It's been a while since I've had anything to say about Ming. So now is a good time to go peek at the pictures from his latest set of photos on The Idea of Man.
Look at the pictures seriously. Be generous, assume that they are "genuine," whatever that even means.
Take your time.
I'm not going to go in to some sort of amateur psychoanalysis here, but I think it's fair to point out that there's a consistent theme of anonymity, of tinyness, of solitude. We see the isolated silhouette, tiny in the frame and dominated by the urban environment, in 10 of the 12 photographs. The other two pictures are crowds, as anonymous as the lone figure, seen from odd angles, and from a distance.
If we take this thing as a philosophical statement, as the artist suggests, it is among the most nihilistic and depressing statements I have ever seen.
Is the lone figure, repeated to the point of exhaustion, the artist? (In at least one case it is, in reflection). Is it supposed to be us? I think Ming's position is that it's an abstraction of Man. Does it mean anything that the artist is almost always lurking about behind the subjects, unnoticed, himself anonymous?
It hardly matters, there's no way this is a cheerful statement.
Taken seriously, this isn't so much a portfolio as much as it is a suicide note.