Ben Felten is a French born photographer living in Hong Kong. He started his photography work 15 years ago shooting jazz musicians in small Parisian clubs. When he moved to Asia in 2014, his work shifted towards street photography using a panoramic film camera. This led him to exploring the more unusual features of film photography, including double exposures. He was also commissioned to illustrate a couple of large format books, Dreamhounds of Paris (2014) and Unknown Armies (2016). This led him to perfecting his portraiture work, and in 2018 the double exposure and portrait threads merged into the Photosynthesis project. This in turn rekindled his love of cyanotype printing which he'd dabbled in 10 years earlier. In 2020, he released a zine of his panoramic street work called Colours of Shanghai.Read More
Modern urban life drives an insidious notion that humans are apart from nature, rather than a part of nature. We live most of our lives parallel to the natural world; our interactions with it are limited and inorganic. 'It is a sad thing to think that nature speaks and the human species does not listen' said Victor Hugo. This perceptual divide is what drove Ben Felten to explore a visual blend of human bodies and natural textures through the medium of analog double exposures. That there is beauty in human bodies and beauty in nature are nothing new. That a blend of the two expresses the beauty of both is maybe more unusual. As the project progressed, Felten realised that cyanotype was the obvious output expression for this work: it's the earliest photographic printing method, one used initially to capture natural textures through the works of Anna Atkins from 1843 onwards. It is also a technique that is revealed by sunlight, just like photosynthesis reveals plant life on earth. It's all one with nature, as are we.
Text courtesy Blue Lotus Gallery.