(Australia 1949 – )
28.4 x 28.4 cm image; 37.2 x 30.2 cm sheet
Max Pam has documented the world more widely than most, with an extensive body of travel photographs spanning Europe, Asia and Australia. Pam was born in Melbourne in 1949 but was eager to escape the 'bland homogenous society' of Australian suburbia, heading to London in 1970 and beginning his career as a photographer. Pam declares; 'travel is critical to my creative development. It's part of the visual stimulation of a new environment and way I react to it and the way I can see images clearly.' His iconic black and white images of Asia are unusual in avoiding the exuberance and exotic associated with colour. Landscape is never dominant; it is the people of Asia that Pam primarily photographs, and like his work, these people display a sense of play and boundless diversity that even tight poses cannot contain. In contrast, his European and Australian photographs suggest a greater concern with abstraction and the surreal.
Sandra Byron and Isobel Crombie, Twenty contemporary Australian photographers - from the Hallmark Cards Australian Photographic Collection, Melbourne, 1990, 45 (illus.).