The poetics of (the Taiwanese) mundanity.

A portrait with words of Juan Sea.

“A love brief story”, Juan Sea, 2016.

First of all let’s be precise on something: this text was written in a casual way with a mobile phone, like most of Juan Sea’s photos. Now we’ve established the format let’s get into it: Juan Sea is in one way the gaze of the posh urban Taiwanese bourgeoise. His photos looks fun, free and casually elegant, just like the Taiwanese that live in his socioeconomic status (there are many). Juan Sea has two main topics: the urban landscape and the portrait. In his landscapes Juan develops his own utopian naïf persona.

In his landscapes Juan develops his own utopian naïf persona.

At first sight it seems like a funny scenario with soft light, but if you observe closely you may note that it’s much more than that. Juan’s works are deeply existentialist, he is there but at the same time he is not there. Everything floats in a cloud of perceptions. Everybody interacts with the present but at the same time they aren’t there, because everybody’s looking for something that may not exist. In his portrait series he goes in two directions: if he likes you he will deliver a tender image, if he doesn’t know you he will respect you and take some distance, but if he really cares about your avatars he will portray you eating, scratching your nose or doing something ridiculous… in a sophisticated way.

The clowny / ironic edgy style is there. Deep, with two characteristics: the first one is the ludic essentia and second is an emerging cloud that lays in thin layers that are complex and not easy to read. If you want to really see Juan Sea’s photos you will have to look at them carefully. Pay attention to the hidden messages, and never take them for granted. And if you really, really want to get into Sea’s imagination you will have to see his systematic and impulsive production, that it seems like a necessity to capture the poetics of mundanity. Of a country that holds many layers.

His photos capture perfectly the light of Taiwan: a symbiosis between soft marble and emerald green.

His photos capture perfectly the light of Taiwan: a symbiosis between soft marble and emerald green.

Juan Sea evolves like the nomad minstrel photographer that narrows the story of his life with shadows and light. Always capturing the beauty of the woman he meets, the deepness of friendship and the complex tenderness that lays in Taiwan.

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