Duran Levinson: Africa and Asia in the Contemporary Times

When one only knows and experiences one part of the world, he creates an echo chamber for himself. We've heard about the urban lifestyle and modern living in America and Europe, but how about in other places? Cape Town-based photographer Duran Levinson seeks them out in Asia and Africa with his eye-opening series "Purity Fixation" and "Indivisible".

All shot in 35mm film, the quality of his photographs are almost seamless as a digital camera's take.

© Duran Levinson

Although majority of Duran's works come from fashion and travel genres, Duran's young oeuvre is an eclectic one, thanks to his wanderlust. His fascination for Asian countries had made him create several, unique portraits of Asians that break preconceptions of their urban living and daily lives. Despite traditional, conservative traces Asian countries are known for, their modern lives are very much bolder than expected.

Feminism still has a long way to go in most Asian countries (the whole world, actually), but Duran's "Purity Fixation" series, a documentation of young, tattooed women Hong Kong, seem to show otherwise as most of the women are portrayed confident, fierce and even intimidating as they glare at the audience.

© Duran Levinson

The other half of Duran's work is his travel photography; he frequents from East Asia to South Africa with the quest to understand and witness a culture and lifestyle significantly dissimilar to his comfort zone.

His series "Indivisible" is one of his major projects; a street and documentary work on the people of Rwanda. Duran's intention for his visit in Kigali (the capital of Rwanda) was firstly due to a commercial shoot.

But the reality of Rwanda, its long history with instability and genocide, and their smiling and friendly faces and outlook in life, had prompted him to capture their reality, for him to forever remember. The tenacity of the Rwandan people had given him hope. Now, Duran considers the series as his own retelling of Rwanda's special story.

© Duran Levinson

The dichotomy of Duran's oeuvre shows that his interests are never definite. He will capture anything that needs its story to be told.

Watch out for our upcoming interview with Duran! In the meantime, visit his website and Instagram for more of his work. Images are with permission from Duran Levinson.

written by Ciel Hernandez on 2017-01-21 #culture #people #street-photography #hong-kong #analogue-photography #asia #fashion-photography #film-photography #rwanda #travel-photography #documentary-photography #duran-levinson

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