Photo London 2022

Messums London presented Laura El Tantawy (UK/ Egypt), Nii Obodoi (Ghana) and Yan Wang Preston (UK/ China) at Photo London 2022.

The photographers work with landscape to expand its narratives, uncover its spirit and of its people. Stemming from a personal connection to the land they document, often the poetic and political merge, that become new ways of reading history.

In the Shadow of the Pyramids by Laura El Tantawy is a first-person account exploring memory and identity. With images spanning 2005 to 2014, what began as a look in the mirror to understand the essence of her Egyptian identity expanded into an exploration of the trials and tribulations of a troubled nation. The result is dark, sentimental and passionate.

Created in Mozambique, Nii Obodoi’s most recent project Paradox of Paradise explores the environment as a living and mythological space bound by oral and historical stories, as well as narratives of self-determination. The natural environments photographed hold conflicted stories, shaped by colonial and post-independent histories and, at the same time, informed by the custodians of cultural and spiritual heritage.

Prompted by her discovery of the practice of unearthing ancient trees from villages to transplant into newly built cities, Yan Wang Preston spent eight years (2010-2017) investigating the politics of recreating forests and the ‘natural’ environment in new Chinese cities. Her observations developed into Forest, an award winning body of work that highlights the attempts and failures of recreating nature for urban consumption at a scale that is unsettling.



Laura El-Tantawy

[ 1980
- Present ]
Laura El-Tantawy is an award-winning British/Egyptian documentary photographer, artful bookmaker & mentor. Born in Ronskwood in Worcestershire, UK, she studied in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the US & UK. Living between East and West for much of her life inspires her work, which contemplates notions of home & belonging through exploring social & environmental issues pertinent to her background.

Yan Wang Preston

[ 1976
- Present ]
Recognised for her expert ability to excavate the humanity at the heart of landscapes, Yan Wang Preston (b. 1976, Henan Province, China) has created numerous acclaimed series which explore the mercurial relationship between people and place.

Nii Obodai

- Present ]
Nii Obodai is based in Accra, Ghana and Maputo, Mozambique. He works with photography, audio, and text and is particularly interested in photography as a medium for recording and celebrating the unseen and the everyday in Africa.

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