Walking East is a photographic sound portrait of my travels through the North Western provinces of India, the Himalayas of Nepal and the Island of Papua New Guinea. I set out to explore, through the people I met, the way in which my photographs and sound recordings could magnify a sense of time and place.
I began the project in January 1999, covering 50,000 miles through the vast contrasting landscapes over the next year. I found myself trekking for days before I would reach a remote village, a western desert or a dense jungle. While camping with families and tribes along the way, I was able to take in the full scope of their daily lives. The presence of community, hardship, joy and survival are universal.
It is my objective to give the viewer/listener the sense of being there by offering sounds of these places and people along with my photographs.
Huw Davis Gallery
Walking East -Solo
Introduction by David Chalker
Gino Zardo’s career trajectory is unusual in a number of respects. Taking an all or nothing approach the 22 year old Zardo, not content with steadily carving out a career in Australia, decade in the commercial world of fashion and celebrity photography he took time out for personal work on a long journey through India, Nepal and Papua New Guinea on the cusp of the new millennium. A further decade later, after his return to Australia and a new base in Canberra, Zardo is embarking on his first solo exhibition in the Huw Davies Gallery at PhotoAccess.
Walking East has had a number of iterations, first as the title of a successful CD and picture booklet released on the US Alluvial Recordings label in 2005. The CD and booklet were based on sound recordings and images made on Zardo’s 1999 journey. Walking East now becomes the title of an exhibition of images and, further, a photographic sound portrait on DVD shown here for the first time. Zardo’s considerable personal investment in that long trek has given him plenty of scope for invention and reinvention.
Writing for The New York Times in its 8 October 2009 issue, Andy Grundberg said in his obituary for the legendary Irving Penn, who died the previous day aged 92: ‘Probably most famous for photographing fashion models and cultural figures, he seemed equally at home photographing Peruvian peasants or bunion pads’. Perhaps Penn’s creative dexterity, his moves into and out of the commercial world, and his wide ranging photographic interests will provide a template for Gino Zardo’s further career.
As Grundberg further writes, Penn’s ‘… models and portrait subjects were never seen leaping or running or turning themselves into blurs. Even the rough-and-ready members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club, photographed in San Francisco in 1967, were transformed into the graphic equivalent of a Greek frieze.’ Conversely, Gino Zardo’s images have the wonderful spontaneity of the streets, roads and landscapes in which they were made. There is plenty of movement and blurring, an authentic evocation of the lives, the dust, the sweat and tears of the people and events he represents in these images. But there is also beautiful quietude and self assurance in his subjects, presented for their humanity rather than for any ethnographic intention.
We are delighted to give Gino Zardo this opportunity for his first solo exhibition. Visitors to the Huw Davies Gallery will enjoy his beautiful wall images and the colours and sounds of the Walking East DVD showing in the Multimedia Room.
American Photo Magazine USA–“CENTURY 21” THE NEXT GENERATION
Up and coming photographer, JULY/AUGUST, 1995
Figuring out who the new stars of an art form are is a relatively simple matter. You look around at magazines and galleries, listen to industry buzz, and make some logical assumptions. Putting your finger on the stars of the future-the art-world darlings and hot commercial photographers of the 21st Century- is harder because these are young visionaries few people have heard of. There is a solution, when the art under consideration is photography, which has traditionally trained its craftsman through an apprenticeship system.
For this special issue we decided to gaze into photography’s future by looking at the work and lives of ten young people who are either currently assisting professional photographers or have done so recently. We found them is a talent search in which we asked more than 100 established professionals to nominate assistants who’ve worked for them and shown the potential to achieve great things. The winners range in age from the mid-20’s to late 30’s, from backgrounds in
Europe, Texas, Australia, and points in between. Some are still assisting; others have already struck out on their own. In one way or another, however, they’ve already begun their climb to the top. Write down their names. You’ll undoubtedly be hearing more about them soon.
Gino Zardo-suggested by Sante D’Orazio
Even though Gino Zardo discovered photography at the age of 16, his career has hardly taken a straight and narrow path. Originally “from a small country town” In Australia, Zardo, now 26, tried on piethora of job titles after high school, including hospital dietitian and pilot. “When you’re 18 you don’t know what you want to do,” says Zardo, laughing, “but you think you can do everything. You name it, and I was giving it a go.” Eventually, he realized that photography was his true love and moved to Sydney, where he assisted an advertising and still-life photographer.
When that job and other opportunities dried up Down Under, the aspiring photographer decided to try his luck in America. Originally headed for New York, he turned a short stopover in L.A. into a semi-permanent stay. There he worked for the likes of Neil Preston, Annie Leibovitz, Michael Comte and Wayne Maser. “My fist editorial job assisting was for Wayne Maser, who was shooting for vogue,” recalls Zardo, “so it wasn’t a bad scene.” But New York still beckoned. “ I knew that I wanted to do fashion at that time.” He says, “and I knew that New York was the place to be.”
After arriving in New York via a cross-country motorcycle trip, Zardo began furiously networking. He was hired by Sante D’Orazio and became his first assistant for a year. “The whole experience was great,” says Zardo. “Working with Sante made me much more confident photographer.”
Zardo made a return trip to Australia at the beginning of this year to visit family and work on his own photography. He ended up getting some fashion pictures published in Mode, an Australian fashion magazine, and some underwater nudes in a publication called Black + White. Despite the success, Zardo recently returned to New York-even though it meant assisting again. “The beach weather in Australia wasn’t that great anyway.”
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Photographic Portrait Prize 2017, Finalist
Huw Davis Gallery
Walking East -Solo
SOHO Photo Gallery, New York
Annual Group Invitation Exhibition
Mary Gerhart Gallery, New York