May 30, 2011

Hawaiian connection -photo nuts

During my college years, I was mainly studying painting, but my interest extended to ceramic, printmaking, and to photography.

Photography classes were extremely popular and I could not register any one of them so I decided to self-teach the art. I built my own darkroom and learned how to develop film and make prints. I did part time jobs to get my first Minolta, and then Nikon. Wherever I went, I had a camera always with me, dangling from my neck.

I met a few photo nuts on campus, and they all came to my darkroom to do their things. One day, I was in the darkroom with Ronald, a Viet Nam veteran studying chemistry.
"Oh, come on, Ronald, do it outside" I would say, "Protein based fart is killing me."
The darkroom was small, barely enough for two persons so the smell was unbearable.
"Funny. Mine usually smells like plumeria", he mumbled as if I had malfunctioning nose.

Under dim red light,
a nude slowly appears
in developer bath

One beautiful sunny day, we all got on a beaten Volkswagen and went to Kaena Point, north-west end of Oahu. Rugged rocky shore still retained aura of the old primitive Hawaii, of the time long before the islands were settled by outsiders. I got inspired by the scene, and shot many photos, which I later compiled into a hand-made photo book plus an essay. I submitted it to my contemporary art history class as a final assignment.

Standing at a point
where an island ends,
I face the vast ocean

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