Art of the Image - Chad Lue Choy Photography

Art of the Image

A collective exhibition held at CHI Studios, Port of Spain, Trinidad

 25th July - 25th August 2018

Artist Statement

Into the Darkness

Where does beauty live? To whom does she show her face?

This series is an accumulation of images created in Trinidad and abroad over the past decade.

I look for the unexpected beauty and energy in the everyday mundane and the ghastly, and through my art, I hope to provoke people to see the beauty that resides in the darkness and the shadows all around them.

Context and personal history have the ability to find or obscure beauty. For instance, a jab molassie is a traditionally ghoulish character. Upbringing and experience condition us to be afraid of the mud, paint, oil, and having to “pay the devil”. But strip away the cultural insight and our innate fears, and the devil can become an angel. Similarly, concrete piles driven into the sand at the mouth of the river may be insignificant. But add in childhood memories of carefree days at the beach and the smell of the salty air, and they transform into a memorial to loved ones we have lost.

My process is to look beyond the conspicuous; to remain engaged with my subject long enough to see the beauty in its geometry, in the energy of its movement or in the solitude of its stillness; that ephemeral moment when the light gets in.

Longing for Home

Fingers strained,

Reaching,

On the tips of bloodied toes she reaches.

Beyond our shores,

A water lily blossoms,

In a land of Dragons.


A broken structure. Was it someone’s home? What happened? Where are they now? The sea takes what the sea wants. A sign of our times? The lone tree,  like a beautiful dancer, reaching towards the heavens, like all of us, trying to be a better version of itself.

The name Longing for Home is a nod Dai Ailian, the Trinidadian dancer who is widely recognized as the Mother of Chinese Ballet.


Longing for Home

Trinidad, 2016

Masquerade of Fear

The monsters

They live only in our dreams

Awake!

For there are no monsters


It was my first time at the gayelle. Suddenly they were all around; these giants striding, going about their business, oblivious to this insignificant human at their feet. I looked through my viewfinder, waiting until it felt as though I was being swallowed up in their midst…….Then I pressed the shutter.


Masquerade of Fear

Trinidad, 2016

Absolution

Near river's edge,

But cannot drink.

We strain to see,

What bright future brings


This photo was made one morning in Shanghai along the Huangpu River. The heavenly light beaming down, the all seeing eye watching over us, made me stare in awe.

But then I suddenly became aware that the beautiful sunbeam was only made visible because of the thick smog that polluted the Chinese sky. I felt dirty and my awe was replaced with sadness.


Absolution

China, 2010

Rigour of Being

We float between light and shadow

This dance you see

Grinning teeth or hidden hand

I am what I want me to be


What is the truth? A devil can become an angel. A stranger can become a friend. We show others what we wish them to see. But it makes no difference really. We only see what we want to see, what we can see. We see with our eyes, but also with our tears and laughter and our many footsteps walked across hot asphalt.


The Rigour of Being

Trinidad, 2016

Rictus Befallen

The tear rips through the page

Cutting across the beautiful words

Until there are but only

Shreds of paper in the wind


Markets have always been one of my favourite places to photograph. There was something about these fish. The way their glassy eyes looked at me, their tiny mouths, open, as if to scream; gasping for breath. Or maybe trying to say something to me now, even as they lay there displayed for all the world to see.


Rictus Befallen

Portugal, 2011

Of Things Passed and Yet to Come

Haunted by these ghosts

I will not allow myself to be

A master of my destiny

Forever to walk this path


The things that have gone before, how do they affect our present? Do they cause us fear and uncertainty? Or do they provide calm and foresight? Do the shadows of our past stand in the way of our progress? Or do they await our glorious moment on stage?


Forever to walk this path

A master of my destiny

I will not allow myself to be

Haunted by these ghosts


Of Things Passed and Yet to Come

Trinidad, 2018


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