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A collection of abstract images by Michael Haggiag


 “His dizziness increased; he fixed his gaze like a child upon a yellow butterfly that it wants to catch, on the precious patch of wall”.

                                                                                                                -Marcel Proust-

The novelist Bergotte, protagonist of Proust’s  A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, spies a tiny patch of yellow wall in Vermeer’s View of Delft. His greatest desire is for his writing to be as lively as this elusive patch of wall.

Michael Haggiag’s open-hearted gaze on different surfaces catches the sense of aliveness that Bergotte seeks. There are endless moments of rhapsody in his photographs, revealing every day beauty that we might otherwise never notice or focus on.  This is surface as enchantment.

The focus on sensory experience rather than pictorial expression of form is the realm of modern art. It was first expressed in the paintings of Wassily Kandinsky and later developed by the American Abstract Expressionists.  Michael Haggiag’s photographs play with spatial orientation in a similar way.  There is an intimacy with everything close by, a deep response to sensory cues. His eye is aesthetically attuned. One reason for this may be his many years of practice in Zen Buddhism.

Zen is a meditation practice that originates from one of the most ancient forms of yoga in India. Zen practitioners are always beginners. They cultivate the playful mind of a wide-eyed child. They develop a relaxed awareness that requires little or no thinking.  They are acutely alive to the world and its sensations. Wherever the eye fixes upon an object becomes an entry point to samadhi, the natural state of meditative absorption.

Michael Haggiag’s surfaces are framed absorption moments that leave our senses dancing within in their natural rhythms. We sense that it is the same experience his own absorption brought him on encountering the surface or object before him. His mind opened up to it.

These pictures created spontaneously in the moment are pure experience. They open us up to the potentiality and energy within ourselves, Proust’s elusive “yellow butterfly” or lively heart of a child.

Bruce Ginsberg, journalist and former Chairman of the Buddhist Society Trust in the U.K.

Hampshire, England   July 2015

An American writer and filmmaker, as well as a photographer, Michael Haggiag was raised in Spain, Italy and Switzerland and he speaks several languages fluently. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in New York and entered the film industry soon after graduation; his first assignment was as an assistant director on Pietro Germi’s Signori e Signore in Treviso. His second was covering the Six-Day War in Israel. Wherever he went he always had a camera around his neck.  He moved to London where he founded Aurum Press, among the first British publishers to showcase photographers like Frank Horvat, Oliviero Toscani, David Bailey and Alice Springs.  He worked as a media consultant for Sotheby’s, and eventually founded Global Arts Productions where he produced nearly 100 hours of TV programming.  Photography remained his first love and continues to be his passion; in recent years he has devoted himself to it.

Michael is also a long-term student of Zen Buddhism and co-founder of the website:

The photographs in this collection were taken in a variety of locations. They include Rome and Venice in Italy; London and surrounding countryside in the UK; New York City, Southampton, and southern California in the USA; Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.

Personal statement:

“Every location has a particular light and colour. It has its own intensity and subtlety and above all its own layers of texture and feeling. I have come to appreciate that the largely invisible strata of a place is an indelible part of our personal experience of it.”


Scrittore, cineasta e fotografo americano, Michael Haggiag è cresciuto in Spagna, Italia e Svizzera e parla fluentemente diverse lingue straniere. Ottiene il Bachelor of Arts alla Columbia University di New York ed entra nell’industria cinematografica subito dopo la laurea; il suo primo incarico è quello di assistente alla regia per Signori e Signore di Pietro Germi, a Treviso. Nel suo secondo incarico segue la Guerra dei sei giorni in Israele. Ovunque si reca, porta sempre la macchina fotografica al collo. Si trasferisce a Londa, dove fonda la Aurum Press, una delle prime case editrici britanniche a pubblicare fotografi come David Bailey, Frank Horvat, Oliviero Toscani e Alice Springs. Lavora come consulente di media per Sotheby’s e, infine, fonda la Global Arts Productions, per la quale produce circa 100 ore di programmazione televisiva. La fotografia resta però il suo primo amore e continua ad essere la sua passione, alla quale, negli ultimi anni, si dedica completamente.

Michael è anche uno studioso assiduo di Buddismo Zen ed è co-fondatore del sito:

Le fotografie di questa raccolta sono state scattate nei luoghi più disparati, tra cui Roma e Venezia in Italia, Londra e la campagna circostante nel Regno Unito, New York, Southampton e la California meridionale negli Stati Uniti, Guanajuato e San Miguel de Allende in Messico.

Dichiarazione personale:

“Ogni location possiede una luce e un colore particolari. Possiede intensità e delicatezza proprie e, soprattutto, le proprie stratificazioni di consistenza ed emozione. Sono giunto alla consapevolezza che gli strati prevalentemente invisibili di un luogo rappresentano una parte indelebile della nostra esperienza personale di esso.” 

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