Şevket Duman is a psychiatrist from Turkey. His images, the majority of which are in monochrome, reflect his understanding and experience of the "uncanniness, uneasy waiting, and the sadness of being on the road".
We were able to chat with Şevket about his photographs shared on his LomoHome (@sevketduman), the correlation between his profession and art, his inspirations for these enigmatic and mysterious images and more.
Born in Istanbul in 1990, Şevket has been interested in black and white photography since 2020. According to him, he turned to analogue photography and psychoanalysis during his postgraduate training before finally becoming a psychiatrist in 2021.
Although it is practical to take photographs in the digital age, there are many reasons why I prefer film photography. The color palette, the experience of developing and scanning, the limited ability to take photos, and the mechanical feel of the machines may be the obvious reasons why I prefer it. Perhaps the main reason why I prefer film photography is its nostalgic associations.
The photographer's authenticity and personal stories appear seamlessly in his images. Şevket's art is anchored on his belief that creation is unique and singular to the individual, influenced heavily by their own lives. As he says, his works reveal "what cannot be expressed in words and only the emotion that can be felt through the imaginary."
I have always been interested in what is beyond the obvious. Just as my main area of interest in clinical practice is the unconscious truths behind the patient's words and symptoms, in photography my area of interest is what lies behind the images you see every day in daily life. On the other hand, I can say that photography is my personal defense mechanism as a sublimation of my own drives.
Şevket's images are well-composed, with fascinating layers and framing that stay true to the themes he likes exploring most. There's more to see the more you look into his images.
He makes use of mirrors, windows, fog and haze to reveal his subjects or become the subjects themselves, emphasizing what is, or was, invisible. Asked if he's more of a technical or an intuitive photographer, he told us:
I don't think they are independent of each other. Being technically knowledgeable is important, but it is not enough alone. If the technical issue were sufficient, there would be the only correct photograph in the world. But here, the individual story is just as important when taking photographs. Therefore, there are as many different photographs as there are eyes looking behind the camera.
More than the interesting angles and subjects he chooses, looking at his photos also inspires comfort despite the apparent physical solitude he captures. There's the feeling that being alone, too, could be cathartic and replete with wisdom and meaning.
Expounding on his urge to take images of his travels and the various emotions that come to the surface while on the road, Şevket said:
Being on the road evokes both separation and reunion. You can't get anywhere without leaving somewhere. The path itself is therefore ontologically sad, both because of the separation and because of not yet being reunited. The reason I choose this theme is of course based on my personal experience and individual story.