Adam Lampton Exhibition Review
September 21, 2010
Excerpt from Art in America
by Ann Wilson Lloyd
In an adjoining room, photographer Adam Lampton, based in Portland, Me., showed eight C-prints (all 2007, either 20 by 24 inches or 30 by 40 inches), the pictures taken on a Fulbright-funded trip to Macao, a densely populated Chinese territory with a gaming- and tourism-driven economy. Avoiding obvious shots of swank casinos, Lampton portrays seemingly random quotidian scenes embedded with subtle clues to the region's distinctive cultural and political history. All are rich in color and detail, and many suggest unsettling circumstances. Figures are sparse: a single woman beside a small Venus de Milo garden statue, a little boy toting an ominously lifelike toy gun down a crumbling street, a lone lineman working amid a swath of utility wires.
Teenagers on their Grandmother's Grave depicts two boys perched on a Buddhist tomb in a crowded cemetery, the pair intently playing handheld video games. Mahjong Parlor [pictured above], a deep interior shot, shows three men in a small, scruffy but brightly painted establishment. An imposing Buddhist shrine dominates the far wall, and a color TV perches in front of two windows on the right. One man gazes listlessly, and abandoned mahjong tiles are scattered across a table in the foreground.
Lampton's work is replete with slowly emerging narratives. In his intimate vignettes, the old world doesn't so much clash with the new as create a curious mash-up with it.
To view Lampton's work, which was on display at Carroll and Sons Art Gallery in Boston from February 23 to March 27, visit here.
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