A visual deconstruction of the process of photography in Lam Pok Yin’s and Chong Ng’s “Untimely Apparatus of Two Amateur Photographers”
As technology advances and camera designs continue inadvertently hiding many of the processes that influence the process of capturing three-dimensional reality in two-dimensional photographs, it becomes more and more difficult to understand the impact and the restrictions enacted by the many details involved in the act of photography. Chinese artists Lam Pok Yin & Chong Ng (self-professed amateur photographers) use their book “The Untimely Apparatus of Two Amateur Photographers” (shortlisted for the 2019 Paris Photo Aperture First Book Award) to explore, deconstruct, make visible, and rethink the fundamental elements of photography in an attempt to raise literacy of one of the most impactful media of our time.
“Obsolete technologies and everyday objects are reinvented, adapted and radicalized. The decision to use “archaic” processes and obsolete devices is not a nostalgic or sentimental one, but rather a realization that they offer the flexibility and ability for us to elaborate on overlooked mechanisms and the role of the camera in the making of images. This idea is further established through the subverted use of the photographic language from camera manuals. In these instructional images, we, the camera operators, seem to be demonstrating the correct use of the aforementioned apparatus, when actually, we are hacking these devices, violating their original uses, and making them to serve a new purpose.” (from the publisher’s description)