LIBERTY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INALIENABLE RIGHT OF MAN AFTER LIFE ITSELF. SO SAID THE FATHERS OF THE AMERICAN NATION WHEN THEY FRAMED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. SO FELT PATRICK HENRY WHEN HE UTTERED HIS FAMOUS PHRASE “GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH”. LIBERTY FULFILLS LIFE. THERE IS NOT ALWAYS PERFECT LIBERTY, WHERE ALL FREEDOMS EXISTS, BUT PERHAPS THERE CAN BE A LIBERTY OF SPIRIT THAT ENABLES US TO TRANSCEND EXTERNAL LIMITATIONS.
As Shakespeare said through Cassius in Julius Caesar: No stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, can be retentive to the strength of spirit. While conditions imposed on us might be less than ideal, they cannot reach or restrain the spirit within. This is what Marcus Mok’s Liberate is all about. Revealing ourselves the things that constrain ourselves, showing how we can be unshackled from them, empowering people to rise above petty and not so petty limitations, and maybe, like Milk, Mandela and more, start to tear down the stony towers and melt the brazen walls.
Markus Mok loves the male human body. Or more specifically, a defined, developed, pumped muscularity. Often his figures are photographed from an oblique angle so pictorially it resembles a landscape or at least some flesh formation that somehow has grown out of its setting, been lodged there, or cast there. Of course we are dealing with attractive, naked bodies, and an undercurrent of sexuality seethes beneath this cool formality. Fecundity simmers. Flowers push upwards from the groin bursting into bloom, a forehead sprouts horns. Cloth is a recurring prop. At times it suggests a restraining bondage, or a veil of mystery, and at other times the cloth is thrown in the air as a billowing gesture of freedom. The same can be said of shadows, they clothe the body in seductive pattern, yet at other times they imprison the body as if by bars.
Marcus Mok is a self taught photographer, but that doesn’t make him less appreciated by those who love fine art photography. On the contrary. Marcus’ work has been acquired by the Singapore Art Museum, the Kinsey Institute in America and various other valuable private collections around the world. Having been a model and actor himself, Marcus knows how to relax people and get the best from each session. Liberate is the first book by Marcus Mok and holds a large set of sensuous male photographs inspired by the theme of freedom, peppered with divers quotes about liberation. The portraits represent a decade of work and thus this can be seen as not only an opus of liberation, but also as Marcus’ own quest in finding an expression through photography of his own artistry, beauty and his love of the male form.
Liberate by Marcus Mok was launched first in Singapore in June 3 this year, but will soon see launch events in Europe and the rest of the world. For purchasing Liberate as well as for more information about Marcus Mok and his fantastic book, we can refer you to his website marcusart.net or his microsite theliberateproject.com.