Michael Kai / The World Is Yours / October 17 – November 03 2012
Michael Kai is a Melbourne-based photographer. Born in Frankfurt Oder, Germany, Michael spent two
years as a documentary photographer in post-war Kosovo before pursuing further studies in Germany and
Australia. Since 2005, Michael has worked primarily as a commercial photographer. His distinctive style
incorporates a striking balance of colour, a clean, graphic approach to composition and the use of negative
space to frame clear focal points, creating images that are both simple and visually arresting.
Commissioned photography is photography designed for a specific purpose, usually to tell or to sell us
something. Consequently, its visual language tends toward familiar, unambiguous imagery; blue skies,
smiling faces, busy city streets. By contrast, The World is Yours explores the unplanned, the
unconventional and the unexpected. Captured over a period of ten years of work and travel, the images in
this collection combine the characteristic precision, clean lines and bold colours of Michael’s professional
work with an offbeat, quirky sensibility and the spontaneity of documentary photography.
In an echo of René Magritte’s “L’Idée fixe” (1928), the images are framed and presented in groups of four.
Skylines, landscapes, humans and animals, the commonplace and the surreal sit comfortably side by side,
their proximity and common threads of colour suggesting an additional layer of meaning. In this way, The
World is Yours presents a series of spontaneously captured, visually engaging images and leaves the rest as
a riddle. The viewer is invited to explore photographs rather than interpret them, to uncover their stories and
shared themes, and to take a fresh perspective on the everyday.
Download the room sheet here.