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Bloom (noun): the state or time of flowering; a mass of planktonic algae in lakes, ponds, or the sea, as in the development of red tides.


An algae bloom is a surreal phenomena which sees a flourishing of beautifully saturated and unnatural colours, fuse with its host surroundings. This phenomena occurs primarily in aquatic ecosystems, where changes to the environment, causing an excess of nutrients (like nitrogen and phosphorus), lead to a rapid increase and accumulation of algae.

This phenomena can occur naturally, or be triggered by human interference.

Bloomscapes repositions the familiar with the surreal. The elevated infrastructures of the modern metropolis are submerged in a vast sea. A bloom of fluorescent pink sea weed entangles pylons at a pier. An underwater forest flourishes on the ocean floor. Finally, Shanghai is transformed into a contemporary Atlantis; a stage for liquid dreams. 



This series was photographed during a visit by the Babekuhl’s Billy Ryan to Shanghai in September 2019. Ryan commentedsays; “eEvery direction I pointed my lens, the view port was filled with a curious blend of engineered repetition and natural chaos. Hard angular concrete juxtaposed with the softness and colour of both the wild undergrowth and billowing clouds. The landscape was radiating beautifully in infrared light.”

These photographs were taken with a specialised camera in a near infrared bandwidth around 590 nanometers. A photographic technology with its roots in the US military, it captures light beyond the visible spectrum where human eyes cannot see.


November 13-25, 2020

Babekuhl Gallery: 110A Oxford St, Darlinghurst, Sydney