Gonçalo Lobo Pinheiro, LABASAD alumni, has presented a photobook in which he reflects on the passage of time in Macau, the city where he has lived for more than 12 years. Gonçalo passed through LABASAD during 2021, studying the Máster Online en Nueva Fotografía Documental directed by Toni Amengual. Despite being born in Portugal and living in Macau, Gonçalo had no hesitation in choosing LABASAD to study remotely. “As I was closed in Macau during the Covid-19 pandemic, it had to be online and, as in Portugal there was no possibility with my mother tongue […] I opted for LABASAD, not only because of the attractive curriculum, but also because of the work of the master’s professors,” declares the photojournalist.
The Máster Online en Nueva Fotografía Documental helped him see the world in a different way. “I’m a photojournalist, so I can’t be too artistic in my daily work. However, the documentary component taught in the master’s degree gave me even more background to rediscover and renew the reality around me” he says. LABASAD was “undoubtedly a great bet and I learned a lot, not only with the teachers, but also with my classmates”.
Throughout 2021, Gonçalo undertook the search for old photographs of Macau, all of them taken in black and white, between 1930 and 1990. His intention was to be able to tell the story of the passage of time in the Chinese city in a more graphic and at the same time different way. To do so, the Portuguese photographer selects a photo of present-day Macau, and with his own fingers, adds the old photo in the exact place where it corresponds and makes evident what that place was. With the photographs, Gonçalo manages to contrast the past with the present of a society that developed relatively late, but has done so by leaps and bounds. Gonçalo always plays with location and photography and admits that the priority “has always been photography” to then locate the place.
The photobook already presents us in its title his nostalgic look at the past: “O que foi, não volta a ser…” which in English translates as: “What was, and will not be again…” “I imagined photographs taken 70 or 80 years ago. And now, what to do with them? If, on the one hand, it is still possible to recreate some scenarios, on the other hand, it is impossible to get points of contact in other photographs, because things simply no longer exist in the territory. Everything has changed. That’s why, in the vast majority of cases, what never was comes back,” Gonçalo emphasizes about his work.
As the photojournalist explains, the type of photographic language he applied to the project is not new, however, it is a formula applied for the first time to Macau, which gives it a certain freshness. Gonçalo’s work has also been presented in an exhibition at the Rui Cunha Foundation Gallery in the city of Macau, located in southeastern China. The exhibition brings together some of the photographs from his book in which the contrast that the passage of time has provoked is represented.
As we mentioned before, Gonçalo Lobo Pinheiro studied the Máster Online en Nueva Fotografía Documental, ideal for those photography professionals who want to gain visual strength in their projects. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to learn from great professionals how to give visibility to your projects or, like Gonçalo, develop your own photobooks or exhibitions.