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Issue No. 17 - Enigma

A View From Asia: Photography by Eddie Sung at the Morrison Hotel Gallery

Above Image: Lady Gaga, Aura, 2009, © Eddie Sung/Courtesy of Morrison Hotel Gallery 

When it comes to a musical performance, capturing the moment on camera can be a challenge. The stage lights, insane crowd, and musician in constant motion all must be taken into consideration when the shutter falls. One photographer, Eddie Sung, has become an expert. In his photographic debut in the US at the Morrison Hotel Gallery: A View from Asia: The Photography of Eddie Sung, he presents photographs of stars on the stage that bring the characters to life.

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Eddie Sung with photograph of Slash

He perfectly encapsulates the music and personalities of the musicians in his photographs with a sense of portraiture, as if they were taken in a studio as opposed to the stage. The photos are mostly in black and white, apart from one Warholian set of Lady Gaga. They use the lighting, angles, and eye contact to create godlike characters of epic proportion.

From artists like Slipknot, Blondie, and the Beach Boys, to Slayer, Slash, and Gaga, each artist is presented in a spotlight of admiration. The mutual art forms of photography and music interlace to complement one another. When asked which photo is his favorite, Sung points out a vertical portrait of Slash from 2011. The singer looms onstage, making direct eye contact with the camera; top hat perched atop his mane and grasping a Les Paul in hand.

Slipknot, Mick Thomas

Slipknot, Mick Thomas, © Eddie Sung/Courtesy of Morrison Hotel Gallery 

“This photo was a visual gift,” Sung explains, “He walked up, posed for me, and left. I met him backstage beforehand, and this was just for me.”

Sung is from Singapore, and attended most of the concerts in his home country. He felt the musicians recognized the inspiration that could be drawn from the Asian fan-base, which led them to put on especially visually driven concerts. The photos are his way of melding Western culture with Eastern perspective. His photographs have been used on album covers, DVDs, websites and the walls of Hard Rock Cafes. He also won first, second, and third place prizes in the 2006 Lucie Awards for Non-Pro Music category for his work.

Blondie, In Wilderness, 2009

Blondie, In Wilderness, 2009 © Eddie Sung/Courtesy of Morrison Hotel Gallery 

The exhibit will be open until August 2nd.

Text by Ashley Minyard

Photographs by Hallie Turner

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