Lee Chang Soo captures light on water: The photographer finds the energy in nature via his work
Visitors to Hakgojae Gallery, east of Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul, will encounter a diptych of photography at the entrance. The photography captures numerous curved lines of white light wavering on the water’s surface in midnight blue color.
They are “BL 1-1, 1-2” from Lee’s “Luminescence, Here and There” series. Thirty-three photos in the series and one video piece created based on the photos make up the solo show.
All of the photos were taken at the Seomjin River, which flows near the 57-year-old artist’s home in Agyang Village, South Gyeongsang, close to the border of South Jeolla.
Still, each of the photos on view are quite different from one another. Another diptych “BL 8-1, 8-2” which shows light permeated into dark blue waves, will remind the viewers of 19th-century Romantic landscape paintings of storms and seas. Some other photos like “YL 8” capture the sunlight of early morning on the water, resembling a golden thread. Some others look like cosmic images.
“A different image is captured with every click, depending on the amount and angle of sunlight, the conditions of the water, the weather and other things,” Lee said, adding that is why he prefers a digital camera, which allows him to take a burst of shots.
His “Luminescence, Here and There” series stands in sharp contrast to his “Eternal Moment” series, which he presented in 2014. The “Eternal Moment” photos capture panoramic views of the 14 Himalayan Peaks, which are hard for ordinary people to access. Photos from the “Luminescence” series on the other hand, capture close-up views of the surface of a familiar river near the artists’s home.
But Lee said they share something in common, and the “Eternal Moment” was a trigger for this new series.
“While taking photos of the Himalayan Peaks, I wondered what made them - in other words, what energy and forces are behind them, behind all of nature,” he said. “Then, I started to not overlook even familiar natural scenes. I began to observe the surface of the water of a nearby river and tried to capture something behind everything through the reflection of light on the water’s surface. I now feel that the space is bigger than the Himalayan Peaks.”
The show runs through Aug. 12. Admission is free. Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 2, and walk 10 minutes. For details, visit www.hakgojae.com or call (02) 720-1524~6.
BY MOON SO-YOUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]