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06 Feb 2011

Ferit Kuyas at Gallery 291, San Francisco

Ferit Kuryas

The City of Ambition: Chongqing, China
Gallery 291


February 10 - April 23, 2011
Reception: February 10, 6-8pm
Artist Talk: February 12, 1:00 pm.
The Gallery is open Tues - Friday 11:00 am - 6:00 pm, Sat 11:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Gallery 291 exhibits mid career and emerging photographers representing all genres, with an emphasis on alternative photographic processes.

Ed Carey

Gallery 291
291 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Photographer Ferit Kuyas became fascinated by the 'megalomaniacal' construction fervour he witnessed in this body of work named the 'City of Ambition' from Chongqing, China.
The constant haze of pollution and large scale population of 32 million inhabitants translate in his images as being 'huge, unstoppable, terrifying, incomprehensible, fascinating, beautiful....' as writers Diana Edkins and Bill Kouwenhoven state. Kuyas' focus is on the periphery of the city where 'the enormity of it cannot be directly seen, but rather felt.'

Diana Edkins opens her introductory from Kuyas' book 'Chongqing: City of Ambition' with the following quote:

'Were do we come from?
What are we?
Where are we going?

-Paul Gauguin

These are images that depict a city that sits just downstream from the renowned 'Three Gorges' on the Yangtze River and the now infamous dam. The 'city of fog' which Chongquing is known, has 3 noted dimensions: rivers, bridges and mist. The past 25 years have brought incredible economic booms from the dam yet have transformed the society and the environment into a unrecognizable new reality, with a 4th dimension of heavy industrial pollution.

Kuyas used a large format camera during a three year period on the outskirts of the city to attempt to capture the absence of history, an urban reality of disconnect in China's current economic explosion. Showing the vast construction and deconstruction of the landscape, Kuyas creates a visual and emotional experience of what Edkins calls 'today's China in all of its grandeur and grandeur's contradictions....these pictures are more about what cannot be explained. They serve as a stage for enigmatic dramas..'

Bill Kowenhoven comments that 'The ever-present haze, the smog of the factories and the mist of the river, subtly rendered through Kuyas's lens, situate the constantly moving interface of this 'city on the edge of forever' at a point that has always already been lost by the time the pictures are developed.'

'Chongqing City of Ambition' book includes texts written by Diana Edkins and Bill Kouwenhoven in hardcover will be available for purchase and signed by the artist.

Ferit Kuyas
was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1955 and was influenced by the American Classics: Strand, Weston, George Tice and Robert Adams. He studied architecture and law in Zurich until 1986 when he devoted himself full time as a photographer. His work is being exhibited worldwide. Kuyas resides in Wadenswil, Switzerland.

22 archival pigment color prints available in two sizes of 25-31 and 40 x 49 inches will be on display.