The Endless Flow of Continuous Creation 2020

The roots of this project began a few years ago by experimenting with a new technique. However, it was during the Covid-19 lockdown, when I had to stop traveling and was forced to look at my immediate environment for inspiration, that I was able to take my experiments to the next level.
The subject matter for a photographic image is ephemeral, yet if it is done well, employing enough aesthetic triggers, it pushes past transitory limits, into the realm of permanence. Finding this uncanny path from the temporal to the permanent — which is contradictory to the laws of nature — is an exciting new direction for me. Something like discovering in quantum physics how, in certain electromagnetic environments, matter can appear in two distinct locations at the same time. It is this duality and the uncanny path that one must follow for its creation that I want to explore in this project.

Kashgar Nightclub 2018

The central ideas for my experiments and the new direction they are taking me are embodied in two aspects: camera technique and the aesthetics of art. Regarding camera technique, the images I make must have been created “in-camera,” following these rules: 1) all images are created in-camera; 2) the final image may have minor post-production enhancements only; 3) post-production manipulations are not permitted, including HDR, multiple image stitching, etc. For the aesthetics aspect, an image’s creation explores “everyday,” even mundane subject matter and is posited on an irony that is peculiar to photography.

Rituals & the Poetry of Space and Time 2017

With the support of COCA, I hope to discover new techniques for creating a body of work that explores the angst of fleeting moments juxtaposed with the hope for permanence.

Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by COCA.

Mick Stetson


Mick Stetson is a freelance photographer, specilizing in documenting cultures and people from remote regions within Asia. Since 1997, he has been based in Asia, first in South Korea and now in Japan. Living inside these vibrant, dynamic cultures has enabled him to gain a deep understanding of Asia’s multicultural diversity. As he explains: “Asian culture is a mosaic of language, traditional customs, beliefs and cultural behavior that eludes simple analysis, description and clarification. To the uninitiated audience, and from the cursory perspective of the traveller, Asia can be a very strange and complicated subject that is difficult to communicate — visually — its essence. It takes time to get a sense of something so elusive, it doesn’t show itself to you right away. It’s like ‘satori' in Zen Buddhism, or ‘darshan’ in Hindu philosophy.”
Since Covid-19, he has been rediscovering his early photographic passions and trying to meld photojournalism practices with the aesthetics of art.

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