A glimpse into emerging contemporary art in London: Florence Lam’s photography
10 dec 2014 by Milda Batakyte
A debated approach is that the contemporary art scene is superfluous with all kinds of creations, and that the imagination of artists is as brazenly boundless as the tools used to express it. Yet the fact is that most of these works flourish from an everlasting source of inspiration - nature. Now and then, the falling colourful autumn leaves, the cold ground covered in glimmering snowflakes, a rainbow or any other natural phenomena make us feel childishly happy and curious.
At the Artist Salons chez Ligne Roset, one of the youngest at the project and a promising multidisciplinary artist Florence Lam, presented her work related to this pure wonder triggered by nature, which equally engages the spirit of enquiry and evokes aesthetical admiration.
Born in Vancouver and brought up in Hong Kong, this artist has now found her place in London. She is a fresh graduate from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, and takes her time to explore the world of contemporary art by actively participating in exhibitions, shows and competitions. Recently she has been shortlisted for the Bloomsberg New Contemporaries 2014. The presence of her works at the Ligne Roset is also another achievement that proves her work to be successful and attractive to the audience.
The collaborative project hosts Florence’s photography series, selected by Marceline Try. When giving the main reasons for choosing Florence’s work, Marceline said it was the minimalism of the works, which have a maximum of impact on the spectators, and the originality of it, that is inevitable when working with a subject that the artist can influence but not really control.
Florence challenged the medium of sculpture and worked with the most fragile and temporal materials - water, soap and air. To capture the ephemerality of the bubble sculpture and to create a long lasting value, she employed another art medium: photography. Photography immobilises the fraction of time during which the bubbles, brought into a being by Florence’s assistants, take a shape in a delicate movement, dance.
A purposefully selected white background requires the attentiveness of the eye and a concentration on subtle details, curves, and shapes of the subject and the natural play of shades. In other words, the white emphasises and reveals the glowing of lights and the depths of the shadows. The objectified bubbles and the way Florence present them brings an immediate joy to the eye and merges into the wonder which usually occurs when observing the movement of a soap bubble trembling in the air.
To bring the harmony to the final work, for the print she decided to use copper plates instead of photo paper. The copper is an element of the earth, which binds water and air elements exposed in the photography, and, as the artist explains, “creates the balance.”
As the grand finale at the Salon Chez Ligne Roset, Florence presented the interactive performance, which very much reminds one of the Kung Fu practises of walking on rice paper. Instead, it was on memory foam. The artist led guests by the hand to take a walk backwards on the foam ground, where leaving marks is unavoidable, and remaining attentive to the moment and to the other people close to you are essential.
All in all, aspiration to Florence is like Olafur Eliasson’s remark: "artists should have confidence in the fact that making a drawing is changing the world." Her works are the reflection of a young and virtuous spirit, looking for the stimulus of joy in nature, and for the relation between its substances - the human and his surroundings - to reveal the core – the childlike soul in each person.