A contrast in world views by 2 Japanese photographers

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A contrast in world views by 2 Japanese photographers

Two young photographers from Japan appear to be a study in contrasts. One presents photos depicting frontal views of herself, sometimes semi-nude. The other also has photographed himself, but his image is obscured through a filter lens. Maiko Tsuboi, 30, and Makoto Yasuda, 28, offer their different interpretations of the world and the self in an exhibit titled “Jellyfish” at the Kim Young-seob Photo Gallery in Insa-dong.
Through her 30 photos in this dual exhibition, Ms. Tsuboi presents daily life unfiltered by her lens. Most of these shots are self-portraits, with the photographer using the medium as her diary.
As a result, viewers can see her dressed in a school uniform, sometimes lying on a bed, with her torso nude, among many other settings from her own background.
For example, Ms. Tsuboi uses baby dolls in photographs taken just after she gave birth. She also employs an interesting structure by using her depiction in a school uniform as the basis for other photographs. Cropped images of the photographer are sometimes positioned, seemingly randomly, on a street or in a baby bottle.
After seeing Ms. Tsuboi’s collection, viewers are guided to Mr. Yasuda’s contrasting work, which evokes a rather surrealistic atmosphere, using out-of-focus images and color filters.
Seeing a wall full of photos of varying sizes and colors provides a sense of illusion.
Viewers can see blurred, colored images of a couple standing naked, their faces hidden. But the nakedness is not nudity, which aims to attract the viewer’s gaze.
Mr. Yasuda also holds subjects like barbed wire dear, presenting several photos in blurred images that require viewers to use their imagination to determine the subject. Making the most of the orchestration of colors, including light green, purple and blue, Mr. Yasuda’s photos at first simply appear pleasing to the eye. A closer examination, however, rather perplexes viewers because of the blurred images of the subjects.
“Although these two young photographers seem to have strikingly different viewpoints toward the world, the two are actually sending the same critical message about individualistic society,” Kim Young-seob, who runs the gallery, said. “One shows an individual dying to expose herself and the other tries to hide himself from the world, which altogether makes an interesting combination.”


by Chun Su-jin

Kim Young-seob Photo Gallery is on the main street of Insa-dong, central Seoul. The exhibit, which runs through Tuesday, is in Yujin Hall. Admission is free. For more information, call (02) 733-6331 or visit www.gallerykim.com.
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