With the constant assault of travelgram pics and Facebook check-ins, the chance to view some photos from around the world that look more at the culture than the gram-worthiness of a picture comes as a welcome change. Melbourne-based photographer Jean-Paul McAllan is set to debut his latest series of film photography that serves as a follow-up from his visit to the Philippines earlier this year. Held at Junior Space and sponsored by Carhartt, Arten, and Kirin Beer, the images presented have been selected for their duality and connection to a range of natural elements.
Aptly titled Tadhana, the meaning of the word alludes to ‘an invisible force that makes things happen beyond the control of mortals.’ For anyone who is an Avatar The Last Airbender fan, you might pick up on a similarity between the characters from the ancient Filipino Baybay that McAllan used to spell out Tadhana with the elements of ‘earth, water, fire, air’ (don’t worry, we read that in Katara’s voice too). The images, in turn, reflect the marriage between elements, where harmony is found in the meeting of seascapes and skylines, along with the contrasting earth around them. Showcasing a range of street photography, landscapes, portraits and abstract images, Tadhana is set to delve into the deepest realm that film photography can offer. Indeed, the images offer a range of perspectives but are all linked by the 35mm film that they were shot with, allowing for a hint of consistency in an otherwise entirely diverse collection.
Multiculturalism itself is a familiar domain for the US-born McAllan, who is of an Australian and Rodriges Island background but grew up in Japan and Hong Kong. Embracing this “melting pot of cultures” is a mentality that he has sequentially applied to his work, allowing him to see things from a variety of angles. “Whilst feeling deeply connected to all countries, I never felt apart of one solely but more truly a mash-up of cultural traits from each,” he said. “I carry a similar view in relation to my photography in the sense that I don’t see my photography as set into one specific genre but rather a union of many different styles.”
Doubling as the launch of his photo book and his first solo gallery, Tadhana marks a very important stage in McAllan’s artistic journey, where the skills he has picked up as a street photographer are applied in a completely different setting. The series is yet to be shared with the public, but we scored a couple of exclusive pics for you to have a flick through in the gallery above to get a taste of what is to come. In the meantime, be sure to peep the event details below.
Opening Night July 28, 6pm
65 Smith Street
Running until August 9