A&A stands form Amy Yang and Alani Cruz,
A singular photographic project where two different points in time and space are connected in one frame. A&A were formally connecting their Taiwanese and Japanese daily lives with they’re accidental double exposure photography. Their unique work has been shown at the Pflüger 68 Gallery in a two parts exhibition that brought them together for the long-term collaboration with the second part recently shot in Berlin. Let’s have a tour of the city through their eyes and lenses this Friday 14th of June for the 48hours Neukölln!
OPENING and Music Performance at 07pm PFLÜGER Strasse 68 Friday 14.06
HOW DID YOU TWO MEET?
Amy: We met on the photo sharing website “Flickr”, we found each other in Ricoh GR group there I guess. When Alani sent me the first flickr mail, I was still in Paris. It was a very dark time for me when studying in Paris, but his mail just made my day. That was also the very first voice from a total stranger telling me he likes my photos. But we didn’t really keep on writing each other since that time, just 2~3 mails after the first one. Until a year later, he asked me if I’m interested in doing this project with him. That’s how we started.
Alani: I was surfing Flickr and one of Amy’s photos suddenly caught my eye. I loved her photos so I emailed her about an idea I had and now we’re here.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE US THE MAGIC OF YOUR PROCESS?
Amy: It’s a double exposure exchange project. For example I shot one roll of film then I send it to Alani, and he reshoots it again. So it’s like every photo frame has two images, one from me, one from Alani. They are all unplanned images. We could only see what each other shot when it’s developed. So everything is a coincidence. But for me the magical part is the connections on our photos, we’ve been doing this for almost 3 years without meeting each other at all, until few days before our first exhibition opening in Berlin.
Alani: I don’t know how much magic is involved, but the results have given me some of the same emotions. I shoot random happenings in my daily life wherever I may be with a photographic film camera. I then mail my roll of film to Amy and Amy shoots over what I shot and vice versa. We develop and POW! I think this where the magic happens.
YOU HAVE MET THROUGH THE INTERNET BUT IS YOUR PROJECT A CALL TO GET BACK TO A MORE HUMAN CONNECTION TO PEOPLE?
Amy: For me definitely yes, this project is kind of telling me that actually there are connections between every human being. We are just one of the example of this, we are from so different countries and cultures, and we didn’t know each other at all, but we are still connected. I think saying people are connected is kind of cliché, I mean the connections are always there, but most of time we don’t see it, so we ignore it. I think that’s the reason why this project surprises us so much, because we see it through our own eyes.
Alani: Definitely. That was my original intention when beginning the project. Amy and I mostly communicated through our photos and random things that we mailed each other. We never video chatted so I didn’t even know the sound of her voice until we met 3 years later! I’m not really a person that likes talking on the phone or typing to someone online because I feel something is lost in that exchange. I feel I got to know Amy much better with this project than I would have if we sent emails back and forth for 3 years instead.
WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO YOU USE?
Amy: We both use Ricoh GR1 series cameras, since we found each other in this camera’s group, haha!
Alani: For this project I used a Ricoh GR1 and we shot it all on film.
THERE IS A LOT OF RANDOMNESS AND ACCIDENTS IN YOUR WORK, WHAT WAS THE MOST SURPRISING PICTURE OF YOUR PROJECT?
Amy: For me the most surprising picture, I’d say… the crowd in the concert with the illuminated numbers. Its like the people there were counting down and I can see the numbers in their minds floating in the air. It’s magic.
Alani: That’s a hard question! There are so many memories attached to each photo for me that its hard to pick just one. We laughed a lot whenever we developed a roll and saw the results, but when we had our first exhibition and I actually saw the photos printed big, I noticed things in the photos that I never saw when looking at them on a computer screen. One image that surprised me printed was the photo with the people riding the bus with carousel horses. I never noticed how scary the horses looked when I saw them on the computer screen. Something very demonic about the horse’s eyes and it looks like blood dripping out of their mouths. Crazy.
DID YOU FIND A COMMON THING IN ALL OF THE COUNTRIES YOU HAVE BEEN SHOOTING IN?
Amy: I think wherever we go; the common things are still random but connected. Like a photo we both took in New York, both our images are an NYC skyline. Just mine was real skyline taken in the central park, and Alani’s was NYC skyline graffiti. They are just matched.
Alani: New York, Tokyo and Berlin are 3 big metropolitan cities with New York and Berlin having a similar creative feeling to them. All 3 are very lively cities that inspire me to shoot, draw, skate and stay active. I think in whatever city we were in, Amy and I were somehow connected visually without even knowing it and our images kind of show this.
IF YOU HAD TO PICTURE YOURSELF AS AN OBJECT WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Amy: This is a difficult question for me haha! Because I never like to be pictured, unless it’s a silly, ugly, tricky picture. So I guess it would be like that.
Alani: A rare Sun Ra record.
WHAT IS YOUR NEXT DESTINATION?
Amy: We don’t have any new collaboration at the moment, just continuing what we were doing before Berlin I guess. But after these two exhibitions in Berlin, we received some other opportunities in other cities for this project, like exhibitions or even publications. Theoretically the project itself is done by now, but since we started exhibiting it; I actually felt more like we started something new. Like learning how people think about this project, how much it would influence people. It’s very inspiring to me. I feel I learned something new from it. So maybe I’d say we just started a new journey with this project.
Alani: As far as personal projects, I’m only focused on exhibiting this project with Amy at the moment. We’ve received a lot of positive attention and it may lead to more in the coming year. Its been a life changing experience for me and I think its just starting. Other than that I am still working as a freelance photographer/graphic designer/Art director and I’m looking for a job in Germany/Europe now so that I can move to Berlin by September/October 2013.
A&A project : http://projectaanda.com/
Pflüger 68 Gallerie : https://www.facebook.com/pflueger68?fref=ts
Amy Yang ; http://amyyang.havefun.tw/
Alani Cruz : http://www.alanicruz.com/