In Jean-Baptiste Huynh’s new series entitled Etude de Mains, the French photographer concentrates on the aesthetics and look of the delicate lining of human hands. His photographs come in a square-shaped format, which Huynh attaches great importance to. By making use of sparing but directed lighting the artist turns the nude photographs into a study about the interaction and language of hands. Besides the hand itself as a tool for expression and communication, there are various other objects like shining knives and expressive portrait pictures of people coming from different ethnic backgrounds. The term “Nude” combines photographs that seem like gracefully drawn body sketches due to a clear composition, which guides the viewer’s consciousness to the pure form and silhouette of the female body. The dark background creates clear outlines that allow the viewer to focus purely on the skin and the eyes of the depicted person.To the beholder immediately becomes apparent the intimacy, which evolved between the photographer and the person who has been portrayed.
The series Nature, however, includes photographs ranging from fruits to eucalyptus leaves from Vietnam by making use of the same pictorial language. The image compositions are minimalistic and have a clear structure beyond the characteristics of a typical still life. Due to his masterly play with light and shadows either on black or white background, Jean-Baptiste Huynh manages to transform, estrange and bring these objects back to life. The shot of a Galia melon sharps the viewer’s senses for an unexpected analogy of the fruit’s surface with the moon. Thus, the object is repositioned and conceptualized, so that the observer’s view will not remain only on the physical appearance, but complies with the transformation of the object.
The pictorial language of Jean-Baptiste Huynh is not just predestined for this purpose; it was even perfected to that effect. Moreover, it is the evidence of diligence and precise confrontation with the subject. The black and white symbolism of color dealing with the sublime elegance and mysteriousness, as well as the subtlety and indefinability, impressively unfolds in his photographs – an appealing interaction which is supported by a compositional clarity and elucidates his distinguishing purism.
Jean-Baptiste Huynh, Nude and nature
May 13 to July 8, 2017