Visual Thinking

"My Grandfather, My Father, Now Me" - Hugo Teixeira
When six artists use photography to express their thoughts

"Visual Thinking" or how to use images to express thought - this is the challenging theme presented by Creative Macau to six Macau photographers: António Mil-Homens, Hugo Teixeira, Lampo Leong, Li Li, Noah Ng Fong Chao and Ricardo Meireles. Their responses are now being presented at an exhibition at Creative Macau at the Macau Cultural Centre that will remain open to the public until May 19 

It is with a series of eight sepia-toned self-portraits produced with photographic processes used in the nineteenth century that Hugo Teixeira responded to the "Visual Thinking" challenge, launched by Lúcia Lemos, Creative Macau coordinator, asking artists to use image to express thought.

In the images, we see graphics produced on glass and superimposed on portraits, where Hugo Teixeira appears wrapped in wires and cables. The idea came from an electrocardiogram that the photographer was forced to do because he was going to take on new job duties. When he did, he felt "anxiety" because his father had died the year before due to heart problems and, before him, his grandfather. "It is a health problem that runs in the family, and I wanted to capture that moment of anxiety, fragility, vulnerability," Hugo Teixeira explained to Ponto Final.

In addition to Hugo Teixeira, five other artists responded to Creative Macau’s challenge: António Mil-Homens, Lampo Leong, Li Li, Noah Ng Fong Chao and Ricardo Meireles.

Pointing to the photographs exhibited at Creative, Hugo Teixeira said that he sought to "show progress, from the picture on the right, where I have no wires or cables at all, on the left side, where I am almost completely covered, to represent the desire to rid of myself of health problems, an expression of a desire for the future."

In this work, titled "My Grandfather, My Father, Now Me", Teixeira, applies the processes that have been the basis of his work. "It is a technique that I have been exploring for some years, which is damp collodion, in the case of these pictures its damp collodion on aluminum and the electrocardiogram is damp collodion on glass." Although he “likes to work on photographic processes of the 19th century, he did not want to depend only on the novelty of the old processes, and he wanted to take advantage of the transparency of the glass superimposed over a second image as an added value of this process." The artist explains that he could have resorted to Photoshop, but in this case it would create only a one-dimensional image and, in this way, "I created a three-dimensional message, taking advantage of these characteristics of the process."

The abstract of visual thought

There are also eight images created by Ricardo Meireles, "Multiverse", framed in bamboo baskets used for 'dim sum' and presented as if they were an installation. The architect explained that the concept translates to the idea that "all images have something behind them, and everyone wants to see what lies behind. Therefore, this concept of taking the image and transforming it, in the sense that there is something beyond what is seen, began with a simple photograph and, from there, took a specific form with an identity of its own. In turn, these eight images all work together as if they were an installation or an object, although they are all different images. But it is an object in itself, and they all live from their interactivity." Ricardo Meireles adds that he wanted to distance himself from the idea of framed photography on the wall and to focus on "the movement of the one who observes".

"We can walk around and visualize and each one captures what he sees in his own way". The boxes of 'dim sum' signify the relationship with Macau and the way Meireles observes the city.

António Mil-Homens had spent time "to germinate the idea of ​​doing anything that would visually show the confusion that is the centre of Macau". The result is a "Troubled Vision," or a series of images that try to replicate the movement of people moving on the streets of Macau. "What I looked for was a way to technically show this visual confusion," he said.

The theme of the exhibition, "Visual Thinking", came from the concept of visual thinking by art psychology professor Rudolf Arnheim, who "is very abstract," admitted Lúcia Lemos. "I did not want photography for the photograph itself, I wanted a photograph that was artistic, but in order to work on photographic paper or to ruin that image, to paint it physically, one could even use digital, but that there was a combination of techniques linked to the visual arts," she explained.