BRUCE GUNDERSEN Exploring the Myths of South and Southeast Asia
artist's statement


My photographic work presents complex visual ambiguities, perceptually bridging painting and photography. For the past ten years my artistic endeavors have involved photographing and digitally narrating Southeast Asian folklore.

‘I am fascinated with the interplay between the supernatural and corporeal worlds filled with characters that are vividly depicted through the arts. My work reflects a contemporary approach to an ancient codified language of gesture and storytelling. Historically Buddhist monks would travel with silk paintings narrating the life of the Buddha.

After intensive research, I travel to Asia with a storyboard of the scenes to be created. Once there, I photograph local actors, dancers and lay people in key postures representing characters from the tales, becoming tableaux vivants. In addition, I photograph architecture, landscapes, and other objects essential to the story. Another aspect of the field operation is to photograph and or scan various bits of paintings, mold, old pieces of cloth and paper that add texture and depth to the final project.

Back in New York, I layer these photographic and sampled images as digital building blocks, meticulously erasing and softening these bits of visual information to bring a sense of impermanence and time creating an image based palimpsest.

The final presentation, a painterly photomontage, is generally dye-jet printed on fabric with handkerchief rolled edges. The photomontages are viewed in gallery installations, not as static ‘canvases’, but as ephemeral, floating figures that shift as air moves through the gallery. The over all affect is some where between photography and painting, paying an homage to the indigenous folk vernacular with a feel of antiquity, however the techniques, digital photography, the application of sampling and printing are all very contemporary. 


Represented in Asia by META HOUSE PHNOM PENH.





Upcoming Exhibitions: "Passing through the veil"
March 6-20, 2013
United States Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission Auditorium
Colombo, Sri Lanka

April 4-28, 2013
RMA Institute
Bangkok, Thailand

© 2013 Bruce Gundersen. All Rights Reserved.