Second acts are rare, especially in an age of rabid consumerism where the instinct is to use with practised mindlessness, dispose and move on. But there can be purpose—even beauty—in all things dead or discarded, a theme that Shareem Amry explores in Redux, her first solo film photography exhibition.Shareem began to photograph in 2013, working first with 35mm film before moving on to medium format cameras. “I had just turned 40 when I started, so it’s probably not a coincidence that I began photographing tiny skeletons and carcasses almost immediately,” she said. “Mid-life crisis, anyone?”When sourcing for the denizens of her glass bottles, she followed one rule—don’t kill anything—and relied instead on found items retrieved from rubbish tips and the grounds of her family’s and friend’s home. Revival, incarnations and finding new purpose are therefore all ideas that run through Redux, which also captures Shareem’s growth as an emerging film photographer. A writer by profession, she sees photography as a way of telling stories using the visual vocabulary of light and form. Darkroom printing also mirrors the solitude and discipline of writing.Redux is the first solo exhibition mounted by a former student of The Print Room, a film photography darkroom and studio in Petaling Jaya. For the last six years, The Print Room has been a part of the renaissance of film photography and has helped to build a wider awareness and appreciation for this form of the visual arts in Malaysia.It gives people an opportunity to learn to handle a traditional manual film camera, process their film and print photographs by hand in the classical way. The film photographers who work at The Print Room form a collective of professional photographers as well as professionals who work in a variety of industries, including publishing, engineering, architecture, finance and public relations.
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