What do I know about the origins of my winter coat, Sheng-Wen Lo wondered. He decided to make his own down coat, free from animal cruelty, by manually collecting 3.000 goose feathers on the grounds in the parks, riverbanks, and forests near his house in Breda. After two months of collecting, cleaning, filling and sewing, the jacket was put to the ultimate test in the Arctic.
Lo wore his self-made down coat during his sailing expedition of The Arctic Circle Residency. He made 21 landings and glacier hikes wearing only this jacket and minimum base layers. His body condition was monitored with temperature sensors, a thermal camera and heart-rate sensors. Lo documented the whole process, from picking the first feather until the end of his trip, in his project ‘Down’ which he will be showing at BredaPhoto Festival. He will also show his projects MILK and TUNA.
With a critical but humorous eye, Lo shows us how technology turns animals into products. He is interested in contemporary human-animal relationships, and attempts to spark off debates. He thereby addresses our relationship with animals and poses a number of justified ethical questions. He produced the acclaimed series White Bear, about polar bears in captivity in various European and Chinese zoos, MELK about intensive dairy farming in the Netherlands, and TUNA about overfishing on tuna. He is not only showing still and moving images, but also sound clips and video games.
Sheng-Wen Lo was born in 1987, Taiwan, and is currently based in Breda, in the Netherlands. He received his MA in Photography from Kunstacademie St.Joost in the Netherlands, and MSc in Computer Science from the Computer Music Lab at National Taiwan University. He was artist-in-residence of The Arctic Circle, a sailing expedition in Svalbard during autumn 2017. Having also been working as a scientist, scientific values and methodologies are crucial to his works.
His recent work has been shown in EYE Filmmuseum and Fotofestival Naarden in The Netherlands, ICP Museum in New York, FORMAT Photo Festival in UK, Belfast Photo Festival in Northern Ireland, OrganVida Photo Festival in Croatia, and LianZhou Foto Festival in China. Sheng won portfolio reviews at FORMAT Photo Festival, OrganVida Photo Festival, and Young Art Taipei. His video series The March of the Great White Bear is nominated a Digital Storytelling Award for by World Press Photo.
For BredaPhoto Sheng-Wen Lo will create a series of vlogs in which he will give a look behind the scenes moving forward towards his exhibition during BredaPhoto. Below his vlogs, where Sheng introduces himself and tells a bit more about his Taiwanese background.