“John Cage was a great believer in randomness and in the way that everything around us can, if seen or heard in the right way, be taken as a work of art. We don’t need to rely on simple distinctions between what is interesting or beautiful or important and what is not. It is the eye—of audience as much as artist—that makes a picture and, in so doing, makes the world.”

Pico Iyer, Essays - November 4, 2022

Pavement Art / Art Trottoir is the third series of work photographing subjects that stare in front of us, yet we do not notice. Because we see them every day, because they are so mundane. (WIRES and FLORAE are the first two in the series.)

Just as soon as we step onto a street, we walk pass them, walk on top of them—but we do not notice them. Grills, non-slip metal strips, man-hole covers, gas access points… all so dull that we have learnt to ignore them. Just like someone living next to a railway track has learnt not to hear the train roaring past their window.

Yet, if we pay attention, these objects change their appearances depending on the time of day, on the weather, on the season—it is as though they are animated. And with the right set of eyes, they can appear as works of art.

Artistic influences:

TOM SANDBERG said that photography is “a complex dialogue between shades of grey”. For me, I see the work of French artist PIERRE SOULAGE as a complex dialogue between shades of black. And I have tried to capture these shades of black in many of these ‘artworks’ offered by the pavement.

The BAUHAUS School showed me the power of stark precision and simplicity.

ROTHKO inspired me to see the power that only darkness unveils; hence, I often take to the streets to discover what the pavement reveals during twilight.

I am perennially enticed by what CHANCE and RANDOMNESS can offer. Rain and water change the pavement in a completely unpredictable way. I have become excited by photography in the rain!

Technical details:

All photographs are taken with a DSLR and 50mm lens.

Digital darkroom processing is very basic: exposure, contrast, dodge/burn, colour balance, curves, gradient map.
Using Format