MY SISTERS, THEIR STORIES
A PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION BY LANCE LEE
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO THE OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION ON 7TH OCTOBER 2004 THURSDAY 7PM
UTTERLY ART EXHIBITION SPACE
208 SOUTH BRIDGE ROAD #02-01 SINGAPORE 058757
T: 65 6226 2605 / E: UTTERLYART@PACIFIC.NET.SG
(MON-SAT: 1130AM-8PM; SUN:12PM-530PM)
THIS EXHIBITION RUNS THROUGH TO 17TH OCTOBER 2004.
In the words of Eugene W. Smith, “Humanity is worth more than a picture of humanity that serves no purpose other than exploitation.” Lance adopts Smith’s philosophy in his work. Unlike stereotypical photojournalistic work, especially on transgender topics like this, Lance’s subjectivity brings out the humanism and the emotional complexity in these situations. His photographs are always honest and reverent. In the case of this photo-exhibition entitled My Sisters, Their Stories, the sheer purity of truth in the pictures arose primarily out of Lance’s patience and gentle perseverance, which earned him the friendship of the transsexuals he photographed. Lance never manipulated the subjects, but allowed them to be free to be whomever they wished to portray. He knew that sooner or later, their true selves would be revealed. For the trust and confidence they had in Lance, he too was free to photograph them as they were, and are.
Here are portraits, depicting the lives of transsexuals, but they are more than mere documentation of their “alleged” lives, as we might have imagined. Here are images that are momentous and yet, executed with remarkable control. These portraits reduce life into single moments, to the very pulses of the heart. Frozen in time they might be, but like eager children, the pictures want to reach out, to share their thoughts, to invite you to explore with them. So many photojournalistic images require words, or cutlines in conjunction to explain themselves, but Lance’s pictures retain such communicative power that they inspire words to life, instead of vice versa.
However, portraying the moment does not mean indulging in random snap shots. These images are exquisitely composed, retaining their intimacy of the moment as a result of the photographer’s close interaction with the sisters, which stripped the self-consciousness out of close-up shots. Robert Capa, who used to say, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”, would certainly have approved.