As people say, a photo can speak a thousand words. It can be a piece of artistic portrayal, a documentary of a unique moment, a 2D version of a memory, or just a simple noise by the shutter; but photography for these skaters consumes all of the above. With countless images hung all over Loading Store here in Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong; they all spoke a different story for these 5 international skateboarders, all gathering together experiences of what they saw in the past 5 years worth of travelling through 30 different countries around the globe.
Greeted by skateboarder and black and white photography enthusiast Eric Lai from Shenzhen; he expresses his excitement for this 3 stop photo exhibition in Asia. Already having exhibited in Shanghai’s L’eau Art Gallery and Studio for around 2 weeks; they are only showcasing their works here in Hong Kong for two days before heading to I Du Tang in Shenzhen for the last stop of another 2 weeks. It was just out of the passion he says, as none of the participating skaters are actually professionally trained photographers. They enjoy using film cameras to record their daily passings, and it became an interest. This group of friends slowly built their own collections of countless staggering images from different parts of the world, including ones taken in North Korea.
The photo subjects were not always about skateboarding, it was more about the things that skateboarding has brought to them. Its quite amazing seeing these talented young people leaving footprints everywhere because of their passion for skateboarding. The 5 photographers including Daniel Zvereff, Eric Lai, Joe Brook, Leong Zhang and Patrik Wallner all works with a different analog camera, and has their own ways of executing their images. Eric says that he develops his own film in the dark room back in Shenzhen; whilst some other photographers get them printed in their own workshops back home.
Hoping to keep the “Analog” exhibition alive, Eric says they plan to host another one in a few years or so, when even more images are gathered. A single thought of these artists became reality, and I am especially amazed by their works. With an active nature of skateboarding, these static pieces of art transpire as much energy as any moving sport. The journey that each of them undertook grasps hold of attention through their presentation in depth of colors and shades. The “trendiness” of skateboarding parallels but contrasts interestingly with the cultural content that they capture with their images, with the street wear styled characters building a tension with the landscape and general public under the same frame.
Along with the images, which are all available for purchase; the team also created a book for this exhibition and we are grateful to receive the 63rd book out of the 100 issued. Even though the show has ended locally, you can still support them by purchasing their 500 limited edition skateboards, with each of the specific analog camera that they use being illustrated on the board. Visit SBC and learn more about these artistic souls on Vagabond Skateboards.
Check out our photos here of their opening in Hong Kong.