ian teh

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I am currently based in London.

My artistic creativity stems from my concerns about social, environmental and political issues. I imagine my work as a series of short films made out of stills. They are narratives that are built on moments of time collected over extended periods. Each story is a woven fabric of compositional and colour threads that come together to create a particular ambience intended to both emphasize my perspective on the subject matter and to, hopefully, encourage the viewer to take the narrative beyond the limits of my frame, into a direction that makes the experience of those images more vivid.

Among my various works, in 2003 I completed a project entitled, ‘The Vanishing: Altered Landscapes and Displaced Lives’. The work chronicled the devastating social and environmental impact of the gigantic Three Gorges Dam on China’s
famous Yangtze River. My recent series, ‘Dark Clouds’ and ‘Tainted Landscapes’, sees a more contemplative approach applied to the theme of man’s impact on his surroundings. Turning my eye to coal related industries in China, I explore the
darker side of China’s economic rise. The work is a study on the environmental costs suffered due to a growing nation’s increasing need for energy. These works form part of a collection of narratives in my recent monograph titled ‘Undercurrents’,
which was published in conjunction with my solo exhibition at the Paris Beijing Gallery in Beijing.

My photographs have appeared in many international publications such as Newsweek, The New Yorker and the UK Independent Magazine and have been widely exhibited. In 2001 I was part of the Joop Swart World Press Masterclass and in 2004 was a finalist for the CCF Foundation for Photography prize. Recently in 2009 I am awarded first prize for the SOPA Awards and also a high commendation for the Prix Pictet. My work has also been acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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