BABY PICTURES

A New Way To Capture Your Baby’s Essence

Portland, OR December 16th, 17th and 18th, 2018

Corvalis, OR January 6th, 7th and 8th, 2019

 

Available sessions are limited. Click below to reserve yours.

 
 Baby Clyde (11 weeks old) 37” x 25” handmade white Kozo (Mulberry) paper, unframed

Baby Clyde (11 weeks old) 37” x 25” handmade white Kozo (Mulberry) paper, unframed

WE ARE HERE TO MAKE A MARK

Our souls enter this life with a purpose, and upon entry we make an impression. We all make marks on the world before we’re conscious of doing so.

The body itself is a mark-making tool. Young children intuitively recognize this.

When my son Clyde was born, I wanted to make art with him.

I wanted to make visible the invisible, unknown and unseen parts of his felt experience. What ways is he impressing upon the world that I couldn’t see?

I began to observe him, and to try to feel my way into his world. Which meant coming down to his level.

 Baby Clyde (16 weeks old) 37” x 25” handmade white Kozo (Mulberry) paper, unframed

Baby Clyde (16 weeks old) 37” x 25” handmade white Kozo (Mulberry) paper, unframed


GETTING GROUNDED


If not in arms, being a baby is all about being horizontal—being on the floor. The ground plane is where babies explore, play and orient their bodies to the physical world. Here they experience gravity. No longer floating in mother’s womb, here they develop the sensation of being grounded, and the understanding that they are inhabiting an independent physical body with weight and mass.

It is important for babies to spend time in the prone position—also known as tummy time—so they can develop the balance, coordination, and musculature needed to lift their head, to roll over, to sit up, and eventually to crawl.

 Baby Clyde (20 weeks old) 37” x 25” handmade white Kozo (Mulberry) paper, unframed

Baby Clyde (20 weeks old) 37” x 25” handmade white Kozo (Mulberry) paper, unframed

AN IMPRINTING PROCESS

I invented a method to visualize Clyde’s physical experience of groundedness. I designed a monotype printmaking system that enabled him to make drawings using the pressure of his body that registered his movement on the ground. He became a human printing press

It started as a unique way of making art with him, but what emerged was a sacred space of honoring our bond as father and son. The care and attention we brought to the visible printmaking process became an outward expression of our love being invisibly imprinted upon one another throughout.

We began when Clyde was 11 weeks old, and continued until he was 10 months old, when he gained the independence and the agency to crawl his way off the paper and out of the project. In the end he created over 70 prints.

 Baby Clyde (28 weeks old) 37” x 25” handmade white Kozo (Mulberry) paper, unframed

Baby Clyde (28 weeks old) 37” x 25” handmade white Kozo (Mulberry) paper, unframed

BABY’S FIRST DRAWING

Unlike conventional baby pictures, these images record the marks your baby naturally makes, visualizing the invisible energies that surround and support this new life. They express your baby’s physical presence and mark a fleeting moment in your child’s growth.

While the marks map your baby’s specific movements in time and space, they also hold an ambiguity that reflects all the mysteries that are to unfold for this new life.

These artworks are time-sensitive collaborations between baby, caregivers, and myself. If your baby is a pre-crawler in his or her tummy time phase, this is a special opportunity for you to collaborate on your baby’s first drawing.

Special Invitation for Corvalis: I will be hosting Baby Pictures as part of a new art exhibition at Fairbanks Gallery at Oregon State University during the month of February, 2019, and would love to showcase your baby’s first artwork as part of the exhibition.

Each print is $300 and is done in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Each session requires an approximately 75-minute block of time, and spaces are limited.

If you’re excited to experience making a truly unique Baby Picture with your pre-crawling infant, click below to schedule your session.

 
Being a parent is full of so many beautiful and fleeting moments. You try hard to hold on to each second— but ultimately, like all things, the moments pass and you forget— just how tiny they were— the sound of their little coos— the gentle exploration of each movement as they master skills and grow stronger. Making a baby picture with Michael was the perfect way to capture our son’s energy and movement as he began his journey towards crawling. In reflection I think it’s also such a great metaphor for the experience of parenting at this age. The experience is dictated by the child, their interest, their energy level, their curiosity and desire to move around. The imprint we get is entirely up to chance. Our expectations and desires for a specific final product are met with a process entirely out of our control. And the results are beautiful beyond our hopes.

Michael sets a safe and comfortable environment for parents and child, and has an incredible way of bringing everyone into the moment to experience the brief process unfold with no prescribed outcome. We were all perfectly present for that moment of just being attuned to the baby’s relationship to his body and the paper. This moment, gratefully, will be one we can hold on to and enjoy for years to come.

Thank you Michael!
— Amy and Micah, San Francisco CA
This experience continues to grow in significance as she gets older, and we can look back on her tiny finger and hand prints and imagine how she moved so slowly and purposefully at that point in her life! The way it was created, physically and by her, allows us to access our memories of her through our own bodies, senses and lived experiences in a way that a purely visual photograph never could. It feels like a more holistic understanding of what her baby-ness, and our lives, were like at that time.
— Sarah and John, Minneapolis MN
This was a wonderful experience. We have a unique snapshot of our baby’s development that was unlike any of the thousands of photos on our phones - a beautiful piece of art and a great memory. We also enjoyed watching and learning about the process as Michael prepared the materials. Thanks Michael!
— Liz and Bart, Boulder CO
The Baby Picture experience was a wonderfully unique way to mark this stage of our baby’s life. When we look at the print we reconnect with how our son was in the world at that time; the marks evoke just how he kicked and wriggled. Children’s physicality changes so quickly especially at the beginning, and the Baby Picture is a sweet conduit back to this time. It was so nice to have something different to do for our third baby, It was also so interesting speaking with Michael about his art and being able to witness the process.
— Raissa and Brian, San Francisco CA

Please reach out with any questions to michael@michaelnamkung.com