“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.” — said Robert Frank, a a Swiss-American photographer and documentary filmmaker.
Indeed, what is missing in most of the photographs is the humanity. It is rare to find, but it is not impossible. Here, we have Rizacan Kumas, an adventurer photographer who specialises in Photography Documentary. He had travelled across the Silk Road, unveiling the culture and the people through his camera lens.
Cross The Silk Road
I am a traveller and an adventurer myself. I’ve met few thousands of people up to this point in my life by travelling to more than 60 countries in the world. One year ago, I met Rizacan the first time in Istanbul. It was a few days before his wedding. We shared about our adventure trips together. He told me that he just accomplished his project “Cross The Silk Road” all by himself. At that moment, I know I met another brother, whose burn the same fire as me.
The Silk Road derives its name from the lucrative trade in silk carried out along its length. Rizacan used one year to complete this project of “Cross The Silk Road” starting from 21.9.2017 to 21.7.2018. Instead of focusing on the subject matters that we might find productive discourse, Rizacan picks the project that actually move the people. Rizacan commenced his adventure from Turkey. He crossed over into Georgia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and China. He then continued his journey to Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Nepal, India and Pakistan.
Pause and Think
Certainly, he has captured plenty of intriguing photos when he was crossing the Silk Road. The people in frames are captured in environmental portraits. These will include a sample of the local architecture or an object that reflects the local culture. Everytime when I look at his works, it makes me pause and think. What are the eyes going to tell me?
Capturing Images Even in Difficult Circumstances
Rizacan connotes, Photography Documentary is one of the toughest branches of photography. In other branches, the photographs are based on self-expression or visual aesthetic. On the other hand, Photography Documentary is aimed to capture the real frame effectively. It means to collect information about local people and animals or stories which belong to that local area. The photographer needs to observe and capture images even in difficult circumstances. Then, he needs to present it to the viewer by telling the story behind.
The thumbnails with faces that you see on our Homepage are all Rizacan’s works, with some modifications by our graphic designer. I love especially the expressions of the photos which reveal a greater truth of humanity and depict a sense of deeper emotions.
Moving forward, photographs that Rizacan has taken always bring the audience into intimacy. His works intrigue the viewer to go behind the camera, figuring out what he is observing and playing in his mind.
Crossing All Over The World
Having accomplishing the project “Cross The Silk Road”, Rizacan is now embarking on a brand new exciting project called “The World”. He is crossing over every single country in the world, 236 countries in total. He takes photographs to reflect the culture and life circumstances of each and every country. What happens next is that he will be holding an exhibition, displaying each of the photography documentary from all the 236 countries in the world. Check out Rizacan’s website to keep an eye on this ongoing project of “The World”.
As becoming the largest-scale project so far, this project will take a big role highlighting the differences and numerous similarities in both sides of the human-made confines. Regardless how rigid or easy the cross-cultural communication is, the main aim of the project is to highlight that this is actually the most unifying element in human relations. Rizacan believes that, we can only exist by the existence of ‘the other’. This project “The World” is exactly aimed to define the meaning of unity as combining ‘we’ with ‘the other’.
Dated: 22 January 2019
Author: Norbert Molzahn