11 August 2015 // Florine van Rees //Rotterdam
The pictures of Sergey Melnitchenko show us a world we haven't seen for ourself yet. His angles and subjects are just as intrueging as Sergey himself. We had the honor to speak with the Shanghai based Ukrainian artist.We've asked Sergey to pick his favorite pollaroids from China, the series we like the most. You can see his selection below.
Your work contains a strong feeling of rawness and uncomfortable reality, it that something you search for?
No, I’m not looking only for that in my works. I like to show the themes I’m interested in at that moment of time. That can be different moments in life and different styles of photography. Of course I have few themes that I like the most and which is always a pleasure for me to work with.
The polaroid’s you’ve made in China are really different that the work you’ve made in your hometown in Ukraine. Are the differences within countries and cultures the thing you want to capture?
That's actually exactly the case. It's quite strange for me to be honest. When I came here, the first mission for me as a photographer who works with people was to find Chinese people who are ready to work with me. It was because of two things that things went a bit differently than I planned them. First is that in the place where I live there are not a lot of young people who speak English and understand me. This makes it quite impossible to work with each other. The second thing is that I’m in China and I don’t want to make something like Chinese known famous photographers do. That’s why I am not in a hurry in making new people related work. I did only one shooting in Hong Kong with a male model, but now I’m pretty focussed, working with my “Polaroids from China”. When I bought here a Fujifilm Mini 8 Camera, which is like a Polaroid, I didn’t even thought that it would become so interesting for me to do something like street photography, capturing everything that is happening around you. I love this way of working at the moment and I’m really glad about that. This is the main thing for me; to do what I like. Also of course I see the differences between my country Ukraine and China, which makes it even more interesting to make these series here, where everything is new and fascinating to me.
What country would be the number one on your hitlist to visit for taking pictures and why?
I don’t have such country, really. I think that every new one will be very interesting for me to make something new. I’d like to visit Europe, USA and Canada some day.
What’s the best movie or documentary you’ve ever seen?
I can’t really say that I have one. I like mane of them, both movies and documentary films. Of course documentary films about art I like the most, they inspire me.
We think that, referring to your documentary photos, you should definitely record a documentary film in your hometown. Is this something you have in mind?
I don’t think that I can do something interesting in my hometown like a video, it would be more interesting for me to make it here in China, where I’m living now.
From whom would you like to receive a compliment about your work the most and why?
Hmmm…. I don’t know, really. If I see that people who are not connected or related with art love my work, I see that as the best compliment I can get.
What personal belonging do you always carry with you if you go travelling?
Headphones, laptop, mobile phone, electronic book and photo cameras of course.
What is your main goal in life, referring to your photography work? Of course to improve myself, to work as much as I can and to do more new better photographic projects.
Got interested? You can find more about Sergey Melnitchenko on his website: http://cargocollective.com/melnitchenko