Between Fire and Ice
“Between Fire and Ice” is an ongoing photographic entry around the subject of wildfires within the forefront of climate change. Fire, to me, is alive and shares a deep relationship with our universal family. After the most destructive wildfire in the history of California in 2018, I began photographing fire-dependent ecosystems across the United States. This series of photographs is a representation of a dialogue between the cycle of destruction and creation of pyrogenic ecosystems against a holocenic understanding of natural order. When the universe is cyclical and regenerative, is it impermanence that we’re conjuring through our anthropocentric concerns?
I use the name Chris Manfield as an adaptation from the name my grandfather and father gave me. I was named Chen Shi Tian after “Shi – scholar” and “Tian – rice field” by my grandfather. My father registered my legal given name as Christian Tan (Adi) due to the political climate in Indonesia when I was born, in Bandung, Jawa Barat on July 7th of 1994. After graduating with my BFA from SFAI in 2018, where I taught an alternative process photography workshop, worked as a teaching assistant, and a darkroom monitor, I started working for the International Center of Photography until 2019. I decided to come back to SFAI to get my MFA and pursue a teaching career in higher education. I continue to engage the community through my participation in art, education, and environmental activism. In 2020, SFAI recognized my work with the John Collier Award, which is dedicated to photographers whose work addresses issues of anthropological and social significance. I work as an artist, tutor, fine art photography contractor, and I taught an alternative photography workshop at SFAI. Besides continuing my art practice, I also want to teach at a higher-level education art institution and strive to be a good father for my children.