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Chau and B.J.'s notes from Space City

Posts from the polaroids Category

*digital collage of recent paintings and an old polaroid photo

For the past few days I’ve been spending long hours in front of the computer cleaning and organizing my work on different hard drives. The number of duplicate files in different folders—as well as the lack of work documented since I’ve left school (not that I’ve been producing a lot)—was slightly overwhelming. But I’m glad it’s finally getting done. I also came across photos of my time in Providence, Boston, and our family trip to the Grand Canyon. Funny how much things have changed (especially BJ’s hair), but also how little has changed. My work now seems lighter, a little more colorful, but still reveals the weakness for minimalism that I picked up earlier on. I’m looking forward to updating everything soon!

 

gingerale

RiceTrees2

Mismatched photos from the last few weekends, which have been relatively busy and continue to be. We’re looking forward to seeing B’s side of the family and visiting the east coast this weekend.

And after that, I hope for a little bit of stillness, some time to work on my own projects, a moment to sit, and a chance to sleep in.

Streamers2

Trang2Here are the last few instants.

The school year is starting up soon and I am a little bit nervous!

Julia Double Austin2

BJ Lake Austin2

Lake Austin Lights2

A few weekends ago, we got a text really late at night asking if we wanted  to take a trip to Austin in the morning. duh! For some reason BJ and I decided to start roasting a chicken around midnight, instead of packing and resting for the trip. So we only got a little bit of sleep before, we met up with 26 other cousins (more or less, I loss count) and caravanned to Lake Austin. Some of us only had 10 minutes notice to pack, but I’m so happy so many people could go. We jet skied, played volleyball with strangers, grilled, swam, got tangled in seaweed multiple times, and squeezed everyone into 4 hotel rooms at the end of the night. We ended the trip with a finger lickin’ meal at Salt Lick. Mmm, summer.

Woo hoo. I finally scanned all the instant photos from July. Thank you, Rice Media Center. Below are some of my favorite shots from our trip to New York, and I uploaded the rest here.

We were gifted a Diana camera and instant back from Catherine and Trevor for our wedding. More than my digital camera, it ended up documenting the majority of the trip. I guess we’ll just have an itty-bitty photo album to hold all these memories. Plenty of trial and error happened before we got a better handle of the settings, but we loved the instant results (especially me, Ms. Impatient) and having something tangible to hold and look at. Thank you, C + T!

Grand Central

EvaSoho

Calder MOMA

Annie BJ MET

MET Statue

Bklyn Museum

Vanessa Double

NYC Skyline from Brooklyn

BJ Bookstore

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BJ Broadway Soho

Me Broadway Soho mural

I desperately want to buy a scanner, but I guess a washer and dryer, vacuum, and forks and spoons should be more important on the list. Unless we don’t mind a slightly dirtier house and eating with our hands ….

Next up: Austin photos.

Picture 2

Attention, devotees of instant film. We propose that you spend a few minutes poring over Christopher Makos’s SX-70 beauties—or, if you’re in New York, to take in the fifty on display at the Christopher Henry Gallery. Enjoy the brushes with artists, musicians, and disgraced former athletes.

Picture 3Picture 1

Makos belonged to the scapegrace entourage that loyally shadowed Andy Warhol. A movement that worshiped the moment. With a mix of love and awe, as the Factory’s house photographer, Makos preserved its history in images. Uniquely suited to this task was his Polaroid SX-70. It was portable and hence pass-around-able. It cherished accidents. And it had mood swings. The camera could toss a wintry silence over any scene, making it pale and bluish and still, yet it could also warm it up, plating yellows in gold or lending flat reds an almost bloody vitality. Hunting for the right adjective for this phenomenon, most settle on dreamy. Dreamy because you know you’re eyeing objects that exist in reality, and yet, whether or not you can put a finger on it, something—the cloudy light? the sanded edges? the deathly skin tones?—seems a touch off. Very faintly, in a word, unreal. Cameras were built to record plain-vanilla reality, but the Polaroid seems magically engineered to flavor, spice, season it. To make the familiar subtly unfamiliar. We couldn’t imagine a better way to remember Warhol and his Factory, and those after-hours adventures in the shabby, sincere, wide-eyed world of 1970′s and 1980′s New York.

Picture 4

mom_aunt2My mom was cleaning out some of her boxes last week and found this photo of her sister and her (on the right). I immediately claimed it before my other sisters could. muhaha.I love the colors especially the sky.

 

galveston_all

Last sunday we drove down to Galveston to spend time with some of our family friends. Bj and I took turns with the polaroid, which I think was exposed to x-rays from the Chicago airport screening even though they assured me that it won’t effect the film. This has happened before, but I kind of like the desaturated look. Click here for bigger pics.

We swam for a bit, spotted a portugese man o’ war, ate bbq, and went downtown to the strand to eat homemade icecream. It was really relaxing. Oh, and we tracked down a Fazoli on the way home. I love summer!

igby1shirt1

BJ recently won a bid on Ebay for 3 old polaroid cameras. The first one I tried had a light leak, but the second one is doing okay! The only problem is when I need to close it, the top gets jammed and it requires a little bit of muscle. I’ll have to buy more film and test out the 3rd one. One of these will travel to New York with us, and hopefully we’ll have some nice shots to post.

Doesn’t Igby look so adorable? That’s the face she makes when I say “treat.” She loves to sun bathe on the gazebo next to her gnome friend. Sadly, he’s missing an arm.

Moving Forest

The second image is a shirt I printed using silk screened stencils. I’ll post a detail shot once I have time.  The bear, which one of my students helped me draw, is carrying a forest where bunnies and mushrooms live. I think I may develop a series out of this print. I’m also debating whether or not to add a second color over the first print.

One more day…

Creativity is really a rebirth, a true tone we feel for ourselves and for our world. It is the expression of an individual based on his experiences, dreams, emotions and desires.”

Peter Lindbergh

I took this picture in Galveston, Texas towards the early evening.

Polaroids are one of my first loves. I believe it began when my siblings and I had our picture taken with the mall’s Christmas Santa Claus (I’ll try to track that one down. It’s pretty funny). Over the years, I’ve accumulated a large collection of polaroids. Hopefully, I’ll be able to archive them in the near future. Maybe one day I’ll turn it into a book. Gosh, remember when they came out with Joy Cams? I even have a few pictures from those.

I enjoy the instant pleasure they give you, and the one shot is all you have nature of the camera. With the convenience of digital cameras, we are so use to editing, deleting, and going shutter happy before finding the perfect photo. There’s also a tangible quality to polaroids that is often missing from with pictures today. How often do we really develop photos after they’re post it online?

Peter Lindberg once said black and white images constitute an interpretation and not a true representation of reality, and for me, the same applies to polaroids. sigh, I hope I can stock up on film before they all run out.