Moving past the traditional photograph

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Moving past the traditional photograph

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“Face of KMJ” by Kang Young-min, 2007, PVC pipe, 259x9 cm (40 pipes)

Digital and multimedia technologies have transformed photography into something much more advanced than the simple reflection of real-life images, allowing artists to manipulate and enhance scenes in ways never envisioned before.

Works that incorporate these advanced techniques are quickly becoming major players in the contemporary art world.

Reintroducing photography as modern art, the Museum of Photography run by the Hanmi Foundation of Arts and Culture in Songpa District, southeastern Seoul, is showing 50 works by 14 young photographic artists. The exhibition, titled “The Magic of Photography,” will continue until Oct. 1.

The works on display feature elements of sculpture, painting and installation art combined with pictures and photographic images, raising questions about what’s real or imaginary and what’s visible or invisible. The exhibition is divided into four different themes: the border between paintings and photography; the boundary between two-dimensional and three-dimensional; computer graphic images; and photography displayed in a theater-like atmosphere.

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“Catch Me If You” by Lee Joong-keun, 2008, photograph, computer graphic, light jet print, 150x150 cm. Provided by the Museum of Photography

In the first section, you’ll find work by Bae Joon-sung, Yoo Hyun-mi, Lee Myung-ho, Chang Yu-jung and Cho Byung-wang. Bae’s “The Costume of Painter” depicts a woman wearing an elaborate dress standing in what looks to be a palace hall. The woman is facing some other people, who seem to be taking pictures of her. However, if you take a closer look, you’ll find that the woman is actually an illusion.

In “Geometric Knife Drawing,” Cho used a knife to create unique patterns in a photograph.

In the second section you’ll find artwork by Kang Young-min, Kwon Jung-jun, Jang Seung-hyo and Hong Sung-chul. The artists transform two-dimensional images into three-dimensional works by incorporating other objects. Kang, for instance, wrapped plastic pipes with photographic images to create “Face of KMJ.”

In the third section, Kim Joon, Lim Taek and Lee Joong-keun mix photos with computer graphics to create totally different scenes. Kim’s “Bird Land-Chrysler” shows disturbing images of women’s body parts colored blue and red, provoking sensuality and hostility at the same time. Lee’s “Catch Me If You” creates an optical illusion that makes it appear as though people are chasing themselves in a circle.

The fourth section includes photographs by Jung Yeon-doo and Jun So-jung in a display that resembles a puppet theater.

The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekends. Admission is 5,000 won ($4) for adults and 3,000 won for students. Go to Mongchontoseong Station, line No. 8, exit 2. For more information, call (02) 418-1315 or check out www.photomuseum.or.kr.

Visitors will also have a chance to meet Kim Joon and Bae Joon-sung on Sept. 5 and Kang Young-min and Cho Byung-wang on Sept. 19.


By Limb Jae-un [jbiz91@joongang.co.kr]

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