Adventures in Mongolia, by Kerik Kouklis
Talk, Slide Show and Documentary Film Screening
Wed. March 27 at 6:30 p.m., Viewpoint Photographic Art Center
Join exhibiting photographer, fledgling film maker and Viewpoint Board President Kerik Kouklis for a night celebrating Mongolia. Kerik will share stories and images from his expeditions. He will also screen a 30-minute documentary he produced in 2017, “Mongolia in Winter”.
THE EXHIBIT: For as long as he can remember, Kerik Kouklis has liked to make stuff. He discovered early on that he really like to make photographs. Taking pictures and making prints has been part of Kerik’s life ever since his dad set up a basement darkroom for him when he was twelve. Kerik would spend hours experimenting (and he says mostly failing) to make something interesting. But every once in a while, something good would result, leading him to continue my pursuit of the next good picture, the next good print. Kerik has never been in the “image is everything” camp of photography. It’s important to him that the image takes the form of a physical object – something that can be touched, or held, or maybe even hung on a wall.
Kerik states that his job is to deliver the message, the mood, the thought, the emotion. The image is the starting place, and printmaking is the language. He makes all his prints in his darkroom, using hands-on processes — wet plate collodion, platinum/palladium and gum bichromate. These experience-based processes allow him to shape the way an image is interpreted – and they bring him the satisfaction of creating something with his own hands. To Kerik, that physical connection between maker and object confers value on both.
For more than two decades Michael E. Gordon has obsessively explored, hiked, climbed, and photographed over our remarkable American deserts, seeking profound experiences, sage wisdom, and utter silence. He states, "It’s here where I am most balanced while in direct contact with earth, wind, and creative fire. I am enthralled by the charismatic and highly evolved life found here, possessed by prickly dynamic forms and radiant desert light. My images evoke the quiet stories of my subjects and titillate with the unspeakable essence of the vast Mojave, Great Basin, and Sonoran Deserts. These ancient landscapes provide thousands of square miles for my explorations, meditations, and creations."
The images in this exhibition were made with a 4x5" large format view camera and film and high resolution D-SLR. All prints are made with pigment inks on cotton rag and are finished exclusively with archival materials.
His love for and commitment to the preservation of imperiled California landscapes is a cornerstone of his work. He has served on the Board of Directors for the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association and Mojave National Preserve Conservancy. His photographs have been instrumental in the campaigns of The Wilderness Society, Campaign for America’s Wilderness, Pew Charitable Trusts, National Parks Conservation Association and others, and have helped to shape wildfire management, renewable energy policies, and to advance Federal Wilderness and National Monument designation and expansion. In early 2015, Michael was a featured on-camera Death Valley expert in an NHK Japan full-length documentary film.
Join photographer, fledgling film maker and Viewpoint Board President Kerik Kouklis for a night celebrating Mongolia. Kerik has visited Mongolia twice, once in the Summer of 2015 and again in the Winter of 2017. During those two expeditions Kerik and his companions explored the Lake Hovsgol and Darkhad Valley regions of Northern Mongolia. Kerik will share stories and images from his expeditions. He will also screen a 30-minute documentary he produced in 2017, “Mongolia in Winter”. Many images from Mongolia are included in his current exhibition “From the Ends of the Earth” which will be on display on Viewpoint through March. Join us for a fun and informative evening at Viewpoint Gallery.