Exhibition: – 31 Jan 2013
14 December, 2012 through 31 January, 2013
In December POBEDA Gallery starts a new exhibition calendar with the project COCKS by Ernest Goh. The exhibition will be presented in a new gallery venue in GUM, Red Square 3.
Ernest Goh (b. 1979) is a Singapore photographer. He has a MA in Creative and Cultural Enterprise from Goldsmiths College, UK and is a member of the Institute of Contemporary Arts’ A-Frame Network, an initiative of the UK government’s Cultural Leadership Program. Storytelling is at the heart of Ernest Goh's various human-interest projects, which includes «Laughter In The Rain», a ground-breaking book documenting the history and reality of disabled sports in Singapore and «Beyond Mask», a book published in honor of the medical workers who sacrificed their lives at the height of the SARS outbreak in Asia.
To analyze a human – this is the task of the photographer. Even capturing photographic portraits of the animals Goh pay attention first of all to a psychological relationship between pets and their human masters. Humans tend to like to anthropomorphize animals and soon after consider their pets to be part of the family and looked upon them as a member with a character and soul. The photographic portraits are meant to capture that human-like character projected onto them by their owners. In religion and mythology anthropomorphism is shown in the perception of divine beings that look like humans. They eat, sleep and fall in love as humans do. While in literature anthropomorphic characters are often created in storytelling to relate human-like behaviors. However in science, the practice to assume that animals share similar mental and social emotions is frowned upon.
The first attempt of Ernest Goh to document this human character of pets was realized in "The Fish Book" (Wee Editions 2011). Some of the chickens pictured in the "COCKS" series present a special Malaysian breed known as Ayam Seramas. They participate in Cockfight clubs very strong cultural phenomenon in Malaysian villages. The judges of the competitions are trying to determine a champion on its stance, temperament and physical assets like wings, tails and comb. It is no surprise that Serama owners often regard their chickens as warriors or soldiers ready for battle. "COCKS" series is the second part of a larger project entitled The Animal Book (TAB) project that Ernest Goh is working on now.