Photographers speak via master printer in obscura

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Photographers speak via master printer in obscura

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Most people wouldn’t give a thought to who developed the photos shown at an exhibition. They usually assume it was the photographers themselves, ensconced in some dark, damp room all alone. But digital technology has changed all that. These days, behind the popular photographers are often professional digital photo-developers.
David Adamson, 54, is one such top digital photo-developer who works with renowned photographers. The Englishman, who originally studied sculpture at Newcastle University, has worked with a number of photographers worldwide for about 30 years now.
His work has become so prominent that there is now a show focused on him, the developer/technician, rather than the artists who took the pictures.
Images that he developed will be shown at the Sungkok Art Museum, central Seoul, in an exhibit titled “David Adamson and his friends,” until Jan. 22, 2006. The show is an augmented version of an exhibition shown at the Mason Europeene de la Photographie in Paris from May to September titled “Atelier David Adamson.”
“When photos by Jim Dine were shown at the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie five years ago, visitors were impressed by the details of the photos and wondered who printed them,” said Koh Hyun-soo, a curator at Sungkok Art Museum.
That’s why the Paris museum decided to exhibit photos that Mr. Adamson printed and Sungkok Art Museum is bringing the show to Seoul. Visitors will be able to see 47 photos shown in Paris plus an additional five prints.
The images are by 11 artists, including Adam Fuss, Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Jenny Holzer and Francoise Marie Banier.
Mr. Adamson said that he’s fascinated with digital printing technology because it enables him to test thousands of colors and experiment with creative ideas very easily, unlike analogue techniques, which can take months to accomplish the same thing. He said that he always respects the intention and interpretation of the artists. It once took four years to translate the energy and thoughts that one artist envisioned onto the printed sheet.


by Park Sung-ha

Directions to Sungkok Art Museum: From Gyeongbokgung subway station, line No. 3, exit 7, walk towards Sajik tunnel for about 40 meters. Turn to the left when you see the Autopia Gallup building. The museum is 50 meters down the street on your left. For more information, call (02) 747-7650 or visit www.sungkokmuseum.com. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

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