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Michael Kistler Biography

In cities there are millions of unnoticed moments of unexpected beauty occurring in the blink of an eye... existing briefly but then gone forever. The medium of street photography exists to both capture and play with these fractions of seconds where the drama of everyday life plays out and blends with the complex web of the human metropolis.

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Over half the world's population live in urban areas with this figure growing constantly. Combined with the exploding accessibility to smartphone cameras, it is no wonder Street Photography is one of the most popular genres of photography today. However, achieving success within the art form is extremely challenging.

A street photographer is both an observer and a hunter, seeking out these fleeting moments like trophies. A street photographer exercises patience to capture these moments. Compiling a cohesive body of work excelling with a unique style and vision often takes a lifetime.

Street Photography has long been associated with black and white images such as those shot by Cartier-Bresson, Winogrand, Moriyama and Fan Ho, but Kistler prefers shooting Hong Kong in colour. A city so intense and highly saturated with its dazzling lights alongside bright ads and racing traffic - it flashes intense colours at its inhabitants relentlessly. Kistler's favourite subjects include a textured blend of street art and architecture with the blurred movement of Hong Kong's iconic taxis, buses, trams and the day-to-day hustle of people.

In addition to this chaos, Hong Kong is a city famous for its shiny and reflective skyscrapers and Kistler seeks out these mirrored reflections in glass and puddles. Layers have an important role in his work, if not naturally present on the street, he frequently opts to create in-camera double exposures to realise this vision. This kaleidoscopic effect echoes the experience of moving around the metropolis while being bombarded by noise, motion and reflected light. It is also worth noting that Kistler uses no photoshop or digital manipulation in his images—everything is done in camera with minor edits in post processing. Michael Kistler - Rated G for Graphic, Hong Kong 2020

'BLINK 852' deliberately hints at the DIY punk attitude of ignoring rules—in essence, always experimenting with the medium without being too pretentious. Learning by doing is one of Kistler's philosophies which he shares in his many photography workshops and you may see him walking with them around town, his skateboard and camera in tow. It is indeed an exercise of noticing 'all the small things'.

繁華鬧市中,埋藏著無數毫不起眼卻意外地美麗的瞬間,它們僅存於眨眼一殺那......隨之永遠消失。街頭攝影正正能將這些一瞬即逝的時刻收納起來,記錄大都市的複雜網絡下,日常間最精彩的每分每秒。

超過一半的世界人口在市區成長和生活,加上隨著手機攝影功能的迅速普及化,難怪街頭攝影乃當今最受歡迎的攝影類型之一。但是,要在街頭攝影超群出眾絕非易事。 街頭攝影師既是觀察者又是獵人,他們總抱著耐性,鍥而不捨地追索飛逝的畫面。他們需花上一輩子的時間,建立具連貫性的作品,以獨特的個人風格及視野突圍而出。

一直以來,街頭攝影與黑白照有著密不可分的關係,Cartier-Bresson、Winogrand、Moriyama和何藩的作品便是例子,但Michael Kistler更鐘情於捕捉色彩斑斕的香港。一座人口密度甚高的城市,滿佈令人眼花撩亂的燈光,配上鮮豔奪目的廣告牌和交通,將五光十色投向城市人身上。最令Kistler著迷的主題包括壁畫,具地標性的巴士、的士、電車的動態,以及來回又折返的人群。

Michael Kistler - Wednesday Night at the Movies, Hong Kong 2020 除了光譜造成的混亂,香港也以反光的高樓大廈而聞名,Kistler擅長從玻璃和水坑中找出它們的映照。層次感是Kistler作品中不可或缺的一角,即使在眼前的大街上看不見,他也會透過相機的雙重曝光功能呈現此效果。萬花筒般的景像如同將我們置身於大都市中,其聲響、動感和光影反照皆衝擊著我們的感官。值得一提的是,Kistler從不用Photoshop等軟件作大型的後期編輯,一切皆在相機內操作,再受輕微的後期調整。

