Thursday, 21 April 2011

Portraits: 13

The Far East Side Band, at band leader Jason Hwang's house, New York, 1992
I liked the music of this group, with its "Far East"/jazz/improvised feel – good instrumental music, not easy to pigeon-hole but easy to enjoy. Some music first enters your mind in unknown ways: I can't remember when I first heard them (or even if I suggested or was asked to do the interview for The Wire: memory becomes like a Kazuo Ishiguro novel at times.) But I took their portrait while in New York specifically for The Wire piece and because I liked the music. Individually they continue their music, though this particular line-up lasted for two albums: Jason Hwang (front), Sang-Won Park (left) and Yukio Tsuji (right). It was one of my favourite techniques to corner faces in a photograph's rectangle, and this one does it to the extreme.

Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan, co-owners of Working Title Films, at their office, London, 1993
For some unknown reason, Esquire, for which I did this portrait, thought that these two didn't get on and suggested one idea for the portrait would be to have one in the foreground and the other obscured in some way. I started out doing this in the Polaroid negative I occasionally used to both check lighting and get a photo in its own right (below). They were puzzled at my arranging of them, so I decided to somewhat sheepishly explain – because there seemed to be no tension between them whatsoever. Fortunately they laughed at the misinformation, and I moved on to a more equal portrait. Since they're still working together (the production company behind Bridget Jones Diary, About A Boy, Shaun of the Dead, Burn After Reading, Frost/Nixon etc) clearly they still get on!

For more on these portraits, see here, and the Portraits tag at right.

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