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The photography of Chen Ming is currently on view at Forest Lawn Museum. “The Elevated Eye” is curated by its new director James Fishburne, and is the inaugural exhibition of recently renovated museum. “The Elevated Eye” examines the history of aerial photography, from its origins in the nineteenth century to the boundary-pushing technologies of the twenty-first century. It brings together nearly 150 images along with video, satellite models, and drones from preeminent collections.

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

The group exhibition includes photographs from Forest Lawn Museum’s permanent collection that have never been displayed publicly as well as images from NASA and works by contemporary artists David Maisel, Chen Ming, Jenny Odell, and Erwan Rivault.

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.”

Be sure to visit the Forest Lawn Museum, 1712 Glendale Avenue, Glendale, 91205;  https://forestlawn.com/exhibits-and-events/museum/

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