Welcome to The Idea of Man – a virtual exhibition, for all of you who are unable to visit the physical one at The Rangefinder Gallery in Chicago. It runs until 31 October 2015. I owe Dan Tamarkin of Tamarkin Camera a massive round of thanks for putting it all together and sharing his space – please drop by while it’s still up.
Here we go.
Note: for the benefit of those who prefer no captions, I’ve left them in only if you click through to the images on flickr. The narrative however, is important.
The Idea of Man is a journey through life, broken up into several sections. It is a philosophical examination of the choices and existence of man through images and suggestions. There are no distinctly identifiable figures in any of the images for a reason: universality. The ‘man’ (or woman, of course) can be anybody – at any time.
I. We are born with choices: light, dark, grey, and possibility. We must confront the world and make a stand.
II. We work, we conform to the expectations of society and fulfil our small, defined place within the machine. It is somewhat bleak. The system is first and has a place for us.
III. Thoughts of breakout, individuality and rebellion begin to rear their head. We wonder why we are doing what we are doing. We experience flashes of personality and question what it means to be human and what it means to be ‘me’; the concept of self develops.
IV. We head back into society, but we do not feel comfortable with our place in the world. Things need to change; the role that has been given to us begins to become indefinite and uncertain. We are faced with choices. We no longer want to conform and we are forced to break out – but not too much.
V. We explore the meaning of self, our own needs and desires take color and personality, and dominate over the envrionment. The edges and our new roles and interactions are not yet well resolved, but they are getting there. Questions of identity are raised. We explore farther afield in a bid to seek answers.
VI. We find our individual identity and leave the cloak we wear into public at the door. We become ourselves.
VII. We know our new identity, but we must persevere to fit in and find our niche, our community.
VIII. The new horizons are endless. There are challenges. There are possibilities. There are even more choices. Behind the success lies a huge amount of work and sacrifice. But there is always hope, achievement and support – and to strive for that is what it means to be human.
Thank you for viewing. MT
Each image in this series is available in a limited edition of five 16×20″ Ultraprints, and three portfolio sets including all images – please send either myself or Dan Tamarkin an email if you would like to purchase one.
Visit the Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including workshop and Photoshop Workflow videos and the customized Email School of Photography; or go mobile with the Photography Compendium for iPad. You can also get your gear from B&H and Amazon. Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Thanks!
Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved