Known best for his uncompromising and revealing portraiture, photographer NADAV KANDER mounts his first solo show in Hong Kong
IN 2008, THE YEAR Barack Obama was elected to office, the New York Times magazine commissioned photographer Nadav Kander to shoot a series of 52 portraits that came to be titled Obama’s People, featuring a cast of characters that included Vice-President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as the up-and-coming twenty-something aides and the President’s social secretary. The minimalist photographs are perhaps Kander’s best known, representing the largest body of work by one photographer in a single issue of the magazine, and have subsequently been shown in a gallery setting.
Until July 19, Curves of Moon and Rivers of Blue shows at Blindspot Gallery in Hong Kong, an exhibition curated by Tamar Arnon and Eli Zagury and combining two of Kander’s most well-known series. The former, Yangtze, The Long River was shot over 2006-2008, and in 2009 earned the Prix Pictet, a prestigious global photography award for depiction in the theme of sustainability. The shots document scenes along China’s Yangtze River and tell a tale of the country in a stark and smoggy palette.
The more recent Bodies. 6 Women, 1 Man explores a much more private subject, the nude form. Pale-skinned, full-figured shapes glow against a dark backdrop, and far from being imbued with sexuality, they are crisp and austerely depicted.
If the subject matter runs a wide gamut, Kander’s interest is often singular. Through his lens, he seeks to expose the human condition at its barest.