Christopher Doyle – Cinematographer and Artist

A complete stroke of fate meant that I was listening to BBC Radio 4’s Film Programme last week in a hotel room on a short work visit to London.

One of the items was a feature on one of my favourite cinematographers Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express, Rabbit-Proof Fence, 2046) – not his film work, however, but an exhibition of collages and other art work which was at a private gallery in Mayfair for just a month. And I had a couple of hours to kill the next day before my train home.

Doyle has a kind of alter-ego in Du Ke Feng, his ‘Chinese’ side, with whom he is in constant internal discussion about art of many kinds. And this perhaps shows up in the items on display: whereas his films are often a saturation of colour, the collages are generally light, white and sparse. You can see them here. There are also some interesting pieces in which communist-style imagery has been ‘defaced’ with other images.

Then there are installations featuring beautiful lotus flowers, which are best seen in the video on this page.

But my favourites were the video installations, where the images appeared and disappeared like wisps of smoke before your eyes. You can see an example in the same link.

It was very beautiful, often ethereal work, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to see it.

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