[ BOOK LIVES ] Central Park by Bruce Davidson

My first encounter with the works of Bruce Davidson was his book Subway, and then I found out about East 100 Street. Both left very deep impression and influenced my approach to working on projects.

If you look at East 100 Street, you can’t help but to think: Such a simple idea and so powerful. Just imagine walking up and down the same street a few hundred times until you know everyone and everyone knows you.

In many ways, Central Park, though more ‘romantic’ and seemingly easier, is another good example of Davidson’s obsession and his willingness to just follow through.

I remember rushing out to get this book because I happen to love the park very much and wanted to know how a seasoned hand who lives in the same city can photograph a place over and over again.

The people Davidson wants you to meet in his books somehow always stretch the normal limits. You know after all these years, he is still very concerned about the marginalized people. There is something special in everyone, in his eyes. Nobody is unworthy of his frame.

I now live 3 minutes from Ang Mo Kio Bishan Park which I have been joking about it being changed to Central Park. It is after all right in the middle of Singapore. I cycle there 4-5 times a week and don’t be surprised if I were to start a project photographing the park.

But I know it is going to be tough to achieve anything any where near what Davidson had done.


Central Park
by Bruce Davidson
ISBN 0-89381-625-6