Art Labor is thrilled to present new photographic works, by Hawaiian born artist Christy Lee Rogers (b.1972), for a solo exhibition opening 23 June, 2018. A pioneer in underwater photographic style and technique, earning her international acclaim, her work embraces the unique quality of light refraction between the surface and layers of water, and her personal approach is to honor and explore the frailty of our existence within the elements around us. The works will then be exhibited with Art Labor at PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai in September.
© CHRISTY LEE ROGERS, Imagine, 2018. Courtesy of Art Labor (Shanghai)
Can you tell us a bit about how the idea for your solo exhibition in China with Art Labor?
This is my second solo exhibition with Art Labor in Shanghai. The collection, titled “Muses", began with the idea of letting go. The idea of surrendering to the present moment and letting go of all anxiety, tension, self-constraint and false-ness so that our true selves could finally break through. After losing many people in my life this year, some who passed at a very young age, I had no choice but to let go and try to live life to the fullest. Any day could be my last, and I knew I would not forgive myself if I didn’t do everything I was capable of doing now. So this was at the core of Muses; the inspiration that was pushing me forward. And there were days where I was so creatively blocked, but when I did finally “truly" let go, these images worked their way though me, like muses. I almost don’t know how they are possible. But I would say that these final images represent a soft and peaceful place that I imagine exists, where you can be free to let go and experience the beauty surrounding you. And that is my wish for everyone.
What are you working on currently?
At the moment I’m experimenting with these beautifully colorful inks, water and light. And I’m traveling quite a bit for shows this year.
What are your aims and objectives when taking a photograph?
Creating new virtual realities for the viewer, but also expressing that these realities can be real because I'm actually seeing them through my lens. I’m also quite fascinated with breaking some of the rules of contemporary photography by using water and light in experimental ways. I don’t think these photographs are supposed to work and I never follow light meters. But I’m mostly interested in uplifting people in the only way I know. Life can be quite serious, and we all need a little break sometimes.
© CHRISTY LEE ROGERS, Our Hopes and Expectations, 2018. Courtesy of Art Labor (Shanghai)
How and when do you know that an image is going to be important or significant?
The first impact of the image is instantaneous, something I feel at my core. But then I will print it, put it on my wall and live with it for months. If I love it and never tire of it, I know it will stand the test of time.
What excites you about having your work shown in Shanghai this September?
Everything about China excites me right now. I’ve been writing in my notebook about China for years. The people, culture, history, customs and everything in between inspire me. Because my work is an extension of me, it’s like I can finally have a conversation with the Chinesse people, even though I don’t speak the language.