Exhibition Gives Inside Viewpoints Of Outer SpaceThe beauty and mystery of the universe has long absorbed and inspired human beings. Since the 19th century, when cameras were invented, celestial photography has been an appealing subject for artists and photographers, as well as for astronomers. "Dans le Champ des Etoiles: Les Photographes et le Ciel" ("Reaching for the Stars: Photographers and the Heavens") is an exhibition of astrophotographs and other works now on at the Hanlim Museum in Taejon city.
The exhibition, exploring creation and the universe in photographic and related art forms, has previously been on display at the Musee d' Orsay in Paris, and the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, Germany. Not all the works displayed in Paris or Stuttgart have been brought to Korea, but the exhibition is still worth a visit － particularly if you are an astronomer or philosopher at heart.
The Taejon exhibition, which features images of the sky and creation produced between 1926 and 2000, offers visitors a chance to meditate on the relationship between art and science, dreams and reality, and the conscious and unconscious minds through the mechanical medium of photography.
Exhibits include historic astrophotographs taken by masters of 20th century modernism such as Man Ray, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Alexandre Rodtchenko as well as recent works by Georges Rousse, Thomas Ruff and Bernard Faucon that boast a beautiful picturesque quality.
"La Lune se Leve sur l'Isle de Nias" by Man Ray, for instance, is an image of the moon against a primitive African sculpture. Ray is an American artist well known for his surrealistic style. "Untitled," a photogram by Moholy-Nagy, a Hungarian artist who specializes in abstract works, depicts a fetus inside its mother's womb.
Also on display at the exhibition are scientific records from NASA such as lunar and solar eclipse images. Beautiful photographs include images of the earth as a green planet rising over the horizon of the moon, of the moon taken toward the end of its cycle or a bright-tailed comet sailing through space. "Astrophotographs are the best medium to demonstrate the relationship between photography, art and science," said Lee Sou-kyoun, the chief curator of Hanlim Museum.
The exhibition continues until Aug. 11. The museum closes on Mondays. Admission costs 4,000 won (about $3) for adults and 2,000 won for students and children. For more information, call Hanlim Museum at 042-222-1211.
by Cho Hyun-wook