New Straits Times, 20 February 2009
CATCH: “Animated” photos
by Dennis Chua

One of Macku’s photographs.

One of Macku’s photographs.

CZECH photographer Michal Macku creates works of art using a photographic technique he calls “gellage”.
A process that has assured his fame in the history of contemporary photography, gellage results from transferring exposed and fixed photographic emulsion onto paper.

The transparent plastic material makes it possible to manipulate original images, imbuing them with new meanings in the process.

Macku’s gellage works are on display at his exhibition in Wei-Ling Gallery, Jalan Scott, off Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Kuala Lumpur from April 6 to 30.

Macku began to shoot photographs in 1978. He graduated from the Technological Faculty of the Polytechnic Institute in Brno, Czech Republic, and the Institute of Art Photography in Prague.
After doing research for a while, he taught at the republic’s Pedagogical Faculty of Palacky University in Olomouc.

Macku has been a full-time artist since 1992. He continues to explore and research the endless possibilities in photography.

“I am always seeking new means of expression and, step-by-step, I am discovering almost unlimited possibilities through my work with gelatine.

“For me, photographs define reality captured in time.

“The technique of gellage is similar to that of cartoon animation, but it’s not a trick,” he said.

He added that it was important for him to be aware of the “history” of a photo.

“My work places pictures in new contexts, causing their ‘authentic’ reality to become relative.

“I am often surprised by the new connections I find in it. I start out with a goal, but the outcome is often very different.

“One creates to communicate what cannot be expressed in any other way. Then comes the need to describe, to define.”

Wei-Ling Gallery is open from noon to 7pm, Mondays to Fridays and 10am to 5pm on Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays and public holidays.

The gallery can be contacted at 03-2260-1106/2260-1107 or 012-302-5302.