German photographer Martin Klimas created the series entitled Porcelain Figurines using a technique he has been known for. Just like his breaking flowers in the collection called Rapid Bloom recently featured, Porcelain Figurines also has its share of shattering taking place. It is a series that shows porcelain figurines just at the precise moment when they are breaking apart into countless tiny pieces.
To generate the images, Klimas dropped each porcelain piece from a height of nine feet and photographed them at the instant of smashing. Klimas used a special sound-triggered camera to make sure of the crucial timing required. The result: biting images of disquieting beauty, sculptures made visible temporarily to the human eye, only to be destroyed instantly as high-speed photography technology captures the split second action. You can almost believe that the porcelain warriors in these pictures are actually alive, as their bodies come apart as they make impact. The shattering motion paradoxically brings the lifeless figures to life.
Klimas refers to these as ‘temporary sculptures’. It takes innumerable attempts and he only uses one choice photograph per figurine. He is constantly looking for the one shot that best shows a transformation of the figurine into a different form. Klimas once said in an interview, “The hardest part of my work is to smash so many figurines until I find one that truly is showing me something new. I am in that sense a sculptor, but I have only a 5000th of a second to build my sculpture.”
Klimas was born in 1971 in Lake of Konstanz, Germany. He earned his degree in Visual Communications from Fachhochschule Dusseldorf and has had numerous exhibitions in Germany and abroad. He is represented by Foley Gallery in New York and Bransch for commercial assignments.
I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.