bet on printed paper, and therefore to found NFC Edizioni.
For NFC Edizioni’s 10th anniversary, you launched “Luminous Phenomena”, a series dedicated to international photography. How did the idea for this series come about? Why did you choose this name?
Amedeo: For years, the idea of a photographic series was in my head like a woodworm, which slowly made its way into my mind. In 2020 I found myself thrown into a reality where the only thing I had in abundance was TIME. So I decided to use this period of stalemate to build something positive, just as in 2010 I tried to find a way to react to a moment of great crisis. Eventually, I decided to give my “worm” a name, and so the “Luminous Phenomena” series was born. The name is deliberately and brazenly inspired by Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature, paying homage to him and revisiting his thinking – the study of luminous phenomena! – in a contemporary key.
The watchword of this series is APPROACH; I would like to create new collectors of photography. This is why the Deluxe Edition (DE) of Luminous Phenomena includes a limited edition photograph of the artist. I imagine my home wall dedicated to the series filled with 10×15 cm photographs.
What is the common theme of the chosen photographers?
Guya: I cannot say that there is a recurring theme in the photographers we have selected so far. In fact, the series did not want to be linked to a single subject, but we wanted to be able to tell places, people and stories that were different and new each time, and we wanted each artist to be able to take us freely into their dreamlike universe.
Four volumes have been published so far. Should we expect more? Can you tell us something?
Amedeo: I always say that I hope this series will accompany me into retirement! My wish would be to continue working on this project for a long time to come; I find it extremely stimulating and gratifying, plus these books are so beautiful! We are currently working on volume 5, dedicated to Chlorus, with a text by Lorenzo Castor and Martha ter Horst.Vol. 6 will be special, celebrating the first year of “Luminous Phenomena”, and precisely for this reason we have decided to tell something very close to our home in Rimini. I don’t want to reveal too much about the next volumes, I’ll just tell you some of the countries from which we will “steal” photographers for the next volumes: England, Mexico and Morocco.
How do you select the photographers for this series?
Guya: Whoever expects a considered choice is wrong! The selection of the photographers is made up of emotions, butterflies in the stomach and amazement. Each artist has struck us with a peculiarity and has triggered in us a curiosity, a desire to know more and more, the need to want to tell a story. The photographers we have chosen are those who made us stop, who made us think, and who left us breathless. Some artists we already knew, others we found wandering around the web.
Each volume is a new experience, for us and for them: we want the artist to be involved at 360 degrees, from the choice of who will write the essay, to the shots to put in the book, to the colour of the cover, which will be the first emotional part of each volume (the choice is among 27 shades of Fedrigoni Sirio Color).
We want each volume of Luminous Phenomena to tell a new story, to make us dream.
Leafing through the volumes, I really appreciated the small format. The sensation was that of holding a collection of postcards or, if we want to keep up with the times, a printed Instagram gallery. Is there a particular reason why you chose this format?
Amedeo: I’m nostalgic, I like books made of paper, I like being able to hold them in my hand, feel their weight and smell the ink on their pages. I have created a series in which several senses are involved, not only sight but also touch and smell. The paper used for the cover, the endpapers and the non-photographic part of the book is Fedrigoni Sirio Color, a paper that is soft to the touch, delicate, precious, with the scent of a new book, each volume in a different colour. The format of the LPs is “hand-sized”, uncomfortable to leaf through, but it is a very precise choice: I wanted books that are beautiful to look at, objects that invite you to touch them. I don’t want them to be leafed through many times, I don’t want them to be ruined. It is not only the photo that is the collector’s item, but also and above all the book!
Cinematic and surreal. Almost futuristic. Kate Hook‘s shots have this effect, taking the viewer to places far away, not geographically, but in time and space. The photographer, based in the south of the UK, takes us on a mental journey through time and space.
Kate Hook studied Art Direction at the University of Arts London, Filmmaking at Staffordshire Uni and is now a photographer specialising in analogue photography. Moving away from many of her colleagues who rely mainly on post production and Photoshop, Kate does everything on camera and looking at the results we can’t help but be speechless.
We asked her a few questions and Kate Hook told us how she started shooting and more about her technique. Read our interview below and follow her on Instagram and on her website!
Tell us how you started taking photographs. Is there a particular moment you remember?
There isn’t a particular moment that comes to mind, it was more like a organic sequence of developing an interest in taking photographs which started with the Canon AV-1 my dad gave me when I was a teenager, as well playing with the other digital cameras in the house. When I was about 14/15 I got really into it and at about 16 it became quite apparent I had a knack for taking pictures. One thing I remember when I was getting more into it was someone saying me that I was taking pictures “wrong”, which granted at that age I had little idea on what I was doing as at that stage I had no formal teaching or anyone showing me properly how to operate a camera. So I started to read books on cameras and photography as I wanted to learn how to shoot correctly and then do it “wrong” on purpose.
Describe your photographic style. How did you arrive at this point?
Magical and vivid. Not light or dark, instead it’s bright and dream like. I’ve spent years playing around with various different methods and techniques. When I was younger I was very drawn to surrealism so I feel that has had an impact on me creatively. I’ve always believed that magic is real and there’s so much more to reality than what we’re taught, so I try to show that in my work. Reality is what you make of it afterall.
For you, which is the most important thing to consider when taking portraits?
The mood and the message… If there is one, sort of depends on the photo really. There’s typically quite a few elements going on depending on what the set of portraits are about. For the model, it’s how they’re presented, from their expression’s to what they’re wearing. Then there’s other elements such as lighting and equipment. As well as themes and symbolism. All of it is like mathematical equation with various different factors that go into the final images.
What equipment do you use for shooting? Which cameras and accessories do you take with you when shooting and why?
I shoot entirely on film and I’ve started using more filters in my work. The main cameras I use are Nikon F100, Fm2, and F3. Recently I’ve gotten a Pentax 645N which I’m excited to work more with. Every now and again I may “film soup” a roll of 35mm, which is a process where you submerge the film in a liquid, which distorts the chemical balance of the film and causes some interesting effects. Absolutely none of my work is photoshopped, everything is done in-camera pretty much. I only ever do a bit of minor tweaking before uploading but that’s it. We spend a lot of time staring at screens so for me personally I think it’s important on a artistic standpoint to take and create imagery without the reliance of a computer and editing software. Plus shooting on film makes it that bit more real.
Are there any artists you follow or are inspired by?
Pete Turner and Benoit Debbie have been the biggest influences for me through out the years. Turner was essentially the god father of colour film photography and Debbie is a master of colour for cinematography.
Continue the sentence: For me, photography is…
Truth. It’s all there for a reason. The human eye can’t and maybe doesn’t want to see everything. Photography can tell us how striking yet how beautiful the world truly is.