Allan King, Managing Director of Photo Vision Co.,Ltd. based in Calgary, Alberta , uses photography to explore nature's light forms and issues of man and his environment, culture,religion, and the world he creates and changes. Born in 1948 in Calgary, Alberta in close proximity to some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the world, his work has been influenced not only by his environment but also by his desire to become a research engineer. Graduating from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry ,soon to be followed by a Master's and Ph.D. in Mining Engineering, Allan worked as an engineer for almost twelve years before settling down to pursue the work he loved the most, to craft fine images in black and white in the tradition and style of the old masters. Yet his engineering and chemical background was always an influence in his work and way of seeing, his technique,and his understanding of the processes which control the medium in which he chose to devote the better part of his professional career. Allan's approach to documenting man and his environment always begins with a idea, which then evolves into a concept for a theme to build a photographic essay. The images are in the first instant created in the mind and in the heart - the true eyes of the camera. These visions are next captured on film ,and then in the darkroom are produced,edited and studied for their ability to weave the theme together and tap into the emotional well of the viewer.
These images then transport the viewer on his own emotional journey, often evoking questions about the role of man in his environment,the meeting of the two and how this meeting invariably changes both. For the bulk of his 25 year professional career in photography, Allan has photographed man and his environment around the world, and nowhere was this more successful than in Asia, Tibet ,India and the Middle East. It was here that photographs of China, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the customs and festivals of Thailand, the temples of Burma and the mountain peoples of Laos formed the foundations for what became well received and highly acclaimed exhibitions. These in turn lead to Allan photographing notable personages of these regions, including producing portraits of Their Majesties The King and Queen of Thailand, and His Holiness The Dalai Lama of Tibet. It was in Asia where Allan defined portraiture is the ability to capture in a single instant on film the essence of all that composes that person, and translating that entire experience into a multi-dimensional image on paper by painting with silver, platinum and palladium. And it was in Asia where he found the greatest joy in producing portraits of ordinary human beings, and revealing the greatness of their heart, mind and spirit as they live out their lives in their environment,homes and workplace. For the last 25 years Allan has devoted himself to the art of photography and the craft of printmaking through a continual immersion in the medium, by practising the art of seeing, by honing one's skill's in printmaking,.and by never losing familiarity with the tools used to create distinctive images. Allan sets for himself rigorous self assignments designed to push the horizons of his imagination and creativity, because the mind must never fall victim to complacency or self-satisfaction.
Allan's personal favourite destinations are the Tibetan Himalayas and the Canadian Rockies. He has made six photographic expeditions to all parts of Tibet since 1985, and has accumulated an extensive Tibetan photo bank in all formats. His landscapes of the Western Canadian Rockies form the basis of extensive portfolios in platinum, selected works of which are represented in collections in Canada, United States and Europe . They have also been displayed in solo exhibitions and juried shows in Canada and Europe.For the last 12 years Allan has been photographing primarily with large format view cameras of all sizes ranging from 4X5 up to 12X20 - his favourite.Allan displays and promotes his images in exhibitions around the world, his workshops and through his company Photo Vision Co.,Ltd.
BSc (Chemistry) University of Calgary,Calgary, Alberta November 9, 1973MSc (Eng)Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario, October 30, 1976PhD (Eng) Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario, May 25, 1979Grants: Alberta Foundation For The Arts Grant,The Art of Perception- Alberta’s Heritage In Platinum: December 2003
•Travel Alberta 2002 Travel Planner, Cover Photograph (Spirit Island, Jasper National Park AB.•Canada; Actualite; Sept 2001: In Tibet - A Quest•Switzerland; Ringier S. AR: October 1998: Phuket•North Carolina; May 1997 Thai Puppeteer Joe Louis•Brazil; Block Editore: December 1996; In Tibet - A Quest•USA; TIME Magazine: September 1995: The Opium Fields of Thailand•Thailand; Caravan: September 1994: A Day In The Life Of HH The XI Dali Lama•France: Grands Report: June 1994: Tibet•Denmark; Nordfoto: December 1995 In Tibet - A Quest•England; Premier Magazine: January 1996: Thailand’s Longest Reign Celebration•England; Cosmopolitan: February 1996: Traditional Thai Ceremony•Sweden; Borforlaget: July 1996: Loy Krathong Water Festival•France; Madam Figaro: April 1996: Roi Bhumibol•India; Cho Yang: February 1992: Pilgrams at Mt. Kailash, Tibet
•India; Kasturi: January 1991: Thailande •Germany; Frau Mit Herz: April 1991: King of Thailand Sailing At Hua Hin•Denmark; Express: July 1991: Water Buffalo Races•England: TV Quick: August 1991: Giant Catfish of the Mekong•Thailand: The King of Thailand in World Focus; Foreign Correspondence Club Of Thailand; 1988
•Bangkok, Thailand; Twilight At Angkor: November 1991•Bangkok, Thailand: Canadian Wilderness Images: April 1997•Banff Alberta, Whyte Museum: Platinum Images of Tibet; October 12, 2001- January 16, 2002•Edmonton, AB, McMullin Gallery: Places Of Spirit- Images in Platinum: August 26-October 21, 2002•Calgary, AB, Paul Khun Gallery: Allan W. King: Selected Works In Platinum: Sept 14-Oct 4, 2002•Banff AB, Banff Centre: Mountain Peoples Of South East Asia- Images In Platinum: Nov 24, 2002-April 14, 2003•Calgary AB, Devonian Gardens Gallery: The Art Of PerceptionLandscapes in Platinum: Oct 1- 30, 2003•Calgary AB, Collins Barrow: Selected Workd In Platinum & Silver : November 8-28, 2003•Calgary AB, Sun Life Plaza: Platinum Landscapes Of Western Canada & South West USA: Jan 9-Feb 29 2004•Edmonton AB, Visual Arts Association Of Alberta Gallery: Platinum Perceptions: May 6- June 12, 2004
"As part of Alberta's 2005 Centennial Celebrations,The Edmonton Art Gallery held a Travelling Exhibition (TREX) of Allan King's 12X20 platinum works along with 5 other photographers. Entitled "Camera In Hand", this exhibition travelled throughout Alberta until September, 2007. Timeless Beauty Of Platinum Photography - Selected works of large 12X20 platinum prints by Canadian photographer Allan King were displayed from November 3,2006 until January 18,2007 in the 88 foot long Orientation Gallery of the Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton, Alberta. While primarily a photographer of Canadian Rocky Mountain landscapes,some of Allan's architectural work was also displayed, including images which were produced from 2003 to 2005 while working on a project documenting Alberta's cultural and historical heritage made possible through a grant from the Alberta Foundation For The Arts. For Allan King,like other platinum printers such as Irving Penn and Dick Arentz, the long tonal range and golden gradation of the platinum print is like putting another dozen keys on the piano while allowing one to strike all the notes with greater nuance." All of Allan King's platinum work is made with camera original negatives."
•Alberta Foundation For The Arts, Edmonton AB; April 2001: 3 12”x20” Platinum Prints (Landscapes of SW US)•Post Hotel, Lake Louise AB; December 2002: 8 12x20” Platinum Prints (Landscapes Of The Canadian Rockies)•Alberta Foundation For The Arts, Edmonton AB; October 2003; 1 12”x 20” Platinum Print (Goess Brewery, Leoben, Austria)