Humanity on the move in global photo show

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Humanity on the move in global photo show


After a seven-year hiatus, the Seoul Photo-Triennale has finally opened its second exhibition. The photography festival held by the Society of Korean Documentary Photography began in 1998, but couldn’t meet its own schedule because of financial troubles.
For this show, more photos by more photographers are on display at a bigger venue, the Seoul Museum of Art in central Seoul, through Dec. 18.
Under the title “Transit,” the show presents works dealing with human migration, transitions in society, the impact of social changes and the metamorphosis of Korean cities since the 1950-53 Korean War. The exhibition includes about 200 photos by 10 foreign photographers from Germany, France, Greece, the United Kingdom and the United States, and 10 Korean photographers.
Michael Wesely, 42, a photographer from Munich, took exposures that lasted two to three years. “I wanted to express the transition of Berlin through political changes,” Mr. Wesely said at a press conference. He first made a successful long exposure (lasting one year) in 1993. His photos are meant to show how Germans are melding together the separate moods of East and West after unification.
Hans Pieler, 54, from Bielefeld, Germany, took photos of the so-called “transit way” across East Germany that linked West Germany with West Berlin. He took the photos in 1984, six years before unification. “Taking photos on the road was completely prohibited,” said Mr. Pieler. All the photos exhibited were shot from inside a car through the windows. He could only release the photos after unification.

Visitors will have a chance to talk with the photographers every Friday at 5 p.m. at the Seoul Museum of Art. Today’s session is with Mr. Pieler and Mr. Wesely from Germany, and Soo Kim from the United States.
Just before entering the main exhibition, there is a special show titled “Face to Face,” which commemorates 2005 as The Year of Korea in Germany. It includes about 70 photos of Joseph Beuys by the German photographer Werner Kruger and of Paik Nam-june by Lim Young-kyun. Mr. Beuys and Mr. Paik were members of Fluxus, an experimental artist group that blended different artistic mediums, such as video, music and literature. “I think the two [Mr. Beuys and Mr. Paik] were in the same space of thinking and shared an artistic sense. It is great to have their photos in one space,” said Mr. Kruger.

by Park Sung-ha

To get to the Seoul Museum of Art, take the subway to City Hall station, line no. 2, exit 11. The exhibition is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays. For more details, call (02) 579-4654 or visit
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