Boogie Woogie Photography presents We Love Paris, an associated project of the French May Arts Festival.
This group exhibition is an invitation to discover Paris through the eyes of thirteen renowned photographers, including: Isabelle Boccon-Gibod •Henri Cartier-Bresson •Raymond Cauchetier •Stephanie Cheng •Thierry Cohen •Robert Doisneau •Léon Herschtritt •Stephen King •Bogdan Konopka •Jacques Henri Lartigue •Willy Ronis •Takeshi Shikama and Sabine Weiss.
Paris La Nuit
Trois allumettes une à une allumées dans la nuit
La première pour voir ton visage tout entier
La seconde pour voir tes yeux
La dernière pour voir ta bouche
Et l’obscurité tout entière pour me rappeler tout cela
En te serrant dans mes bras.
Paris At Night
Three matches one by one struck in the night
The first to see the whole of your face
The second to see your eyes
The last to see your mouth
And the complete and utter darkness to remember them all
While holding you in my arms.
Jacques Prevert (1900-1977)
About the photographers
• Isabelle Boccon-Gibod (b.1968, Paris, France)
Isabelle Boccon-Gibod was born in 1968. Engineer, trained both in France (Ecole Centrale Paris) and in the US (Columbia University, NY), her life has mixed art and industry throughout her career. Having first worked on collages and installations, she elected photography twenty years ago as her core medium. She attended the Photography School of Brussels, Belgium. Her work is project -based photography oﬀering the means and the pretext to explore specific territories. She likes to employ ad-hoc techniques. She lives and works in Paris, France.
• Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004, Chanteloup, France)
Henri Cartier-Bresson has intuitively chronicled decisive moments of human life around the world with poetic documentary style. His photographs impart spontaneous instances with meaning, mystery, and humor in terms of precise visual organization, and his work, although tremendously diﬃcult to imitate, has influenced many other photographers. His photographs may be summed up through a phrase of his own: “the decisive moment,” the magical instant when the world falls into apparent order and meaning, and may be apprehended by a gifted photographer.
Cartier-Bresson studied literature at Cambridge University in 1928-29. He began photographing in 1931 and purchased a Leica in 1933. He joined an ethnographic expedition to Mexico the next year, and in 1935 studied cinematography with Paul Strand. He assisted Jean Renoir in 1936 and 1939, and made his own documentary, Return to Life, in 1937. He was drafted into the film and photo unit of the French army in 1940 and was taken prisoner by the Germans that same year. After three years of imprisonment he escaped and began working for the French underground. In 1943 he made series of portraits of artists, including Matisse, Bonnard, and Braque. Through 1944 and 1945, Cartier-Bresson photographed the occupation of France and its liberation. In 1947 he co-founded the Magnum agency with Robert Capa, Chim (David Seymour), and George
Rodger and he spent the next twenty years traveling around the world. He received the Overseas Press Club Award four times; the American Society of Magazine Photographers award in 1953; and the Prix de la Société Française de Photographie in 1959, among other honors. In 1966 he left Magnum, which remained his agent, and devoted himself to drawing. Cartier-Bresson’s extensive publications include From One China to Another (1954), The Europeans and People of Moscow (1955), The Face of Asia (1972), and The Decisive Moment.
• Raymond Cauchetier (1920-2021, Paris, France)
Raymond Cauchetier’s photographs of French New Wave Cinema are internationally acclaimed and are some of the iconic pictures of the period. According to Marc Vernet: The power of Raymond Cauchetier’s photography does not stem simply from the exceptional character of the stars he photographed, or from the artistic dimension of the directors for whom he worked…but from the fact that he, before anyone else, knew just how to capture the mood of what would become known as the Nouvelle Vague.
