Where Content is King

Thursday, April 23, 2009




What photos do I buy for myself? The most recent photograph I bought was a large (50 x 60 inch) print of this image of Paris by Sze Tsung Leong. I actually had no intention of buying any such picture, but I walked into the Yossi Milo Gallery a few weeks ago and it just leapt of the wall at me. (Bear in mind that the j-peg can’t do justice to the actual print which is breath-taking, but please click on the image to see it larger).

I have no special affection for Paris, no empty space looking for a picture this big, but when something really clicks at first sight and holds up on a second viewing, and you can scrape together the money,
I say buy it! (In today’s world it has to be a much safer bet than any stock.)

Sze Tsung Leong came into prominence with his series of horizon pictures taken all over the world. The horizons very specifically lined up in the same place in every picture so you could mix and match them into any length you wanted, and while they sold like hotcakes, it all seemed a little obvious to me. Leong’s earlier works, however, black and white circular pictures of the Yangtze River, and his slightly later architectural pictures of Chinese structures - showed a promising new talent.

Leong’s newest and ongoing series, from which the Paris picture is just one, is simply called “Cities” and follows the seriality of the Horizon series without so scrupulously following the rigorously identical composition. They’re all taken from high vantage points but here content trumps format. Which is probably as good a definition of what I tend to like as any.

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