Plastic flowers, 2018
San Giovanni Battista, Venezia
Intrepid camera 4×5, Ilford Delta 100, Ilford ID11, Fujinon 210 f5.6
Those are just 2 photos to explore my idea of Tai chi chuan.
With the collaboration of my instructor, I’m trying to convey in photography the spirit of this martial art. On of the aspect of this internal style is the use of the spiral movements. Silk reeling.
Simply put, its about learning how to move your body in a coordinated and efficient way in-accordance to the principles of Chen Tai Chi Chuan.
The body has to move as one unit, with the torso and limbs twisting, twining, spiralling and rotating. The hips control the legs, the chest controls the arms, and the centre (“dantien” in Chinese) controls the hips and chest. The dantien is quite simply the centre of the body, and consists of the abdominal muscles attaching to the hips and lower spine.
The end goal is for all movement to originate from your dantien. However, this is something that will take time to achieve with consistent practice and layered guidance from a teacher who really knows what they are doing!
All the photos that you can view about this martial art (and even for the others!) are static poses. Maybe to gain the interest of the viewer showing those “exotic” poses.
My approach is completely different. Photography, for me, is a tool to communicate and explore aspects of life. And Tai chi chuan is not a series of static forms or positionss. One is always in movement, shifting continously between the ying and the yang forces.
Stay tuned for further works.
Intrepid 4×5″, fp4, Id11, film scan + Lr
Travels of Rick Johnson
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