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The photography of Chen Ming was featured  at Forest Lawn Museum. A group show, “The Elevated Eye” curated director James Fishburne was the inaugural exhibition of the renovated museum. “The Elevated Eye” was a stirring exhibition which examined the history of aerial photography, from its origins in the nineteenth century to the boundary-pushing technologies of the twenty-first century. It featured nearly 150 images, video, satellite models, and drones from preeminent collections, plus images from NASA and works by contemporary artists David Maisel, Jenny Odell, and Erwan Rivault.

Chen Ming, 200 feet above Grand Park, 2016. Inkjet digital print; photo courtesy of Forest Lawn Museum and Chen Ming

Chen Ming describes how he captured this photo. “With this image, I arrived at Grand Park around sunrise as I do for many of my photographs. This allows me to avoid harsh light and to capture scenes without any crowds. The paper planes were a temporary art installation that also functioned as a shade structure. It was created to be experienced from below, but the aerial perspective is extremely powerful. You never know for sure how a site will look until you’re viewing it through your drone. In this case, the landscaping and pathways of the park neatly frame the planes. Many spaces look great from an oblique angle, but the completely vertical view allows the art installation to maintain the illusion that planes are in formation like a series of fighter jets. By flying 200 feet above the gigantic paper planes, they seem to return to hand-held size. It was a fun opportunity to play with the notion of scale. By including the bright pink lawn furniture that is scattered around the periphery, I was able to add visual contrast and hint at the size of the art installation without explicitly revealing its size.”

For more info about the exhibition, and the artist Chen Ming, contact Forest Lawn Museum, 1712 Glendale Avenue, Glendale, 91205;  https://forestlawn.com

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