In Gwanggyo, a city just south of Seoul in Korea, the Oma studio has designed a department store with a stone-like exterior. With this project, the Oma studio headed by architect Chris Van Duijn wanted to create “a natural point of gravity” for the local residents of the new thriving city.
Chris van Duijn, OMA‘s partner, said: “With a circuit specially designed for cultural offerings, the Gwanggyo Gallery is a place where visitors can experience architecture and culture while shopping. They leave with a unique retail experience that blends in with pleasant surprises after each visit”.
The store opened in Gwanggyo is the sixth branch of the largest luxury department store franchise founded in the 1970s in Korea. It has been carved as if it were a large stone volume, with a mosaic stone facade that embellishes its appearance and makes it even more unique. Surrounded by tall residential towers, the new gallery is a welcome contrast to the existing urban context thanks to the dynamic use of glass and stone. The building aims to create a sort of continuity with the nature of the surrounding park where Suwon Gwanggyo Lake is located.
The unique project aims to change the architecture of the city, modernizing it, creating something never seen before, a stone not rough, but of great beauty and sobriety for the Korean city.
It is difficult to define Brooks Reynolds with one word. He is a director, but also an author and photographer. Born in Burlington, Canada, Brooks Reynolds first approached photography during his high school years, then over time he explored all the possibilities this art had to offer. Today Brooks spends most of his time behind the lens, sometimes taking beautiful photographs, sometimes shooting short films and commercials.
In this case we want to focus on a small aspect of his work, which we recommend you to discover on his website, the portraits. Scrolling through his portfolio, or his Instagram profile, among the frames of his shorts and projects for clients, you may come across faces, glances that stand out in the darkness of streets and rooms.
Many times they are strangers, met by chance, but those of Brooks Reynolds do not only show banal faces, they tell stories, we can perceive people’s moods, we can almost hear their thoughts.
The main feature of all his shots is a cinematic vision on the stage, developed thanks to his short films and that goes perfectly with an exasperated use of light, which creates amplified areas of light and shadow.
Below is a selection of his shots, but to find out more about Brooks Reynolds’ work go to his website!
The protagonist of this The Guestbook is Valeria Dellisanti, a young photographer who, with delicacy and mastery, manages to capture small moments of intimacy. Among her projects stands out certainly “In The Rooms“, a series of shots that capture young girls inside their bedrooms, a safe place where growing up and questioning, but what captures our attention is her project “Distancing Diary” born during the quarantine, a sort of personal diary made up of small thoughts and beautiful photographs.
Curious by her style and her works, we asked Valeria a few questions and she told us how her passion was born, her projects, and much more.
Tell us how you approached the photograph. Is there a particular moment that you remember?
I would like to take advantage of this question that I often find in interviews and that is often asked to me, to make a reflection. So I turn and rephrase the question to you and the readers of Collater.al: Who has not approached photography in the social and cultural context in which we live? It is almost impossible in my opinion not to confront this medium in 2020. When photography became part of people’s habits, the idea of being able to take pieces of reality and of the world to be able to preserve, archive and review them whenever you want has given rise to a new mass phenomenon that has been accentuated by new technologies and social media. Today we all produce images spontaneously, as a natural form of relationship with others and with the world. In this regard, I like to recall the words of Susan Sontag who wrote: “collecting photographs is collecting the world”.
As far as my personal experience is concerned, since I had the first mobile phone in my hand I started taking pictures, as I think everyone does. Slowly, thanks to my studies, to the stimuli of people in my life, so external and internal influences, I started to do it more and more consciously. I don’t remember a particular moment, it was more a path. Photography helps me to ask myself questions, to better understand who I am and who I want to be. It helps me to reflect and focus my gaze on what is happening and surrounds me, so for me it is an instrument of self-analysis.
One of your latest works is “In The Rooms“, a series of shots of girls in their bedrooms. Tell us how this idea came about and what aspects you wanted to bring out in the shots.
I’m very attached to this photo series and I’m a bit tender to look at it today. Actually it’s a feeling that I feel a little bit for all my past works. I started this project spontaneously, almost unconsciously. After graduating from art high school, in 2015 I moved to Bologna to continue my studies. This change led me to relate not only toa new city but also with a totally different and autonomous lifestyle. As soon as you change the city, the first step is to find an apartment or a room to live in. So in this context your room, especially if you live in a shared house, becomes an intimate space “a glass bell”. Beware, bell jar not understood in the meaning of Sylvia Plath “I couldn’t hear anything- sitting on the deck of a ship or in a café in Paris or Bangkok- I would be under the same bell jar, suffocating in my own sour air”. But as a space in which to feel safe and comfortable, to discover and build your own identity.
I was very fascinated by the process of personalisation of the rooms, and above all to take pictures and relate to a subject in such an intimate environment in which every day one reworks one’s identity. Thanks to this project I found myself photographing friends, but also girls I didn’t know at all. The series “In the Rooms” was important for me because it helped me to develop a photographic language and personality, it also allowed me to put myself on the line, to face my fears, my shyness and to confront the lives of other girls my age.
Your latest project, however, is called “Distancing Diary” and was born during and because of quarantine. What it was like to tell yourself first-hand.
It wasn’t easy to do it, especially in this context. Photography, or creating in general, is therapeutic: the are is an instrument of self-analysis. In this situation, creating has helped me to confront myself, it has kept me busy and productive, it has helped me to confront myself with others. The creation of the diary has made me become aware of how changes coming from the outside pour into us. After the publication of the project, some people contacted me and told me that they saw each other again in the pages of my diary and that in a way they felt less lonely. I think that sharing this time in my life has helped me and others to exorcise negative feelings. On a structural level, for the first time, I have added a textual and figurative narrative path to the images, I really enjoyed experimenting in this sense.
From a creative and working point of view, how did you experience this lockdown period?
I lived this period in alternating phases. Weeks in which I was anxious and confused, others in which I felt productive and positive. It was, and still is, a strange time. As a photographer friend of mine told me when we met after lockdown… “It felt like a bad dream.” What’s worrying is that, metaphorically, we haven’t come out of it yet and we haven’t recovered from this nightmare. Hopefully I’ll be back soon to shoot and recover from the canceled shots.
What advice, both technical and practical, would you give to a young person who wants to approach photography for the first time?
I’m not good at giving hahaha advice. But I would say… read, study and understand the work of other photographers and always question themselves.
When we think of London, we immediately think of a city with chaotic rhythms, frenetic and tireless, like any self-respecting modern capital. Because of the pandemic, however, everything came to a sudden halt almost suddenly. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, following in the footsteps of his illustrious colleagues all over the world, has frozen the entire city until at least June, waiting for the contagion curve to slow down.
The English photographerJan Enkelmann decided to document the deafening silence of his city, never seen before. So on 23 March, the night the lockdown was announced, the photographer climbed on his bike to admire deserted London, never seen like this in 20 years of his life. A few weeks later, he took his camera with him and decided to capture the whole thing.
“Like many others I felt compelled to document the lack of crowds in usually crowded locations. But looking at the set of images I have made over the last weeks, I feel this project has taken on a life of its own. Maybe these photos are less about the lack of human presence and rather about the stillness of a city being allowed a breather to reveal a beauty that often goes unnoticed.“