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In a Box Upon the Sea.
Photographs by Philip Perkis.
Anmoc Press, Seoul, South Korea, 2016. In English/Korean. 170 pp., 57 black-and-white illustrations, 11½x11¼".

Publisher's Description

'I keep on taking pictures in places I know and don't know. There is a consistent result from one place to another. I feel the world outside myself connecting with my inner existence. Photography is not an image of an object but an image of connection. With these photographs I get to learn about myself.' — Philip Perkis

Contained within In A Box Upon the Sea are fifty-seven photographs, mostly from 2008 to 2015, selected by the photographer. Perkis has been working for more than sixty years as a photographer and educator. He made most of the pictures in A Box Upon the Sea during his four visits to Korea. Through editing, the photographer makes clear his spiritual connection to what he is seeing and photographing regardless of where the pictures were taken or what the subject happens to be.

Philip Perkis' photographs don't necessarily give documentary evidence; they offer transformed ways to see and understand various aspects of life. The subjects of his photographs are frequently quite ordinary, yet the photographs are magic. He makes clear that a photograph can be made nearly anywhere and without narrative.

In A Box Upon the Sea also contains twelve written pieces by Perkis. The texts are, for the most part, descriptions of actual experiences. Like the photographs they are non-fiction and indicate the possibility of a larger arena. Both the photographs and the writing function independently while sharing a unique and expressive tone, atmosphere and point of view. By example, the reader/viewer is encouranged to experience themselves and the world with more openness rather than through categories and likes and dislikes.

'Looking at the world with a camera without technical manipulation or dramatization — in combination with developed sensibility and intelligence — can become a philosophical, even spiritual act. The outcome of such action can correspond to the definition 'art.' If such a thing happens in photography it is a 'miricle' because we cannot know how it happened. Such things cannot be understood with the rational mind alone. Something of a finer nature has come into play.' — Philip Perkis

Read the review by Blake Andrews on photo-eye Blog


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