• Stephanie Cheng (b.1995, Virginia, USA)
Born in Virginia, raised in Beijing and educated in New York, Stephanie’s early immersions in diﬀerent cultural narratives inform her ongoing practice in photography and filmmaking. Her work examines cross-cultural dimensions within feminism and race, as she continues to explore the evolving representation of female sexuality and power across many genres. Her visual narratives not only seek to reproduce reflections of the world we live in, but also imagine an entirely diﬀerent one.
• Thierry Cohen (b.1963, France)
Thierry Cohen has been a professional photographer since 1985 and from the end of the 80s on a pioneer in the use of digital techniques. He lives and works between Paris and Monségur close to the Atlantic Coast. Since 2006, he has devoted most of his time to his personal work. He is interested in the impact of human activities, and in particular on nature. His works are held in private and public collections and regulary exhibited in New York, Los Angeles and Paris.
• Robert Doisneau (1912-1994, France)
Robert Doisneau was the ultimate storyteller. His pictures became synonymous with a way of life that we all now accept as ‘French’. Who cannot recall the image of the two lovers walking past the Hôtel de Ville, in a passionate embrace, or the iconic image of Picasso sitting at his breakfast table, his hands miraculously metamorphosed into bread rolls! Doisneau was passionate about his home city, the people of the Paris streets, the atypical brasseries… In fact as Bruce Bernard once said ‘all human life’ or rather ‘all Parisian life’. He was a regular figure at all the gatherings and activities in his home city, whether it was a crowd of French children tearing up the street tarmac to make barricades against the inevitable German invasion, or a simple wedding with the bride and groom wandering into the brasserie to hold their reception. Doisneau became increasingly interested in the possibilities of photography as more than a narrative tool: in bending the visual impact of the photograph by using techniques unaided by computer simply by using his small darkroom to manipulate the images, such as multiple exposures onto the paper. He is considered a master of narrative and street photography, he photographed a vast array of people and events, often juxtaposing conformist and maverick elements in images marked by an exquisite sense of humor, by anti-establishment values, and, above all, by his deeply felt humanism.
• Léon Herschtritt (1936-2020, Paris, France)
Born in Paris in 1936, Léon Herschtritt became a photographer at the age of 20. He worked as a photojournalist for the press and became an independent reporter in 1962. He photographed his subjects all over the world with a humanistic and social approach. In the late 60s, he worked as a filmmaker, and directed several documentaries for the cinema and television, and progressively abandoned his work as a photographer. From 1976 to 1993, he became an antiques dealer, expert in photography and old cameras and opened the first gallery devoted to photography in the Saint-Ouen flea market, which was then transferred in 1998 to the Saint Germain des Près district. His black and white documentaries, celebrity portraits and testimonies of the Paris in the 60s, the war in Algeria or the first Christmas of the Berlin Wall, have been the subject of numerous exhibitions, in particular at the Rencontres d’Arles in 2009.
• Stephen King (b.1966, New York)
Stephen King is a fine art and landscape photographer based in Hong Kong whose works are popular for their painterly and meticulously composed representations of the natural world. Stephen’s images explore both the wonder and beauty of our planet and his striking photos depict the landscape’s capacity for both drama and serenity. Stephen treats the world as his canvas and his travels have taken him everywhere from the skies above Iceland to the deserts of Namibia to the lava fields of Hawaii to the pack ice in the Arctic Circle.
