Neal Oshima first began his experimentation with hand-coated photographic emulsions while in graduate school at San Francisco State University and UCLA in the late seventies. The technique involved concocting and reformulating processes that had been popular in the early days of photography but had fallen out of use with the advent of modern photographic papers. The initial impetus to explore these alternative processes was to escape the visual and aesthetic confines of the ubiquitous silver gelatin print. Several workshops, numerous exhibits and two decades of work later, the artist remains fascinated by these processes.
The current body of work consists of photograms, camera-less unique prints, that are made by the passage of light through the translucent garments themselves. Hannemeuhle etching paper is photo-sensitized by meticulously brush-coating liquid emulsions that the artist mixes. By exposing the material under a point source of light, the shadow of the garment is rendered on the paper which is fixed and made permanent. This processes recalls the earliest days of the photographic medium.
These prints were made between 1998 and the present. Some of the works were shown at the Sepia International in New York City, May 13 to July 31, 1999. This is the first time the prints have been shown in the Philippines. On March 9-28, 2002, he had an exhibition of photograms at The Luz Gallery, Makati City, Philippines.