Congratulations to Vivian Wan for winning the Spring 2018 Yefim Cherkis Memorial Scholarship! Vivian will be exhibiting her winning portfolio, in Gallery Obscura, during the Fall 2018 semester.
Congratulations to our Spring 2018 Barbara Stewart Scholarship Winner and honorable mentions!
Light as Subject
Winners currently on display in Gallery Obscura
Winner ($250 scholarship):
Elizabeth Anne Bertolino
Slideshow of all entries:
Otherness can be related to many forms of identity, including racial, sexual, gender, political, and social. We all experience issues around group membership or non-membership throughout our lives – in different places and across different time scales. In this series I am attempting to create scenes that elicit experiences of being the ‘Other’ for the viewer, using iconic Campbell’s Soup cans as a social stand-in.
On display at Gallery Obscura
April 25th – May 12th, 2018
Reception: Wednesday, April 25th, 6-8pm
TONS OF GRACE
I have developed a fascination with freeway architecture, and the overpass structures that fly over our heads. During the many hours I have lost in traffic, my appreciation for these structures has evolved, from indifference to conscious fascination, as I pass underneath these commanding and formidable tentacle-like pathways. Viewed from a distance, they have a slow, curvaceous slither. Viewed up close, they become abstracted, revealing texture, geometry, and rhythm. Their imposing stature serves as a frontispiece to our various paths, decorative passageways guiding us to the various destinations in our lives.
On display at Gallery Obscura
April 5th – 21st, 2018
Reception: Thursday, April 19th, 6-8pm
Why did you choose to take classes in the Photography Department at CCSF?
I originally planned on doing all four years of my degree at the School of Visual Arts in New York, but it turned out to be quite a bit more money than I expected. I had already moved out to Brooklyn, so I spent some time exploring and shooting photos before realizing that CCSF would financially be a much better way to cut costs for the first two years towards a degree. A few friends who spent time at CCSF told me that the photo department has some really great teachers and I ended up moving back to San Francisco to get an Associate’s Degree here at City College, and will be making the move back to New York.
You are an international exhibiting artist – Please tell us more about your recent international exhibition and your upcoming one.
Back in April, me and a few friends had the opportunity to present an exhibition at “Rainbow So” in the Shimokitazawa district of Tokyo. This was all thanks to Carson Lancaster who owns Book and Job Gallery in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco. He’s had previous solo exhibitions in Tokyo and basically told me that they hit him up to do a group show, so we ended up collaborating together for it. I’d never been to Asia before, so that was a really exciting, but I had to learn a really hard lesson: never lose your passport! I booked a cheaper ticket and had a layover in Shanghai for what was supposed to be six hours; when I lost my passport there and it took a week before I was actually on my way to Tokyo. I was extremely lucky because I flew in the day before the show. It could’ve easily been too late and I would have missed the whole exhibition. That was such an amazing trip and experience in the end because it was the first time I’d been part of any exhibition internationally. To be there with friends, shooting and exploring, there’s honestly nothing better than that.
In January, i’ll be joining my friend in London for his own solo exhibition, and after that I’ll be traveling back to Tokyo for another exhibition in February. This time it’s at an even bigger gallery, “B Gallery” in the Harajuku district of Tokyo, so I’m even more excited for the second go around. It feels like it’s all coming full circle because I’ll be presenting a series from my road trip across the US to Brooklyn, back when I moved thinking I’d be staying for good to go to School of Visual Arts. I’m getting zines made now and I have everything ready to go print wise for Tokyo early this time. If there’s anything I’ve learned from the exhibitions i’ve been able to be a part of, it’s that you should have your ideas, prints, frames, and everything done early. If not it’s just a whirlpool of anxiety for you and the curator, you should always be ready to go early. That’s one of the best parts about studying photography here, you get photo projects that you end up shooting and printing with a deadline, its good practice for when you get an opportunity to present your work outside of school.
What is your photographic process and what direction you would like to take with your photography?
My own process is probably a bit different in that I’m really only shooting film for my personal work. I love to shoot color film, but black and white is my go-to because I can process it myself and print in essentially any darkroom. I spent most of this summer working at Rayko Photo Center before it finally closed its doors, giving me an opportunity to print basically every color negative through an actual color enlarger. That’s another huge factor in why I shoot black and white a lot these days, there’s literally nowhere to produce C-prints from a communal space in San Francisco anymore. With my process of shooting, I’m always trying to capture moods and emotions as inconspicuously as possible. If I’m traveling somewhere new, I try and take some time to just walk around the city and shoot everyday life outside the touristy areas. You really get a feel for the actual city at that point, and the more patient you are, the stronger your photographs will be. As far as the direction I’m headed, essentially I want to end up as an Editorial Photographer, so I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from everyone and everything I do photographically. I’m currently assisting a Commercial Photographer, and even though commercial work isn’t exactly my cup of tea, it’s an incredible learning experience to be apart of.
Do you have a go-to camera and lens?
My go-to camera is definitely my Hasselblad 500 c/m, it’s my baby. I have quite a few lenses, but my favorite to throw on and shoot just about anything would be the 80mm, 2.8 Zeiss lens. It’s a super fast and surprisingly light weight lens that’s great from portraits to just about everything, If I have to switch to 35mm, I go with the Leica M5 with the dual range Summicron f/2 50mm, the perfect focal range for everyday shooting.
Any advice you can give to other students who also working their way towards An Associate in Science Degree with Major in Photography?
All I can really say is patience goes a long way, that goes for school and photography in general. It’s been a long journey so far, but I know theres much more to do and learn in life, so I just try to take it easy and keep shooting consistently. You don’t get anywhere in life by expecting something to happen overnight, take your time and stay patient. Also, if you want your photography to go somewhere you have to put it out there in the world. Connections can go a long way, so start to build friendships within the photo community, meet a ton of curators and ask as many questions as possible. Always have a business card on you and have a website that you keep up to date, its all about the little things.
Chase is one of our CCSF Photography Peer Mentors!
To check out more of his work:
EAT CAT FOOD
Most people do not know what it looks and feels like to be inside buildings like the abandoned barracks on Treasure Island. I hope my pictures will offer a glimpse into a world that most of us would like to ignore and maybe bring up questions about our values. I hope this will also allow people to see the beauty that still exists in the most extraordinary places and people.
On display at Gallery Obscura
Jan 30 – Feb 24, 2018
Reception: February 1st, 6-8pm