《BLINK 852》 特意帶出無視規矩的朋克文化態度,希望大家能在攝影的過程中毫不造作、放膽探索。邊做邊學是Kistler經常與學生分享的宗旨,你或可能遇過他掛上相機、踏著滑板帶領他們在街上遊走的情景。這就是觀察「一切小事」的練習。


About Michael Kistler:
Originally from Minneapolis, Kistler started shooting with a compact Ricoh film camera when confronted with new surroundings in Europe at the age of 18. He embarked on various travels for many years before settling in Tokyo where he spent 10 years and started a family. It was in Japan where he started to develop his own style of abstraction expressing movement. In 2014 he moved to Hong Kong with his family where he continued his passion in the streets of Hong Kong. Previous to this solo exhibition at Blue Lotus Gallery, Kistler was exhibited widely in Hong Kong as well as Tokyo, New York, Astoria, Minneapolis, London, Dublin and Porto. He also regularly hosts street photography workshops in Hong Kong and beyond.

生於明尼阿波利斯的Kistler,十八歲初訪歐洲,透過用一部Ricoh菲林相機拍攝,助他應對新環境。多年的周遊列國後,他決定於東京定居,並在當地成家立室。身處日本的十年間,他逐漸建立起自己的抽象主義風格。二零一四年,他與家人移居香港,在這裏延續他對攝影的熱誠。 除了是次由Blue Lotus Gallery舉辦的個人展覽外,Kistler的作品曾多次於香港、東京、紐約、阿斯托里亞、明尼阿波利斯、倫敦、都柏林和波爾圖廣泛展出。他亦經常在香港和外地舉辦街頭攝影工作坊,分享拍攝心得。

Michael Kistler
featured artworks

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'Your Turn', Hong Kong by Michael Kistler contemporary artwork photography, print
Michael Kistler 'Your Turn', Hong Kong, 2021 Archival inks on fine art matte paper
90 x 60 cm
Blue Lotus Gallery Request Price & Availability
'The Sequel Is Rarely As Good', Hong Kong by Michael Kistler contemporary artwork photography, print
Michael Kistler 'The Sequel Is Rarely As Good', Hong Kong, 2022 Archival inks on fine art matte paper
90 x 60 cm
Blue Lotus Gallery Request Price & Availability
'Scratching at the Truth', BLINK852, Hong Kong by Michael Kistler contemporary artwork photography, print
Michael Kistler 'Scratching at the Truth', BLINK852, Hong Kong, 2020 Archival inks on fine art matte paper
60 x 90 cm
Blue Lotus Gallery Request Price & Availability
'Power Windows', BLINK852, Hong Kong by Michael Kistler contemporary artwork photography, print
Michael Kistler 'Power Windows', BLINK852, Hong Kong, 2020 Archival inks on fine art matte paper
90 x 60 cm
Blue Lotus Gallery Request Price & Availability
'So much for Tomorrow',BLINK852, Hong Kong by Michael Kistler contemporary artwork photography, print
Michael Kistler 'So much for Tomorrow',BLINK852, Hong Kong, 2020 Archival inks on fine art matte paper
90 x 60 cm
Blue Lotus Gallery Request Price & Availability
'Rewriting the Memory Card', BLINK852, Hong Kong by Michael Kistler contemporary artwork photography, print
Michael Kistler 'Rewriting the Memory Card', BLINK852, Hong Kong, 2020 Archival inks on fine art matte paper
90 x 60 cm
Blue Lotus Gallery Request Price & Availability
'Signing on High', BLINK852, Hong Kong by Michael Kistler contemporary artwork photography, print
Michael Kistler 'Signing on High', BLINK852, Hong Kong, 2019 Archival inks on fine art matte paper
90 x 60 cm
Blue Lotus Gallery Request Price & Availability
'Rated G for Graphic', BLINK852, Hong Kong by Michael Kistler contemporary artwork photography, print
Michael Kistler 'Rated G for Graphic', BLINK852, Hong Kong, 2020 Archival inks on fine art matte paper
60 x 90 cm
Blue Lotus Gallery Request Price & Availability
View 2 More

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