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IAN TEH – CONFLUENCE

Limited First Edition

Blackbook

Individually numbered limited standard first edition of 300 books, case bound in black finishing with a de-bossed cover art by renowned artist Raja Azeem Idzham.
 
With essays by Tash Aw, author of Five Star Billionaire; Khoo Kay Kim & Eddin Khoo.
 
Black casebound (hardback) with de-bossed cover.
242mm x 165mm, 176 pages, 74 plates.
All materials FSC approved.
ISBN: 978-967-12481-0-2


CONFLUENCE LIMITED FIRST EDITION




LIMITED SPECIAL EDITION

WhiteBook2

A signed and individually numbered special limited edition of 100 including a 23 x 15 cm (9” x 6”) pigment print contained within a protective sleeve.
 
With essays by Tash Aw, author of Five Star Billionaire; Khoo Kay Kim & Eddin Khoo.
 
White casebound (hardback) with de-bossed cover.
242mm x 165mm, 176 pages, 74 plates.
All materials FSC approved.
ISBN: 978-967-12481-0-2


CONFLUENCE LIMITED SPECIAL EDITION




 

Limited First Edition

“Abstract beauty collides with the gritty reality of contemporary Asia in Ian Teh’s work, producing an effect that is at once mesmerising and disconcerting. If his subject is the world of the unseen – the people and landscapes that are everywhere, but strikingly unnoticed – then his images, too, draw the viewer into that nebulous space between admiration and revulsion, though there is barely a difference between the two.”
Tash Aw

 
For centuries, ships following the trade winds ventured into The Straits of Malacca, a narrow 805 km stretch of water between Peninsular Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Today, from an economic perspective, it remains one of the most important shipping lanes in the world, linking the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. One-quarter of the world’s traded goods, including oil, are shipped through these waters, with Port Klang as the main gateway to Malaysia. Historically, owing to Malaysia’s uniquely important position as a maritime trading hub, The Straits brought commerce but also foreign influences that fundamentally determined the nation’s cultural makeup and history. Hindu and Buddhist cultures imported from India dominated its early history for centuries. Although Muslims passed through in the 10th century, it was not until the 14th and 15th centuries that Islam first established itself on the Malay Peninsula. The rise of the colonial powers in the 19th and 20th centuries brought the Portuguese, Dutch and eventually the British into the region, followed by further migrations of Chinese and Indian workers to meet the needs of the colonial economy. Today, to sustain its economic growth, Malaysia has become the largest importer of migrant labour in the world and is one of the most multicultural societies on earth, undergoing deep transformations within its physical and cultural landscapes.
 
This series of photographs document a journey, for the most part along the short coastline of Selangor, the richest state in Malaysia. It is a contemporary portrait of a state, and in a sense a metaphor for the rest of the country. On the shore, an hour away from the nation’s glittering capital, are the gritty industrialised shipping terminals of Port Klang and the sleepy, seemingly idyllic rural towns that populate the Selangor waterfront. These images try to offer a nuanced document of what this coastline is today, and perhaps a sense of the significant changes that are ongoing. Here, where land meets sea and cultures collide, entire worlds and realities shift and merge into each other, and questions of race, belonging and identity take on new meanings. Just as prehistoric glaciers leave the mark of their earlier journeys on the land, the outward appearance of these places clearly shows the confluence of past and present.

 

THE ARTIST

Ian Teh has published two monographs, Undercurrents (2008) and Traces (2011). His work is also part of the permanent collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) and the Hood Museum in the USA.
 
Teh has received numerous honours. Recently he was selected by the Open Society Foundation to exhibit his work in New York for the 2013 Moving Walls. In 2011 he won the Emergency Fund from the Magnum Foundation. His work was also highly commended for the Prix Pictet prize in 2009 and he was awarded a place on the Joop Swart Masterclass in 2001. Teh has exhibited widely and featured in contemporary art publications such as Elena Ochoa Foster’s C International Photo Magazine as well as international current affairs magazines such as Time and The New Yorker. Selected solo shows include the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York in 2004, Flowers in London in 2011 and the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam in 2012. In 2010, the literary magazine Granta published a 10-year retrospective of his work in China.

 

CREDIT TITLES

Tash Aw
Tash Aw is the author of three novels, The Harmony Silk Factory, Map of the Invisible World and Five Star Billionaire, which have won the Whitbread and Commonwealth Prizes and twice been longlisted for the MAN Booker Prize; they have also been translated into twenty four languages. His short fiction has won an O. Henry Award and been published in A Public Space and the landmark Granta 100, amongst others.
 
