provoke!

provoke!, an exhibition which was recently inaugurated in viennese albertina, is one of the most powerful exhibitions i’ve visited since i moved to vienna. for some reason, it is still in my head.

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provoke was an experimental small press Japanese photography magazine founded by photographers yutaka takanashi and takuma nakhira, critic koji taki and writer takahiko okada in 1968. it was viewed as “a platform for a new photographic expression”. provoke magazine was born around the idea that even though images cannot completely represent an idea as words can, photographs can provoke language and idea. hence provoke’s subtitle “provocative materials for thought”

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only three issues of provoke magazine were published on 1 november 1968, and 10 march and 10 august 1969, each in an edition of 1,000 copies. however, it had a profound effect on photography in japan.

the photographers of provoke magazine captured what cannot be expressed in words, such as massive protest movements active in japan between sixties and seventies, as well as the search for a new japanese identity.

the magazine wanted to be a provocation to japanese society and its photographic culture, european-style photojournalism and straightforward commercial photography. they also sought to awaken and refresh the aesthetics of existing photography and question the increasingly commercial visual language of japanese society.

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exhibition shows around 200 photographs. these images represent both an expression of this political transformation and the renewal of aesthetic norms.

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i guess that the powerful thing which kept me thinking about this exhibition for some time is how little i know about that era in japan. sixties were quite turbulent period on a global level (civil rights, feminism, space race, and so on). ever since i saw these photographs i keep wondering how it was to live there in that turbulent period.

for all of you living in vienna (or if you’re planning to visit in the next months), do not miss this exhibition. it will truly give you an insight in that particular period of japanese (and global) history. the exhibition is open until 8.5.2016.

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end of summer

we can all agree that we had a long and very warm summer.. it was even warmer for us who stayed in the city. i thought that, by moving to vienna, i would no longer experience such warm weather (summers in milan were really unbearable.. just like the weather during an entire year in kuala lumpur). but i was wrong – vienna welcomed me with the warmest summer ever.

however, it came to an end. the weather these days announces the arrival of autumn..
i spent the last day of summer in the garden of palais liechtenstein, its summer palace to be precise, which is quite close to where i live.

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later i had learned that the liechtenstein summer palace is home to one of the most significant and largest private art collections in the world. the collection of the prince of liechtenstein includes treasures from the early renaissance to the high baroque, such as masterpieces by rubens, rembrandt, van dyck and many others. however, the art collection of the palais liechtenstein is visible only at events or booked tours. public tours are offered regularly and their timetable is exposed at the garden entrance.

since there were no tours offered at the time, i decided to stay in the garden (but i wrote down a note to myself to check out the timetable). i found a free bench, opened a book and enjoyed the last day of summer. i was so taken by the book that i forgot where i was. after some time, i looked up and saw a beautiful garden filled with flowers.. i decided to put down the book and take some pictures. i finally started practicing using my camera the way it should be used, so i thought i could give it a go..

..et voilà!

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some photos may need improvement, but it’s a good start.. don’t you think so?

tasmania – explore the possibilities [australia #8]

“how beautiful is the whole region, for form, and grouping, and opulence, and freshness of foliage, and variety of color, and grace and shapeliness of the hills, the capes, the promontories; and then, the splendor of the sunlight, the dim rich distances, the charm of the winter glimpses!”

such were the comments in mark twain’s travel diary when he visited tasmania in the 1890s. even though my visit happened 120 years later, i would have written something of that sort.

tasmania.. the smallest and remotest of all australia’s states was a highlight of our trip down under. even now, when we talk about it, the words simply fail us.

during our week-long journey across tasmania, we got to see its pristine beauty.. in the following posts i will get into details of our road-trip, but here’s a sneak peek into it.

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it is true what they say, tasmania really gets to you.

laughter / moment of happiness #3

“and in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
for in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

— khalil gibran

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what there is to say.. spring, provence, vacation, time for us..
by taking these photos, my husband managed to capture all the emotions of that day.
it was truly a wonderful day.

short escape in istria

even though the summer is about to end, i still haven’t gone in proper vacation. aside from short visit to my homeland last week (which i will share with you later on), i’ve managed to organize only a long weekend in istria. i don’t know if i can call it “summer vacation” since we have been there before summer officially started, in june.

it was a mini road trip, we managed to see the towns of poreč, rovinj and pula. we loved them all! many others were left unexplored (such as pazin, opatija, etc), but we decided to leave them for the next trip – oh yes, we’re definitely coming back!

our first stop was poreč – a 2000 years old town and a site of 6th century euphrasian basilica, a unesco world heritage site. we managed to see the basilica only at night (hence, no photos!), since we were on the beach during the day.

rovinj, the second town we visited, was the one we liked the most and where we stayed the longest. we even sacrificed a bit of our beach time to take a walk and climb all the way to saint euphemia’s basilica.

