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Chinatown52

Chinatown52

Produced in Montreal, this digital photographic project began in April 2002 to be concluded in April 2003. It consists of taking a specific subject and produce seven digitals pictures each week. The project is published every week on a website waiting for its final chapter and its first public exhibition in 2003.

The technology

The first goal of this project was to use a new technology (pocket pc) and explore new photographic techniques such as digital wireless transfer (blue tooth) and software retouching (Photoshop 7). As a professional user of pocket pc, the launching in 2002 of the new pocket pc HP camera provided a new way to use my Jordana, giving me the possibility to expand and explore the future of wireless technology.For years, I always had in mind the futuristic technology used from the movie “Until the end of the world”(by Wim Wenders 1991): in which the main character traveled around the planet sending video pictures through a wireless digital camera.

This dream materialized in 2002 with the advent of the blue tooth technology and the pocket pc. The beginning of a new way of real time communication where postcard and email, will be replaced by wireless technology to send pictures anywhere, at anytime.The pleasure of digital photography was the possibility of taking hundreds of pictures and having the compact flash technology for expanding memory.

The subject

For years, I always dreamed of finding a one “year” project, such as a photographic journal. I never found the right time or the right subject to start a 365 days project. I just knew that I had to do it someday, such as a life passage. I choose to let the time find the answer.I found my subject one Sunday morning in a dim sum (Chinese brunch) where I went each weekend, for the past 20 years.

Although I have spent lots of time in Chinatown, I never really knew the area. I just knew that, it was the only place in Montreal where I could have this traveler’s feeling of discovery. It seems there where thousands of things to learn and capture on every visit such as color, language, and strong cultural identification. Choosing Chinatown for this project meant the beginning of trying to establish a “cultural order” inside my mind to “reprogram” my cultural background.

There were thousands of Chinese life concepts to learn and understand. This project would start answering my questions.For the past 20 years, every year I saw many buildings burn down in the area, and favourites places disappear. This project is also an opportunity for me to stop the time in the year 2002 and give Montreal’s Chinatown a photographic memory it never had in the past.When I decided to start the project, I thought that it would be an easy one. I was wrong! First, I had to find at least 52 subjects, one for each week of the year. I thought many times that it was a crazy idea and I would never find all of these subjects. Many people asked me the same question. do you have enough ideas? of course, I never thought developing them would be sometimes difficult.

There are times you just have to do it without asking yourself the reason behind the motivation.After the easy part of finding subjects, there was the “real” adventure of getting out there and bring a “strange” electronic toy around Chinatown. The plan was simple, not the action. I started to realize that most of the Chinatown boutiques and restaurants don’t like “pictures” and there was a suspicious impression when I would enter these places. I learned pretty soon the hard way of being a photographer.

April 2003
Ephotozine
Project Chinatown52

Mai, 2003
Design Center Newsletter
Project Chinatown52

Mai 2003
Vividlight
Project Chinatown52

Chinatown52 / 010402

Entrance

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Chinatown52 / 080402

Vegetables

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Nokami  / Chinatown52

Nokami  / Chinatown52

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