The World Upside Down - Kickstarter Project by Lee Smathers
My name is Lee Smathers. I'm a professor of photography at a university in Daegu, South Korea, originally from the United States. I believe very strongly in analogue film photography and large format. As the "photoevangelist", I need to spread the word. Both of these have changed my work style and have helped me to find a personal vision I struggled to find when I was using digital photography. South Korea is not like China, or some or the other countries that film photography is considered hip. Large format photography is dying very quickly here, if not just twitching. The only available large format is 4x5 - and even that is limited. Photographic enlargement papers have already been reduced to nothing but Ilford. Rodinal is imported by one individual. People just aren't interested. Koreans follow the latest trend. You'll be hard pressed to find a car older than my very own 1996 Kia. It's gotta be the latest, greatest, fastest thing - no matter what it is. Even good old furniture is dumped when a family moves to get the newest style of leather.
I'm in a very important position to make a strong defense for traditional and large format photography. Lately, special attention has been drawn to my work - and I have three magazine interviews lined up for the next few months. About a week ago, my life and work was documented in a 30 min Korean national TV special. http://www.ebs.co.kr/replay/show?pro...ectId=10165925 Here you'll see me photographing the monorail with my 8x10 camera. I have no financial support for this work. These ideas are my own and I made the cold calls to get up in the monorail (currently under construction) to get special permission. I've seen other artists in Korea who have been given thousands of dollars in research money and grants given to them, but the quality (and passion thereof) of the work really is very short of the mark. I'm not qualified for these grants - or perhaps maybe the right person hasn't seen my work yet.
This is why I need help. Crowdfunding will help get me the attention I need. My final goal is to show drum scanned 7x17 color negative extra-large enlargements (think Massimo Vitali). If my project is successful, I plan to have enough work to exhibit by around 2015. However, right now I'm just trying to fund the film order.
7x17 color isn't a very popular format, so I'm going to start the special order if my proposal is funded.
I want to knock the Korean's feet off with a 1903 camera!
Support can be made here until Dec. 15: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...ide-down/posts
Thank you for reading this far!