Monday, November 07, 2011

Sum Halder of Sumtography

You are somebody. Even if you think you are nondescript, a nobody, a fleeting mass of atoms buzzing through coordinates of x, y and z, believing that you are just a ninja of temporary existance, you are.. a somebody.

Paparrazis shoot somebodies of value in the tabloid world. Sum shoots somebodies of the ordinary world.

A world where maybe you notice the postman flipping through mail in his carrier, or the baker who is careful not to overbake the baguettes or the person who passed by you who said "bless you" underneath his shy breath. In this world, if Sum sees these somebodies, she will shoot them with her SLR camera and then take time to ask one question, fleshing out this person for a minute where this person is not just a fleeting coordinate ninja just passing by caught in a jpeg, but as a person with a story and a thought and an emotion.

I met Sum in the same fashion. I was lost in concentration, live painting at Jazzercise, a monthly night at a Little Tokyo venue on 3rd Street. I was the featured artist of the night and live painted while the DJs spun house, breakbeats and hip hop.

In typical alfie manner, I shut myself in my own world, focused on my painting and the four hour time period I have to make something solid by the night's end.


I notice bright lights but tend to ignore them because I am too busy trying to make my colors blend.

Sum steps up and with a swish of her hip, looked at me with a discerning eye and said "OH MY GOD... I  know you....You're Juan's friend. I recognize your face and your work. You are Juan's friend!"

And yes, who would have thought, that in a small pocket of Los Angeles, would I have met several mutual friends of a man I have been friends with for 10 years, a man who lives clear across the nation and have been stationed in several countries during our friendship.

It takes a flash.... and some words to flesh out a person.

And this is the current photography project that Sum is creating: "I Shot You." Sum is capturing moments, unapologetically may I add, of strangers in their element, and then taking them out of their scene and asking simple interview questions. For a brief moments, these strangers, passerbys, are given a small limelight and space to shake of the small shock of being photographed and ease into being the focal point in someone's art project.

Check out her site: and add comments, thoughts, feedback.. And if you are in the East Coast, look your best because she might just shoot you...

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