• Bogdan Konopka (1953-2019, Dynó, Poland)
Born in Poland and living in Paris, Bogdan Konopka was a travel photographer. From Europe to China, Konopka has been taking photographs of cities he visits or lives in. Whether the subjects are a fragment of nature, an urban tissue or an interior, Konopka’s images are immediately recognisable at the first glance. There are no dramatic events in Konopka’s photographs, his camera does not catch any ‘decisive moments’. The fragments of reality of almost still life quality emerge from a dark background. Using large format or pinhole cameras, Konopka pays close attention to the quality of his photographs. His hand-made gelatin silver prints on chlorobromure paper mostly contact prints with the same size as the original negative achieve perfection. His work is collected by major museums (Centre Pompidou, Bibliothèque nationale de France, FNAC, Musée Carnavalet, Maison européenne de la photographie…)
• Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986, Courbevoie, France)
Known for dynamic photographs of car races and fashionable ladies strolling along Parisian promenades, Jacques-Henri Lartigue made a decisive departure from the stiﬀ formality that characterized early photography to capture joyful, carefree scenes of bourgeois leisure. Lartigue’s work was largely underappreciated until 1963, when the Museum of Modern Art presented an exhibition of his photographs that drew the attention of Richard Avedon. Born into aﬄuence, Lartigue documented the excitement of the final years of the Belle Epoque with a gimlet eye, taking candid photos of his daredevil brother Zissou’s glider mishaps, a cousin tumbling oﬀ a homemade scooter, and fearless jumps oﬀ high walls. A society photographer from the 1920s through the ’60s, he shot rich, beautiful vacationers on the French Riviera and beyond. His informal sensibility and use of blur and movement prefigured the snapshot aesthetic of later photographers like Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander.
• Takeshi Shikama (b.1948, Tokyo, Japan)
Takeshi Shikama was born in Tokyo in 1948. After a lengthy career as a designer, Shikama turned to photography and began making work which would ultimately become “Silent Respiration of Forests.” The series was published by as a book by toseisha, Tokyo, in 2008. Shikama’s work has been exhibited internationally in Japan, Europe, and the U.S., and is held in the permanent collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris), Museet for Fotokunst Brandts (Odense, Denmark) and the Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego). He currently lives and works in Tokyo.
• Willy Ronis (1910 – 2009, Paris France)
Will Ronis was born on August 14th in Paris, to a family of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Lithuania. As a young boy, he worked with his father in the family portrait studio and studied piano. His love of music and early photography work shaped Ronis’ understanding of composition. Initially studying law at the Sorbonne, Ronis switched to the family’s photography business after his father became ill. He eventually eschewed formal portraiture for photojournalism in 1940. Ronis fled to the south of France and returned to Paris in 1946 with his wife, Marie-Anne Lansiaux. He joined the Rapho photo agency and became known in the United States through his commissions for LIFE magazine. Ronis was then associated with the great Parisian group of documentary photographers, which included Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï, Izis, and Robert Doisneau in the MoMA’s “Five French Photographers” exhibit, on view in 1951. The images created by Willis Ronis captured the simple pleasures of everyday life. Not one to focus on suﬀering, Ronis’ photographs are often light-hearted, humor-filled, and full of compassion, embodiying the French term: joie de vivre. Ronis published several books and monograph of his work. As one of the great masters of twentieth century photography, Ronis has work in the collections of major museums and private collectors around the world. Ronis died at the age of 99 on September 12th, 2009 in his hometown of Paris, France.
• Sabine Weiss (1984-2021, Saint-Gingolph, Switzerland)
Sabine Weiss, born in 1924 in Saint-Gingolph, Switzerland, has always maintained a fierce independence and a need to strike out on her own. At just eighteen—during a time when being a photographer was not a common profession, especially for a woman—she took oﬀ in order to pursue this passion, riding her bicycle to Geneva. In the capital city, she apprenticed under studio photographer, Frédéric Boissonnas until 1945, and soon after opened a studio of her own. But once again wanderlust set-in and after the war Weiss moved to Paris to assist Willy Maywald, the famed German fashion photographer. There, she met her future husband, the American painter Hugh Weiss, and she began recording—in-depth—the daily life of the Parisian working-class. Her first years in Paris, she worked mainly as an independent, but in 1952 was hired by Vogue as a photo reporter and fashion photographer. Also at the time, Robert Doisneau discovered her photography and asked her to join the humanist leaning photo agency Rapho, giving her opportunities to work and travel for many other publications such as Time, Life, Newsweek, and Paris-Match.
We Love Paris
14 May until 4 June 2022, by appointment only.
E.Wah factory Bldg, Wang Chuk Hang, Hong Kong.