Miles Ladin's blog

Sunday, October 28, 2007

installation at Bravura

Saturday, October 27, 2007

group exhibit in Viet Nam

San Art is pleased to announce our second exhibition entitled, “City Panoramic”.  “City Panoramic” is an international photography exhibition curated by Tiffany Chung, features artists Miles Ladin (USA), Takashi Arai (Japan), Scean Mitchell aka Soundproofgreay (USA/Japan), Junko Ito (Japan), Bui The Trung Nam (Viet Nam) and Stephanus Kim (USA).  “City Panoramic” is an attempt to re-imagine the urban landscape and to understand our experience of the city through photography. 

While some of the works examine whether the city architecture fits within the natural landscape or is an intrusion to it, others attempt to re-define nature within the urban context.  These works also reflect the urban experience of city inhabitants through their repetitive mapping, speed and impulse.  Moreover, the artists were asked to digitally ship their photographs to Viet Nam.  This is an important aspect of the show’s concept in which our references of the urban space are expanded to the invisible boundaries of digital networks and wireless technologies, not only its physical landmarks and borders.  In this regard, “City Panoramic” isn’t just a document on the tangible manifestations of the never-ending process of urbanization but rather explores its underlying meaning and structure by investigating the social and cultural impacts. 

Please join us for the reception on Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 6:00 pm. 
23 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Exhibition continues through December 15, 2007
For more information please visit

CITY PANORAMIC exhibition link:


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

introducing the TRAFOLAR series

For over fifteen years, I have made photographs that explore the everyday from a critical standpoint. It is my hope that by holding a mirror up to reality, I can reflect the deeper truths and in my own small way spark greater social awareness.

In June of 2007 I visited Istanbul, Turkey. While exploring the city on foot, I noticed several very small buildings labeled with a skull and crossbones. I discovered that these structures are the transformer stations that distribute the city’s electricity. Called trafolar, these containers are found in parks, on the streets, and along the highways of Istanbul. Usually unadorned, these utility stations are an eyesore on the otherwise exotic and quaint streets of Constantinople, both the European and Asian sides. Due to a recent beautification edict implemented by the Istanbul Municipality, these containers have been decorated with painted murals. Often executed in a trompe l’oeil style, the motifs rendered include the sea, flowers, forests, classical architecture, and boats. The paradise portrayed is in stark contrast to the toxicity of what is held within as well as the surrounding urban environment.

Bravura Gallery announcement

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Service Entrance Series


In 2001, I photographed the service entrances of some of New York City’s most elite residential apartment buildings. The maids, movers, deliverymen, and other workers who service these residences use these entrances. Focusing primarily on buildings located in the city’s Upper East Side, I limited the scope to include two of the wealthiest postal codes in the country, 10021 & 10022. My initial interest in the service entrances was due to my childhood memories of playing in and often trespassing through the service entrances surrounding my family’s apartment on Beekman Place, in New York City.

As I started to photograph these entrances and spaces, I became interested in both the formal and associative qualities of the architecture. Visually the spaces include doorways, fencing, barbed wire, signage, and security devices. Psychologically the entrances triggered in my mind the sense of the forbidden, the other (i.e. blue collar), and the hidden. Intellectually I was interested by the semiotics built into the architecture (consciously or not) of these spaces that are particular to New York City. The architecture subjugates class distinctions in a variety of ways including through the design, industrial materials, and lighting. Although these entrances do indeed have a utilitarian purpose they sharply contrast the esthetics found both in the lobbies and the canopied doorways from which that the tenants enter and exit.

These entrances, like the maids and workmen who use them, are kept hidden, downtrodden and at a distance, thereby not intruding on the idyll of affluence. These are entrances that most people (including the buildings' residences) don't really notice, much like the individuals that use them. They are invisible yet they are intrinsic to the structure.