INTERVIEW WITH SUE ATKINSON
採訪蘇·阿特金森


ART.ZIP: So have you had some influences from artists, photographers or anyone else?


SA: There are a lot of photographers whose work I admire a lot. But I think probably in terms of influence, more of broad influence of painting, one of the photographers I always liked and I discovered in the early days was called Karl Blossfeldt, the German photographer of plant. I think you can see that influence quite clearly in my personal work.

I suppose if you are studying art history as well as the history of photography,
I love the classic painters, the chiaroscuro of the old masters and Rembrandt’s work. From them I sort of always am checking the effect of any light
source. And with my work although very often lighting has to be obviously constructed, but I’m always trying to make sure it has an integrity so its always coming from one light source, and that it’s working with continuity and not being something that is so obviously constructed. I just enjoy looking at painters work, just for the pleasure of it. And also because it has a very much of a means of personal expression which is just so invigorating and I like sort of slightly offbeat, sort of British painter like Stanley Spencer who’s somebody I think is very little known. I don’t know if you have come across him.

He was actually based in Cookham which is a little village quite near where I live which is actually coincidental. But he painted right until the 50s and 60s. He had a very quirky, sort of surreal style, a mix of surrealism and social realism in a way. It just really appeals to me. I like looking at different people’s work just because it reminds me of that it’s good to put your own interpretation into things. I suppose in terms of a broad body of work, I’m most influenced by the modern period, particularly the 20s and 30s because it was such an exciting period of people sort of breaking away and photography started to come into its own right. People started looking at objects in their own right, in a way they’ve never had done before really. I still found that, somehow looking back at those images, perhaps because they were looking at things for the first time that have a freshness of innocence that I find quite stimulating. Quite broad.

ART.ZIP:你覺得自己有沒有受到過其他藝術家或攝影師 的影響?

SA: 有很多攝影師是我很欣賞的。如果說影響我的話,我很早 之前了解到一位名叫卡爾·博羅斯費萊德特(Karl Blossfeldt) 的德國植物攝影家,我一直很喜歡他的作品,相信你也可以 從我的攝影作品中看到他的風格。

談到影響,可能由於學習藝術史或攝影史的緣故,我喜歡 那些經典的繪畫名家,喜歡明暗對照法,以及荷蘭畫家倫 勃朗的作品。從那之後,我自己在工作的時候總會檢查光 源的效果。對於我的作品來說,通常情況下都需要佈光, 但我都會試著保持拍攝對象的完整性,確定光源只有一 個,從而保持連貫性,把人為因素的影響減到最低。我喜 歡看畫家的作品,因為繪畫就是對個人感受的一種表達 方式,總能讓我感到振奮。我比較喜歡一些小眾化英國畫 家,比如斯丹利·斯班瑟(Stanley Spencer),可能不是很 多人知道他。不知道你是否看過他的作品。

SA:巧合的是,他住在一個名叫庫克漢(Cookham)的小 村莊,離我很近。他一直到50、60年代都還在創作。他的 繪畫風格比較詭異,有點超現實的感覺,把超現實主義和 社會現實主義結合在了一起。我很喜歡他的作品。我喜歡 看不同畫家的作品,因為可以加入自己的理解,這一點很 有幫助。從作品大致風格來講,我覺得對我影響最大的還 是現代畫派,尤其是20至30年代期間,這段時期攝影也漸 漸開始自立門戶,人們開始用全新的角度去觀察物品。回 顧這些作品,我感覺當時的藝術家們在這些物品中發掘出 一種從未有過的純真、質樸,我覺得非常吸引人。

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ART.ZIP: What are your views on commercial photography
and fine art photography? Do you think there is a similarity? Connection?


SA: Not really. It depends on how you approach things. I think there are an awful lot of bad photography around, both fine art photography and commercial photography, which is a great shame. But I suppose it’s fairly inevitable. I’m sure it’s not been helped by the rising digital photography. I think commercially, one of the problems is that because everybody has got a camera, the less they know about photography, the more they think they know that they can take a picture. So that is a big problem. I think unfortunately to some extent, a lot of fine art photography has been sort of hijacked by pseudo-political leftwing ideology which I think is also rather stop people from looking at the actual vocabulary of photography in terms of, it’s such an expressive medium and actually if beautifully handled that they can say so much. So I think that’s a bit of a shame, a lot of it was hijacked. But with commercial photography, I think there are problems we now have so much retouching, and we have so many other people involved in the photography process, it’s really hard to keep the integrity of an image. But having said that, I think they are different means to different ends. I think they can be both pretty satisfying. But I think when you start a career in photography you have to make up your mind
why you are doing photography. I actually really enjoy the challenge and stimulation of working
to commercial brief. I feel like I can still do my photography. Fortunately, this sort of personal work I do is not too demanding in terms of cost, materials, models and things, which obviously would be for some people. I have some assistants who started wanting to be commercial photographers but they ealized it just wasn’t for them. Once the assistant I had, she’s from Thailand, she’s a really talented photographer. She did her MA in Westminster University while she was working for me part-time. She said she’d gone back and she’s the Vice Dean of the university in Bangkok, Vice Dean of the photography in film but she still wants to keep photography for her in personal. She doesn’t ever want to do commercial. She’s very capable. Because she thinks it’s too much of a compromise. So I think there are different means to different ends.

ART.ZIP:你對商業攝影和藝術攝影有什麼看法?你覺得 兩者之間有沒有共同點?


SA: 沒有什麼共同點。這取決於你選擇處理的方式。可惜的是,無論是商業攝影和藝術攝影,都存在一些質量較差的作品,但這也無法 避免。數碼攝影技術的發展更是將這一問題惡化。對於商業攝影來說,存 在的一個問題就是每人都擁有數碼相機,而越是對攝影了解的少,就越以 為自己懂得拍照,這是個很嚴重的問題。可惜的是,藝術攝影也多多少少受到 那些偽政治左派思想的操縱,這就導致了攝影不再被人們以純技術的角度來 欣賞。由於攝影極富表現力,巧妙運用可以表達十分豐富的內容。藝術攝影受 到這些思想的操縱,實在令人惋惜。商業攝影還存在修片過度的問題。整個圖 片製作的過程有太多人參與,因而很難保證圖片的完整性。不過我認為目的 不同,創作手法也就不同,但都可以帶給人成就感。想做攝影師,首先就要想 清楚為什麼選擇這個行業的。我其實很喜歡按照廣告工作簡報去拍攝的那種 挑戰和刺激。我覺得可以繼續做我的攝影工作。幸運的是,我的這份工作對資 金、材料、模特等方面的要求與部分人相比並不是很高。我的助手中,有些人 打算從事商業攝影,但最終還是決定不適合。曾經有過一位泰國的攝影師兼 職做我的助手,她很優秀,在威斯敏斯特大學讀了碩士。聽她說現在已經回國 了,在曼谷大學電影攝影系擔任副院長。她能力很強,也表示過不會去做商業 攝影,因為約束太多。所以我覺得,目標不同,選擇的道路就不同。


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