Khoo Kay Kim
Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Datuk Dr Khoo Kay Kim, a figure of the first generation of post-Independence Malaysian historians is popularly referred to as a “National Institution.” He is Emeritus Professor of Malaysian History at the University of Malaya where he has served for close to fifty years.
 
Eddin Khoo
Eddin Khoo is a poet, writer, translator, journalist and teacher. He serves as Founder- Executive Director of the cultural organisation PUSAKA, Centre for Culture, Tradition, Ideas.
 
Raja Azeem Idzham
Raja Azeem Idzham is an architecture graduate and a self taught artist. His obsession with line drawing and the use of repetition to produce shapes is the main motif in the production of his work. A lot of Azeem’s work references his own writings as well as commentary on human flaws and perfection; of nature and architectural utopia. His work is a means to pose questions, rather than an object of absolute certainty.
 

REVIEWS OF IAN TEH’S WORK

“… I had discovered firsthand the unforgiving fact that improvements in technology have seeded the world with lots of photographers by lowering the barriers to entry. That is all the more reason to take note of the best…. As Ian and I have worked together over the last few years—in Guizhou, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, and so on—I’ve seen his work when it’s underway and again when it’s finished. He comes from the expeditionary school of photography, which is to say that when he showed up the first time, I wondered if he had forgotten his equipment. It turns out, however, that all he needs is one camera and a lens or two. If he works with lights and flashes, I’ve yet to see them. He vanishes into the scene, and the results are brilliant and ghostly. If you want to understand what China looks like—what it really looks like, in the minor moments, in places far away, when everybody else has packed up and gone home—take a look.”
Evan Osnos ‘Chronicle of a China Foretold’ The New Yorker.

 

“Mr. Teh, 39, uses stills to create short stories with different aesthetics. Each can stand on its own, and each captures the sentiment of change. As a whole, they present a multidimensional perspective.”
Kerri MacDonald The New York Times.

 

“ This series of arresting, beautiful photographs is a chronicle of Teh’s travels and observations during time spent in covert analysis of China’s industrial and economic surge to it’s current status as the world’s second largest economy. In Traces, Teh is our soft-spoken guide through the ravages of China’s 21st century industrial revolution, bringing us up close to its environmental and social fallout. Teh nimbly straddles journalism and art with his work. I find his concepts provide a frame for which the veracity of the medium is fogged, allowing an onlooker to respond instinctively. Those portraits of miners burrow as deep as the underground shafts in which they work and quiet intensity permeates his photographs like the dust that envelopes all….Teh’s presence as witness and chronicler pays homage to those subject indefinitely to such hostile conditions. By the same measure these photographs deserve to reach a wide audience and to propel a discourse as to what really is progress… the irreparable degradation of environment in exchange for international economic distinction.”
Michael Salu Artistic Director of Granta Publications.

 

“The London photographer’s studies of Chinese coal mines and coking plants at night have the look of scenes out of films from “Blade Runner”: They feature impossibly lurid green light, refracted through a darkness filled with particulate matter in a world of shadowy figures straight out of dystopian science fiction. But of course, this world is completely real…..The amazing thing is that his artistic vision operates so well under such stressful and restrained circumstances”
Jerry Cullum ‘Outside the Lines,’ The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

 

“…Ian Teh’s heart-stopping exhibition, shows us the uncertainties, fears and squalor of a world in its death agony… His camera is candid, compassionate, searching….The subtitle of this extraordinary exhibition, ‘Altered Landscapes and Displaced Lives’, suggests that it is the Yangtze’s ghosts that haunt Teh… A great Teh strength is to capture the personal dignity of those caught up in this mass uprooting.”
Rosemary Righter ‘Before the Deluge,’ The Times.

 

“Teh’s final, mesmerising images, which capture the gorges’ last spring, are a testimony to loss on a colossal scale.”
Tara Pepper ‘A Disappearing World,’ Newsweek.

 

“Viewing this exhibition is rather like looking at a photo album from a bygone age. You know that the scenes depicted no longer exist but, oddly, it’s the landscape that has died while the faces live on. Only time will reveal the true impact of severing entire communities from their roots and memories.”
Carolyn Fry ‘The Vanishing,’ Foto 8.