Wednesday, June 6, 2012

James Feldman - Surfing Hong Kong

Sitting here in crappy, rainy Salzburg, waiting for summer to get started and wishing I could be surfing somewhere in the sun, open sea-scape vistas, sand-dunes as far as the eye can see, long pristine beaches without a soul. OR, I could call up James Feldman and he and I could hit the Hong Kong surf scene carve in and out of tanker ships, oil refineries, sky-scrapers and concrete jetties. I have to admit I never would have guessed there is a Hong Kong surf scene, but the new little book I got from James shows me I might be wrong.
But of course, maybe I am wrong? The lines between fiction and documentary get blurred here. A bit of research reveals the crushing together of 2 cultures that couldn't be farther apart; the Hong Kong megacity and the "soulful" surf scene of California in the last part of the last century.
"In these 37 images, the moods and surroundings of two discrete periods of a life are woven digitally together, and resonate in a way that’s as uncomfortable with the label “fiction”, as with the label “documentary”.
There are 37 images in the book, sometimes they feel like they are made from web cams, sometimes from cell phone cameras, which somehow makes them authentic, as if they were made from a passer-by and not a photographer out looking for the surf scene.

There are texts accompanying each image, in Sanskrit(?) so I can't decipher it, maybe James can fill us in on the meanings of those.

Feldman has been living in Hong Kong for the last 6 years. You can (should) get the book here.

Thanks James.

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