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Because of light

Photographer Rosan Sison-Holmes explores the power of light.

MANILA, Philippines - Rosan Sison-Holmes believes in  the power of vision. “Someday, I’ll put together a  show made entirely in Paris,” she announces with a conviction that makes one believe that in her mind, it has already happened.

But Paris can wait. Today, she is preoccupied with “Eureka!” — her first solo photo exhibit in Apartment 1B in Salcedo Village. Although she has participated in a group show and has a permanent display in a high-end furniture shop, she considers “Eureka!” her formal public debut.

Using the blackness of night as her backdrop, and employing a variety of techniques to capture and abstract light, Rosan produces an intriguing mix of conceptual images and abstract photographs which she fittingly calls “light art.” Her subject could be any light source: car headlights and taillights, street lamps, neon signs and even light from kids’ toys and electronic gadgets.

Her camera is her artist’s brush. With her camera and minor post-processing (mostly re-coloring and adjustment of contrast and saturation), she delivers a variety of unique photographic images in captivating colors. She may produce an occasional monochrome or black and white “only when the image lends itself well to it.” Her artistic philosophy is straightforward: “To bring joy and a lightness of being to those who behold my art.” It is no surprise that many of her pieces evoke joy and exuberance.

Her passion for light art started out of boredom. After having taken thousands of photographs over many years, she needed to do something different. The inspiration came one evening as she marveled at the magnificent Singapore skyline from her hotel room balcony.

Chance? Maybe. Most likely not. What started almost as child’s play quickly developed into an unrelenting artistic pursuit. She was what she would call an “ouido” photographer. She now reads on the technical aspects of photography, light refraction, and researches new ways to advance her craft.

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Through self-study and continuing experimentation, she has refined what were once raw, unstructured and even chaotic images. She painstakingly works on each shot until she finds “The image within the image.” Rosan’s patience and her exacting nature are a perfect fit to what she does.

“I don’t stop until I uncover what I believe is the best that the photograph can be. I am extremely particular with my colors — it cannot be just any shade of pink or blue… it has to be the right shade of pink or blue. In the end, I need to connect to the image — either by finding some meaning in it or by simply being awed by its visual impact.”

Part of the excitement that Rosan finds in her art is the anticipation of how an image will turn out. No two images are the same.

“Will I see a wispy, gossamer ribbon across a dark canvas? Or perhaps a study in linear symmetry and repetition? Or will it evolve into something that it completely isn’t? Will it be bold? Cheerful? Will it be subdued and calming?”

The possibilities Rosan sees seem endless. “Eureka!” is clearly just the beginning. Paris, here she comes…

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“Eureka!” runs at Apartment 1B from November to January 2012 and is presented by Art Cabinet.

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