ADAM ŁACH LUNARIS
LUNA – GRAPHY
Luna-graphy is a theatre in which all the lights went out. In luna-graphy the sole source of light is the glow of the Moon. As reality is invisible to perceive and the outcome impossible to predict, the images are painted using mainly imagination nourished by light and darkness. In other words, the works are formed by intuition when the artist subjects himself to the light, place and time. It is not a game of blind chance, though, but only a type of chance. The artist decides upon scenery and movements, but the final effect of each capture cannot be predicted. In this way the artist confronts his perception of reality with reality itself. The act of creation is a mixture of conscious and subconscious feelings and emotions subsequently translated into the images.
Luna-graphy came to life in 2006 when Adam Łach Lunaris discovered the technical possibility of capturing the light of the full moon and became fascinated by the idea of depicting the invisible. For the years to come, the artist examined possibilities and explored the potential of creating art which escapes the obvious. While conjuring a moonlit world, Łach Lunaris established a long-term collaboration with the co-creators of the magic: Jean Daniel Fricker and Céline Angèle. Their spiritual
quest took them from Butoh, the Japanese performance art, to a very personal form of expressing themselves through movement. Their performance is a very specific non-dance, a body’s decision made at a given moment, determined by intuition and by acceptance of what arises. In 2007 the trio completed the first luna-graphy project in Hampi, India, together with a group of Butoh dancers. The collaboration was later deepened when Łach Lunaris and the French couple met again in Cambodia in 2009. The outcome of their work was reviewed and appraised by Emanuella De Cecco, an Italian art critic and a professor of contemporary art at the Faculty of Design and Arts in Bolzano, Italy:
A dance in which every single movement – even what the eye perceives as a gasp or so - it's a detail that embodies an entire world (...) These photographs do not return the story of this dance, they do not explain, they do not document. They resist the temptation of revealing everything and making the gesture becoming a heroic act, isolated in a stillness that does not belong to it. Rather these pictures say the same thing, they keep the mystery alive by using another language. The movement developed in the space is translated and stratified in the long-term exposure of the camera. A dance where extremes coexists is observed by a look that proceed with a similar step. They record the here and now, the place that they show, but they transform the specificity of space and time by receiving the echo of the painting’s tradition: the colors, the composition. They extend their possibilities of description till almost dissolving it. In the tension that is generated by this process, the core that gives life to the dance becomes visible and so the intention behind it. The bodies – of which we cannot perceive the details - in some cases become fading shadows, soft matter. They are in the space - in the water or in the air does not matter - and they are crossed by these elements, they change and are changed by their surroundings. Through these photographs we breathe with our eyes the effects of the balance produced by their peculiar form of presence’.
Łach Lunaris continues to penetrate the spiritual, the intuitive, the mystic. In 2010 he travelled to India during a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith, where he created a set of luna-graphy images depicting Sadhu, Hindu holy men. From all these mesmerising series of images, the artist has compiled a collection of finest works, which presents a moonlit world, full of poetry and escaping clear-cut definitions.
In 2013 the luna-graphy collection was presented to members of the Curatorial and Program Committee of Musee de E'lysee, previewed as a new discovery and discussed as a proposed exhibition. At the same time, it was considered by FoMu (FotoMuseum) in Belgium as future exhibition. In May 2013 luna-graphy was showcased for the first time by Vernissage London at 20/21 International Art Fair in Royal College of Art in London.
A major solo exhibition of luna-graphy entitled ‘The Birth of the Night Butterfly’ took place at Leica Gallery in Warsaw, Poland, in October 2014.
Łach Lunaris, Jean Daniel Fricker and Céline Angèle search repeatedly for means of conveying a message about the uniformity of existence. A new luna-graphy project exploring the even previously researched idea of life as a timeless journey was finalized in 2014 in Auschwitz, in Poland. The images created in the concentration camp pinpoint the possibility of identifying not only with a place, history, but first and foremost with the people, who suffered there.
Adam Łach Lunaris is currently engaged in arranging two new luna-graphy projects which are to take place in the summer 2015.
