Lego1, Neal Oshima
"The theme of this show, Play, came in large part from watching my 10-year old son grow up, realizing how essential this activity is in human development. I am amazed how play has changed in the digital age but also how much it is has stayed the same. Although the toys that are used have evolved greatly children still use junkenpo to determine who goes first. The need to explore has remained central but much of the exploration takes place internally in a cybernetic space rather than outside in the physical world, virtually rather than concretely.
"The idea of exploring the activities of children using one of the most archaic photographic processes, the photogram on hand coated paper, seemed entirely appropriate, as it was devised in the very infancy of the medium. The characteristically shadowy nature of the photogram illuminates the bare outlines of an idea without the deceptive details. The process of mixing and coating light-sensitive emulsions onto artisanal papers recalled my own initiation to the photographic medium in a day before pixels replaced grain as the atoms of the image.
"What have I discovered from this inquiry? Among other things I have learned that although Digimon came after Pokemon, the latter are still valid while the former are obsolete...that the opposable thumb that has served us well in our descent from the trees has evolved into an instrument of texting and game-playing and is hard-wired to a different part of our brain in a younger generation of Homo sapiens...that manga: comicbooks as anime: cartoons...that we may never know if the graphic novel is an extended comic book or a narrative fiction with cartoons...that the impetus to play and explore remains the fundamental reason that I continue to make photographs."--Neal Oshima
Neal Oshima is an independent commercial and fine art photographer who has worked extensively with traditional silver-based print techniques and his prints have been auctioned and collected by major corporate and private collections in Europe, Asia and the US. Play by Neal Oshima opens at 6pm on April 15, Wednesday and runs until May 16, 2009 at Silverlens Gallery.