Ephemerata: Fragmented Images of the Natural World

A Photographic Meditation

Jan Kapoor

Moving Spirits Studios and Gallery
1025 Edgewood Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30307
Across from Inman Park MARTA Station

August 25 to September 20, 2002

Closing Party was Friday, September 20, 2002, 8 pm; Thanks to everyone who came!

Scroll down to see views of the Installation and a review of the show

Artist Statement

This body of work reflects my abiding interest in the natural world, and in the fragmented way in which we tend to see the world around us. More often than not, we lack the patience to really observe natural phenomena.  We catch tantalizing glimpses of details here and there, but fail to put them all together into a unified whole.

The idea of fragmented perception is furthered in this work by the physical structure of the images, each of which consists of a sequence of five hanging scrolls, each section slightly separated from the others.  As the viewer approaches an image, and focuses on a small area of just one scroll, the appearance of recognizable reality fades; abstraction increases.  In this way the work also evokes the elusive, imperfect character of the natural world, the elements of which are in a continual state of metamorphosis.

As the scrolls hang freely from the ceiling, trembling with the slightest breath of air, the translucent quality of the material suggests ephemerality and fragility.  The non-archival nature of the inks used in printing also contributes to the ideas of ephemerality, impermanence and metamorphosis.  Over time, the images will undoubtedly change, perhaps to fade partially or even disappear completely from view.

         Views of the Installation at Moving Spirits Gallery

Ephemerata hanging scrolls

Ephemerata hanging scrolls

The Landscape of My Body
Digital carbon prints, folding screen

The Rising Sun
Digitall carbon prints,
three folding panels,
clamshell storage box

Digital carbon prints,
bamboo hanging rod,
shoji paper strips,
clamshell storage box

View of front gallery area

VISUAL ARTS: Buddhist sensibility infuses 'Ephemerata'
Jerry Cullum - For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday, September 13, 2002


Ephemerata: Fragmented Images of the Natural World
A Photographic Meditation by Jan Kapoor

                 Through Sept. 20. 1:30-5 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays-Mondays. Price range
                 $100-$1,000. Moving Spirits Gallery and Studios, 1025 Edgewood Ave.

                 The verdict: A successful wedding of hanging scrolls and digital printing.

These photographs aren't meant to give us the whole picture. Distracted, we don't see nature whole, and these segmented photographs symbolize our lack of attention.

Atlanta photographer Jan Kapoor claims that these shots of trees and water in a coastal swamp are "tantalizing glimpses of details" that are also meant to convey the constantly shifting quality of natural scenes.

At their best, they do this. They do it most spectacularly in a series of scroll-like segments that hang in overlapping parallel rows almost from ceiling to floor. Viewed at the correct angle, they form a single picture, but for most of them, the right viewing angle is impossible. Another set of scrolls is always in the way.

This is an elegant evocation of Buddhist ideas of impermanence and of the way we never see more than a distorted part of reality. Even without the philosophy, these are extraordinarily beautiful photographs, made possible by the new freedom of computer printing.

Kapoor scans her negatives into a computer and segments them but does not further manipulate them. They are then printed on a high-resolution inkjet printer, but with nonarchival inks; Kapoor says that the inevitability that the inks will eventually fade parallels the transience of the natural world she photographs.

Kapoor also provides handmade clamshell boxes in which the scrolls can be stored when not in use. She thus pays homage to Asian sensibilities in a combination of traditional craft and contemporary technology. The overall effect is quite wonderful.

Send comments, questions and remarks to: jkapoor@jankapoor.net
Copyright Jan Kapoor.  All rights reserved.