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rovinj at sunset

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rovinj – view from the northern harbor

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details from rovinj

after leaving rovinj, we headed south towards the town of pula, the largest in istria county. while driving, we enjoyed some of the typical istrian scenery.

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istrian scenery

pula is the largest city in istria and is situated at the southern tip of the peninsula. it has been istria’s administrative centre since ancient roman times. even its most famous landmark, pula arena, dates from this period.

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pula arena

last, but not the least, this trip was very special for me for one more reason – it was my very first camping experience! even though i was quite a skeptic, it went amazingly well and i cannot wait for my next camping trip!

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ps. most of the photos were taken by tarik. these photos are usually kept in our private collection, but i thought they are too beautiful not to be published. what do you think?

moment of happiness #1

i believe everyone has at least one photo which shows the state of pure happiness. i happen to have several of them, which i plan to share with you, on my blog.

this photo was taken by my husband, only several days after our wedding. we were in cairo, and while everybody was telling us we cannot miss the khan al khalili souk, we decided to go next door and to visit al-azhar mosque; first to pray and than to admire it’s splendor.. and to take several pictures.

while he was taking pictures, i was looking around.. i was admiring the courtyard and mosque’s architecture.. its minarets, arches and motifs..

then he wanted to take picture of me. before having my picture taken i wanted to fix my scarf, but i realized i didn’t have a mirror.. then i remembered i could use the camera’s lens. while i was fixing my scarf, he started taking pictures.. and then i started to laugh.. actually, we both did..

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and that’s it. maybe i have more flattering photos, but this one is still very special. every time i look at it, all those memories come back.. bliss, laughter, and of course, happiness.

a glimpse of provence

last week we’ve managed to organize a small holiday in the garden of france, maybe even all of europe -> provence. an area of this kind can be covered only by road trip – which happened to be our favorite. we’ve seen a lot of interesting sites (the total distance traveled was approximately 1500 km), starting from ancient towns of arles and nimes, papal avignon and student town aix-en-provence to coastal villages of biot, vence and saint-paul. in addition, we were rewarded by a lovely scenery along the road.

in the in this post i’ll present several random photos we took during our trip. the following posts will be dedicated to unesco sites & specific details from that corner of the world.

charming arles
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aix-en-provence
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somewhere along the road..
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hilltop village of biot
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on wednesday we have gone to a famous market of arles (old-style!) to get some breakfast before driving further and we stayed there for about an hour.. it was simply too beautiful to be passed.
finally, the only “souvenirs” we brought from provence are from that market ->
herbs, homemade marmalade & tea..

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an old photo

this is a photo of my sister and me, taken in gradac, croatia, in summer 1991.
it remains until today one of my favorite photos because it shows the two of us in our true colors. all dressed-up (with hats!) and so lovey-dovey. yes, we’re still like that.

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but that’s not all what this photo is about. as i’ve previously written, it was taken in summer 1991, during the summer holiday at the seaside. that holiday is the one i remember very vividly. soon after a 4-year long war started in my motherland and our life completely changed. we used to revive those moments many many times over, since they were the only things we had.

then, the photo was taken with a very old analog camera. it was my dad’s camera, but he wasn’t its first owner either. it was a present from his uncle and even though it was from the 70ties, pics taken with that camera were of such good quality. and since the camera was one of very few things left from him, it was one of dad’s favorite gadgets.

also, one might notice that the photo has that “yellowish” shade. no, the camera was not that old. the film was left in the camera for 4 years or so, since (again due to the war) we couldn’t find the place where it could be developed. i still remember the day we got all the photos left in the camera. when i saw this photo for the first time i was already 11 years old (in the picture, i was 7), and it felt so strange to see how i used to be and how much i’ve changed.

and last but not least, this pic is a true reminder of the lasting sister love.. and that’s what makes it even more special.