Some of the biggest names in the world of photography will descend on to to Sharjah on September 19 for the four-day ‘Xposure International Photography Exhibition’ at the Expo Centre.
Noted names in the business, including Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Essdras M Suarez and portrait connoisseur Joe McNally, will be hosting paid workshops at Xposure, along with free seminars.
The four-day event will feature 1,100 indoor exhibits through 48 photography exhibitions, from world acclaimed professionals to regional talents and emerging artists. Aside from photography workshops, there will also be live demonstrations, panel discussions and more.
Gulf News tabloid! picks its favourite exhibits to see at the event, along with the must-attend free seminars that will be hosted.
Top 10 Exhibits to See
Day to Night by Stephen Wilkes
Since opening his studio in New York City in 1983, photographer Stephen Wilkes has built an unprecedented body of work and a reputation as one of America’s most iconic photographers.
‘Day to Night’, Wilkes’ most defining project, began in 2009. These epic cityscapes and landscapes, portrayed from a fixed camera angle for up to 30 hours capture fleeting moments of humanity as light passes in front of his lens over the course of full day. Blending these images into a single photograph takes months to complete.
Wilkes will speak about his work at a free seminar on September 22 at 6pm.
Fluid by Sankha Kar
Retrospectively, Sankha Kar was destined to venture into the world of art. But unlike his father, who used a paintbrush to capture an image on canvas, he uses a camera. After working with three regional language newspapers and Reuters in India, he moved to Dubai and now works as the Deputy Photo Editor at Gulf News.
As a photojournalist, Kar has covered major disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, cyclones and has also been in the thick of the action during the civil war in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
One of these projects is ‘Fluid Moment’, which Kar describes as “capturing a moment”. He told Gulf News tabloid! the project took him four years to complete, which will be represented at Xposure through 15 images.
“Most of us rush through life hardly noticing the inner beauty of a particular object we come across or a moment that slips by. At first glance, and even on a second look, the objects you see might appear as random swathes of colours or forms, but if you look closely, you would realise that there’s more to them than meets the eye," says Kar.
"Every moment it is rushing to break free. Some moments it is a thing of beauty, but the very next moment it can be a beast. Just take a slice from that moment and you will realise that it is all about a second of observation, an up-close encounter with a common everyday object, which can change your perspective about it.”
His long-term project is documenting the ever-changing skyline of Dubai, which he has witnessed over the last two decades.
Generations of Chernobyl by Jeffrey Garrick and Ron B Wilson
Three hours outside Kyiv and just a few minutes from the border with Belarus sits the infamous Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. People believe this place to be entirely abandoned, but many still work there, even today.
Recently, Jeffrey Garriock and Ron B Wilson spent nearly three weeks documenting contemporary life in Chernobyl. The duo will be at Xposure on September 19 speaking about their exhibition at 3.40pm.
A Portrait of Heritage by Amer Al Ali
The UAE-born Amer Al Ali started his journey into photography in 2010. Al Ali may have started out practicing multiple genres but he always knew his goal was to bring awareness to the culture and heritage of the Emirates into perspective through photography.
Soon a series called ‘A Portrait of Heritage’, became a noticeable body of work.
The Guardians by Ami Vitale
Ami Vitale’s journey as a photographer and filmmaker have taken her to over 100 countries where she has witnessed civil unrest and violence, but also surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit.
Vitale is an Ambassador for Nikon and a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine. She has documented wildlife and poaching in Africa.
She has been named magazine photographer of the year in the International Photographer of the Year prize, received the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting. Hear her speak at a free seminar on September 20 at 5.30pm.
Land of Giants by Will Burrard-Lucas
This wildlife photographer from the UK developed a passion for Africa and its wildlife at a young age, having grown up in Tanzania.
Whenever possible, Burrard-Lucas prefers to get close to his wild subjects and use a wide-angle lens to capture a more intimate perspective. In 2017, he embarked on a new project titled ‘Land of Giants’. The aim was to document the last of Africa’s iconic elephants with tusks reaching down to the ground.
Burrard-Lucas also used a camtraptions system to capture the first high-quality camera trap images of a black leopard in Africa. The resulting images were widely published around the world.
He will speak at a free seminar on September 22 at 3.40pm.
A Fragile World by Florian Ledoux
This wildlife photographer pursued his passion for nature and later the high Arctic by capturing its wild and unforgiving landscapes and animals that call it home.
In 2017, from West Greenland, he has sailed 6,000km over the course of eight weeks to Nunavut to explore and the document the Arctic wildlife. A polar bear’s habitat during the summer in Nunavut, displaying the animal leaping between pieces of ice became an arresting image.
Hear him speak on September 21 at 2.40pm.
Refraction of Fashion by Rafal Makiela
The Dubai-based Polish photographer launched his career 15 years ago, through an impulse and interest in this field of art following the birth of his daughter, Maksymilianna, and now specialises in underwater photography.
“The underwater world is something mysterious and magical. Everything is different, there is no defined end to the bottom or top. Gravity law almost does not apply, the light propagates differently, sometimes completely unpredictable. Here, almost everything you dream is possible,” he says.
Glow by Xavier Portela
Xavier Portela is a Belgo-Portuguese creative director, self-taught photographer and videographer from Brussels.
He is known for his visual onslaught of signs and neon lights series ‘Glow’, which was released in 2016. The idea behind it was to manipulate colours in his images in order to feel the vibrancy and atmosphere of the location, amplifying their saturation to make each reflect what the brain remembered.
Hear him speak on September 21 at a free seminar at 3pm.
The Face — Portraits from the Kingdom by Ziyad Alarfaj
Riyad Alarfaj describes himself as a storyteller. Motivated by a love of heritage and an exploring mind, he looks for mediums to showcase the Saudi Arabian culture to the world.
With ‘The Face’, he aims to reflect the stories of Saudi women from every background, representing diversity and variety and confirming the reality of the Saudi women experiences, whether they were artists, doctors, government officials, chefs….
Finding the Extraordinary with the Ordinary
On September 19, from 2-2.40pm. Free to attend.
Pultizer Prize-winning photographer Essdras M Suarez and Juan Jose Reyes discuss the advent of social networks, digital cameras and mobile phones and the popularity of street photography.
With Butterflies and Warriors by David Chancellor
On September 19, from 5-5.40pm. Free to attend.
David Chancellor will discuss this photography project where he uncovers the complexities of the relationship between wildlife and the tribes they share their land with.
World Press Photo of the Year winner John Moore live
On September 19, from 7.20-8pm. Free to attend.
John Moore will have a conversation about what It takes to work on a long-term documentary journalistic project and how images are being used by media and politicians to drive an agenda.
On Assignment with Joe McNally
On September 20, from 3.10-3.40pm. Free to attend.
Joe McNally discusses the ups and downs, pitfalls, successes and failures of pursuing everything from simple pictures on the street to large production work with a camera in hand.
When your Cultural Heritage is Harmful with Laurel Chor
On September 22, from 5-5.20pm. Free to attend.
Laurel Chor uses photography to address how her cultural heritage is affecting the environment around the world. The new project hopes to spark an empathetic, nuanced conversation about traditional Chinese medicine and its sustainability.
Xposure 2019 is being held at the Expo Centre Sharjah. The exhibition and the seminars are free to attend, but some workshops are paid for. Details can be found on the website. To attend the exhibition, head to xpsoure.ae to register. All seminars and free talks will be held in the auditorium.