In the years 2008-2009, as a result of extensive research and experiments with various media Adam Łach Lunaris developed a cutting-edge technique, which he branded ‘Digital Polaroid’. The artist’s fascination with the Polaroid technique, traditionally offering an exclusive palette of colours otherwise impossible to obtain while working with ordinary digital photography, has pushed him into searching for an innovative approach. As a result, he merged the vanishing Polaroid and the long-established negative techniques with the latest achievements of digital photography. Digital Polaroid conveys therefore a high degree of realism, which is otherwise a crucial feature of digital photography, while offering a fantastic possibility to reproduce the diversity of Polaroid’s colours in a high quality.
Digital Polaroid was firstly used for the immensely popular 'Geisha series. The artist’s ultimate attempt was to capture various emotional states, desires and dreams of a contemporary woman. The selection of images studies human emotions connected with symbolic stages or significant moments in life such as reaching maturity, fear of unknown, expecting new life or even self-contemplation. The series was thoughtfully constituted to portray beauty out of its original context, race and conformity. The images show how traditional values are shifting out of their expected context and therefore give a critical view on today’s conception of beauty and its idealisation in the modern society. Moreover, the series opens a discussion about the role photography is playing in this transition and on what levels it affects individuals living in the present-day world.
In 2011 images from the “Geisha series’ were published in an acclaimed book about wanting and longing entitled ‘Design Behind Desire’ curated by an American artist, designer, lecturer and writer Lisa Z. Morgan. (http://thecuratedcollection.com/book/design-behind-desire/)
Lach Lunaris researched further the relative and transitory nature of beauty in the second Digital Polaroid series entitled ‘Pride’ (2013). By introducing animals, playing with light effects and reconstructing elements of a more traditional setting, the artist established a dialogue with works of Dutch Old Masters such as Rembrandt van Rijn or Johannes Vermeer.
Since 2008 all Digital Polaroid series have been regularly showcased at a number of art fairs in Europe, Asia and the USA, together with other works of Lach Lunaris, thanks to the courtesy of Vernissage Gallery, London (http://www.vernissage.co.uk) and Leica Gallery, Warsaw, Poland.
o Mia&D Fair, Singapore 2014
o 20/21 International Art Fair, Royal College of Art, London 2008 – 2014
o Art London, London 2011
o The Affordable Art Fair, London 2006 – 2014, Amsterdam 2008, New York 2008 – 2011, Hong Kong 2012
ADAM ŁACH LUNARIS GRADUATED IN PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE HIGH SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN IN LODZ, POLAND. AT THE START OF HIS CAREER, IN 2002 HE FINISHED THE PROGRAMME WITH A SERIES ENTITLED ‘NONSENSE’, WHICH SKILLFULLY COMBINES THE SOCIAL REALISM OF DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY WITH THE GLAMOROUS WORLD OF FASHION INDUSTRY. A DEPRIVED FAMILY IS JUXTAPOSED WITH A STUNNING MODEL WEARING LATEST FASHION, SET IN AN AUTHENTIC SCENERY OF PRIVATE HOME, WHICH CONSTITUTES A FINE EXAMPLE OF CROSS-BORDER PHOTOGRAPHY AND ARTISTIC FREEDOM.
IN 2006 ŁACH LUNARIS WON THE SECOND PRIZE FOR THE IMAGE 'HUMAN BEING' IN THE GUARDIAN WEEKEND PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE ORGANISED BY THE BRITISH GUARDIAN MAGAZINE. THE IMAGE WAS HIGHLY COMMENDED BY AN ENGLISH PHOTOGRAPHER DAVID BAILY AND RECEIVED THE TITLE OF “FORERUNNER” IN THE PORTRAIT CATEGORY.
SUBSEQUENTLY, ŁACH LUNARIS WORKED AS A FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER IN THE UK DRAWING INSPIRATION FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF RICHARD AVEDON AND PETER LINDBERGH, SHOOTING VARIOUS EDITORIALS FOR BRITISH, GERMAN AND POLISH MAGAZINES (QVEST, REDEFINE, MATCHBOX, LTEC, WIG, AKTIVIST, EXCLUSIVE, ZWIERCIADŁO AND MORE). DURING THESE YEARS, HE WAS DEEPLY ENGAGED IN CREATIVE WORK EXPLORING THE EXISTING PHOTOGRAPHIC TECHNIQUES WITH A VIEW OF ESTABLISHING NEW ARTISTIC VALUES.