f100: Peter Ainsworth, Luke Norman and Nik Adam, Surendra Lawoti, Antonio Valencia

© Peter Ainsworth

fototazo has asked a group of 50 curators, gallery owners, blog writers, photographers, academics and others actively engaged in photography to pick two photographers that deserve (more) recognition - the underknown, the under-respected as well as not-appreciated-enough favorites. A little more information on the project is available in the first post in the series here.

Today we continue the series with responses from Hin Chua and Adriana Rios Monsalve.

We began the series with responses from Nicholas NixonMatt JohnstonBlake AndrewsJohn Edwin MasonAline SmithsonColin PantallMichael WernerLiza FetissovaLaurence Salzmann, Bryan Formhals, Richard Mosse, Shane Lavalette, Amy Stein, Amani Willett, Wayne FordS. Billie MandleLeslie K. BrownGordon Stettinius and Marc Feustel.

Respondent: Hin Chua is a photographer based in London.

SelectionsPeter Ainsworth and Luke Norman and Nik Adam

One considerable regret I have is that I'm unable to properly convey the sheer lusciousness of Peter Ainsworth's prints to you! His project "Concrete Island" is a painterly, intelligent and above all transformative interpretation of a subject that would have been represented very differently (and probably more ineffectively) in other hands.

To me, Luke Norman and Nik Adam reside in a universe of playful and constant experimentation. Their work may appear initially disjointed, but I think it's held together intelligently by their inquisitive natures and their very desire to chip away at the traditional boundaries of cohesion itself. Never routine, always fascinating.

© Luke Norman and Nik Adam

Respondent: Adriana Rios Monsalve is an Adjunct Curator at the Museo de Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia and is also a Curator of the Salón Regional de Artistas Zona Centro Occidente in Medellín.

Selections: Both Surendra Lawoti and Antonio Valencia are artists that have moved across geographies quite extensively. Both of their works, although very different in conception, method and result, are tied together by their travels, their idea of territory is not a fixed notion. Their work refers to moving from one place to another as a complex experience.

Surendra's work reflects upon personal experiences, psychological implications, legal procedures and a sense of powerlessness, bringing together a wide array of photographs such as constructed imagery, landscape, self-portraiture and portraiture. Surendra's photographs belong to a series called "Many Rivers to Cross," based on his own experiences of migrations and multiple border-crossings. This series introduces the idea of place from a psychological and geographical perspective, shifting between "I am here" and "I was here." He was born in a small village in Nepal. When he was 21-years-old he ventured to the United States to pursue his education. After 14 years of American life, he has just moved to Canada.

© Surendra Lawoti, Mt. Monadnock, 2008.

Antonio's work talks about the actual act of traveling through a territory, in a bubble, on a bus or automobile, as a passenger that wonders about the reality of a country that he sees. During these trips a monologue is developed in his mind while shooting, without setting the frame, with his camera. Both shooting speed and bus speed leave a trace on the photographic image; the result is a blurred image. Here the technical is conceptual, this reflects on the diffusive image people have about the situation in rural Colombia. He documents the traces of sociopolitical conflict while, literally, being displaced himself across the country. Antonio was born in Pereira, Colombia, lived in Bogotá for 5 years, and he has been living in Medellín for over 12 years.

Both Surendra and Antonio have moved out of their hometowns due to tense political situations that reflect on precarious economies and a lack of better opportunities. The Nepalese political situation, violence and displacement are at critical levels due to the large number of religious, political and ethnic interests converging in Nepal for its geographical and historical relevance. During the decade of Maoist rebellions more than 12,000 people died. The UN has reported 100,000 people were displaced. From May 2008 Nepal is no longer a monarchy; it is now a Republic.

In Colombia displacement is a phenomenon that has persevered over time. A historical concentration of property-ownership has left small title-holders in a vulnerable situation. Since La Violencia and due to drug trafficking and armed conflict, acquisition of land is of strategic importance, especially in areas where drugs can be grown, processed and transported as well as areas where mega-projects are being developed, such as highways that connect key parts of the country, hydroelectric dams and African palm and other plantations. As a result there are about three million displaced people in Colombia.

© Antonio Valencia