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Post-Futurism (alternatively Postfuturism) is a term coined by Vivian Sobchack to describe certain science fiction films of the late 1970s and early 1980s,[1] a genre of science fiction,[citation needed] an artistic movement,[citation needed] and an architectural movement.[citation needed] In the past the term has been used as a synonym for Postmodernism.[2]

An international group of photographers in Hong Kong called 4corners [3] identify themselves as post-futurists. However the post-futurism in their photography has no relation to the post-futurism of Sobchack.[4] In 2010, the founder of the group, adopted the term because he wanted a term to describe the work that he and Mike Patterson were doing. He felt that post-modernism had failed in its avowed intention to challenge traditional power structures and had become entangled with political correctness to become a stifling orthodoxy in its own right. It seemed to that post-modernism had come to dominate the fine art photography scene in America to the extent of stifling everything else. In fact he and Patterson decided to leave the US and move to Hong Kong to escape both post-modernism and political correctness.In Hong Kong, and Patterson found two other photographers who they felt were kindred spirits. One was Australian, Mark Aldred the other was French, Clara Forest. Patterson and found that Aldred's Rorschach Walls[5] series and Forest's Micro Clicks series constituted what they considered as post-futurism, while still being distinct from each other and from both and Patterson's work. They were also happy to see that Aldred and Forrest and were doing well in their early phase of sales. Aldred in turn was so impressed by Patterson and that he persuaded local art promoter Sean Hocking to give them an joint exhibition only two weeks after their arrival in Hong Kong. Finally in November 2011, Patterson, Aldred and Forest formed the group and started planning a 4Corners exhibition to showcase their vision of post-futurism to collectors visiting the HKArtfair in May 2012. Later, Russian photographer and designer Polina Shubkina joined as an affiliate but did not formerly announce herself as a Post-futurist. Shubkina and Forest found each other's work to be compatible for a joint exhibition. They planned a joint show called Madness in The City for February 2012.[6] Finally ex-Yahoo internet analyst, Belinda Chu joined as the group's marketing consultant. So what does group really stand for himself doesn't like to articulate his position but his colleague Mark Aldred volunteered the following:

'We depart from Post-Modernists by insisting that authoriship is essential and that craft and beauty are at least as important as ideas, if not MORE so. When Duchamp exhibited a redimade urinal and the gallery accepted it, it was a great joke about how silly the gallery world was. But some ninety years later, when Jeff Koons exhibits redimades sourced by an assistant and Richard Prince sells a copy of another photographers work, made by an assistant and this stuff sells for huge sums, the joke is grotesque. Post-modernism is not subverting and destroying the gallery clique. It is just pandering to it [7] and thereby distracting attention and funds away from artists trying to make fresh, quality, art with their own hands. According to Barthes [8] punctatum is needed to make photographs art. But any punctatum in this kind of work is due to the blatant swindle going on. It's not a quality of the 'art' itself. Plenty of people are mightily offended by people like Koons and Prince it but so far these people have so far not been militiant enough to set fire to the galleries which exhibit them. The ordinary, intelligent layperson will just walk out, saying, 'I don't like modern (meaning contemporary) art. I could do that if I was part of the right clique.' Or maybe they look at something by Barbara Kruger, which is actually quite well crafted, but then (unless they are part of the choir Kruger is preaching to) get annoyed by having feminist agitprop shoved in their faces. So they walk out thinking that both feminism and contemporary art are stupid.

So you can see how Post modernism is turning many people against contemporary art in general. However it is so dominant in the gallery world that artists who don't follow the post-moderist game rarely even make it into the up-market galleries. Like, I admired the Italian Futurists of the (1906 to 1940) for constantly trying something new but was annoyed by the fact that they never perfected their images. We all rejected their link to fascism[9] just as we reject post-modernism's link to Political Correctness.[10] and The Culture of Complaint.[11] So why not Neo-Modernism? Our work owes compositional and palette debts to some modernist painters but ‘neo-modernism’ would be a tautology. Moreover photographic modernism mandated black and white prints and we all love working in colour. We also have something in common with Pictorialists of old. We all agree with their idea of ‘the hand of the artist’ but unlike them, we don't consciously try to make our photographs look like paintings and we don't insist on working in black and white. Again, we love vibrant colour and we want our work to last, I wouldn't want to be the person who paid one million for one of Richard Prince's C-Prints because it will fade in 15 years as C-prints do. I would rather buy some of Mapplethorpe's Dye Tranfer Prints they'll last a thousand years and I could get four of them for the price of a Richard Prince cowboy picture. So I guess you could say that we're trying to combine the hand craftedness of the pictorialists, the forms and palletes of abstract expressionist painting and the formalism of modernist photography and produce tings that will last. We hope that even in a thousand years, any intelligent layperson will be able to look at our work, understand it on some level and realize that there was a lot of effort and skill involved in making it, even if they don't actually like the piece. Somebody suggested we could be called post-post-modernists but as Clara Forest pointed out "it would be too long and frankly it sounds stupid." So for now we are all happy to be Post-Futurists. I think that over time, since other strands of Post-Futurism exist, we might eventually be referred to as the Hong Kong Post-Futurists. That's funny because we all come from somewhere else originally'[12]


  1. ^ Vivian Sobchack, Screening Space: The American Science Fiction Film, Rutgers University Press, 1997, p. 223. ISBN 0-8135-2492-X
  2. ^ Raymond Federman, Critifiction: Postmodern Essays, SUNY Press, 1993, p. 129. ISBN 0-7914-1679-8
  3. ^
  4. ^ Polina Shubinka, , 'What is Post-Futurism' Brink Volume 3 Issue 4, 2011, p. 41–43.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Chu, B, Ed 'Who Are The Artists'November 2011,
  7. ^ Burton, John, Why I hate Modern Art, republished in Chu B, and Cheung, A, Ed What's Wrong With Art: Brink Special Issue, Off The Edge Ltd, Hong Kong 2011, ISBN 978-988-98348-9-0
  8. ^ Barthes, R, 'Camera Lucida, Reflections on Photography,' Hill and Wang; Second Edition, 1982, ISBN 0-374-52134-4
  9. ^ ^ Berghaus, Günther, "New Research on Futurism and its Relations with the Fascist Regime", Journal of Contemporary History, 2007, Vol. 42, p. 152,
  10. ^ Beard, H and Cerf, R, The Official Politically Correct Dictionary Villard; Rev Upd Su edition, 1993,ISBN 0-679-74944-6
  11. ^ Hughes, Robert, 'Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America,' (Oxford American Lectures) 1993.
  12. ^ Mark Aldred, Thoughts on Post-Futurism 2011.