April 19 – June 7
Salt Lake City
440 S 400 W Suite H, SLC, UT 84101
On Friday April 19th 2019, Nox Contemporary will be presenting the Twin Lens by Christine Baczek & David Hyams. There will be an opening reception that evening, during the Salt Lake City Gallery Stroll, from 6-9 p.m.
In 2015, Christine Baczek and David Hyams were offered an opportunity In Shenzhen, China to work for a boutique photographic printing company. Twin Lens comes out of the experiences of the year that they spent there.
Christine Baczek –
“The promise of a job that was unattainable in the United States, a much increased wage, and the opportunity to live in a country very different from what we had previously experienced was appealing. We sold most of our belongings, packed the rest, and flew ourselves and our dog to Shenzhen. This body of work is about my personal experience as an expatriate, a privileged immigrant, in a Special Economic Zone in southern China. It is a visual interpretation of my attempt to connect to the people, landscape, and history of a very unfamiliar place.
In China I was called laowai when addressed in Mandarin, westerner when addressed in English. On a good day, I understood 20% of what was happening around me. Much was lost in translation between Mandarin, Cantonese, and English, between communism and capitalism, between urban and rural ways, and between lunar and Gregorian calendars. I primarily interacted with millennial Chinese who were born in a modern China and enjoyed what they would call a more western-style of living. And, Shenzhen was a new city built atop a fishing community when Deng Xiaoping designated it a Special Economic Zone open to foreign business. Because of this, I experienced a version of China with blurred boundaries in a unique moment in the country’s history.”
David Hyams –
“When the offer came in it was a complete surprise. A job on another continent, half a world away. The opportunity to create a custom platinum printing photographic lab in Shenzhen, China was almost too good to be true. When we arrived in Shenzhen it was completely overwhelming. We knew it would be a different world, but we were still unprepared for what we would experience for the next year.
China was mind blowing in so many ways; the culture, the history, the population density, the atmosphere, the environment and the elements of chaos. It was hard to recognize any similarities with the life that we had left behind in Utah. As I photographed my experiences, a pattern began to slowly emerge. I was seeing the air. The air was heavy, and while the pollution often resulted in physical discomfort, it was also an unexpected link to the life that I left behind.
These images are about the wind, and the pollutants that we add to it. Pollutions has many names, here in Utah, we call it the inversion, in China they chalked it up to being a burn day in Malaysia. Its far more comfortable to not have to face an issue like air quality head on. These images, whether fact or fiction, serve as a reminder that we have a direct effect on our environment. “
Christine has lived and studied in Utah, Chile, Italy, Chicago, Santa Fe, and China. She has worked broadly with the artistic community of Utah as an artist, the Collection Photographer for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Exhibitions Director for the Kimball Art Center, and a writer for 15 Bytes. Her work uses her surroundings and daily life as points of departure for her imagery. Her research and practice focus on analog and alternative photographic processes like cyanotype, platinum/palladium, chromoskedasic sabatier, film, etc. She uses this expertise in historical photographic processes to record the intangible and manipulate light in a real sense. She has exhibited widely, including the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Nox Contemporary, Finch Lane, Granary Art Center, Panopticon Gallery, Kimball Art Center and PhotoBistro. She has received a Samuel H. Kress Foundation Scholarship, a Utah Arts Council Traveling Grant, and an artist-in-residency at the Rio Mesa Center. Her work is in the collections of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Savannah College of Art and Design, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Salt Lake County Collection, and important private entities in Utah.
In 2018, she and her partner, David Hyams, opened Luminaria—an alternative photography studio in Salt Lake City that specializes in historical photographic processes and offers workshops, a tintype portrait studio, and custom printing.
David is a photographic artist currently based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Born in the UK, raised in upstate New York, he moved west as soon as the opportunity arose. In 2000 he began his studies of photography at Montana State University, and quickly fell in love with the culture, landscape and myth of the west, which has impacted his art making practices ever since. After receiving a BA in photography from MSU, he continued his research into combining historical photography practices and modern digital technologies. Acquiring this expertise lead to opportunities like managing the darkroom and workshop program with Bostick & Sullivan, completing an MFA at the Lesley College of Art & Design, and creating a professional master platinum printing lab in Shenzhen China.
David is currently focused on Luminaria, an alternative process photography studio in Salt Lake City, that he co opened with his partner Christine Baczek. Luminaria provides the national photographic community with Tintype and custom platinum printing services and workshops in a variety of historical photographic techniques. In his free time he enjoys exploring Utah with Christine and their dog Bandit, and taking far too many pictures.
Twin Lens will be open to the public by appointment through Friday, June 7, 2019. There will be a second reception on Friday May17, 6-9pm. For more information and to make an appointment please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.