I should know better than to head to Photoville on a Sunday, but my friend Michael’s imprint was having a launch event for its fall releases so I swung by and took a swing through the containers. The crowds were thick and movement was slow.
Two containers caught my eye and are germane to this blog: “Seoul, the captial city of Korea” and “Between or Border”, both presented by Mug Publishing and curated by its founder Jin Hee Bae. (Mug had presented work at Photoville previously in 2016.) Eun-jong Lee‘s City SEOUL, Jung Hoon Lee’s Coming face to face…, Seokhoon Lee’s A Collapsed Tower, Bae’s What a Wonderful Day, Dongkeun Lee’s Flowing Alleys and Sperling Kim‘s Urinara were particularly engaging.
Several of the artists’ books were available, and I left with a small stack. Had I had more cash or Urinara not been sold out I’d have left with a few more. More thoughts to come when I’ve had time to spend with each of the books and process the work some.
Though not directly along this blog’s locus, I thought Judith Quax’s Voyage a Dakar, Ebifananyi’s The Photographers Trilogy and Smriti Keshari’s Just the Tip were interesting as well both for their photographs and presentations. HIPUganda’s 8 book set, of which Ebifananyi’s trilogy were a part, was the most engaging book at the Red Hook Press container.
Han’s photography has been discussed on this blog in relation to his photographs in Traces of Life. Kyusang Lee describedTraces of Life as essential to understanding the development of photography in Korea. By extension, Han’s work is foundational in Korean photography.
Great to see it getting attention here in the States.
If you’re in Seoul this week, check out the Seoul Lunar Photo festival events. Wish I could get there for it. Best of luck to the organizers and participating artists!
Here’s what it’s all about:
Seoul Lunar Photo Fest is an event that brings to life the meeting place between people and photography. In an era of the advent of smartphones and the diffusion of hundreds of thousands of photos a day, it was inevitable that concerns over the way in which we encounter photos and discern good images would arise. Moving beyond the exhibition space of uniformly hung frames, it’s only natural that the demands of the contemporary world would expand the definition of images include music and other video media. Centered on the Seochon(West Village) area, Seoul Lunar Photo Fest seeks to convey the beauty of these new channels of images through experimental, free-form displays. Diverse work will be explored through collaborative efforts by photographers, musicians, sound creators and visual artists.
The New York Public Library has a wide-ranging (sprawling one might say) show up right now entitled “public eye“. The show, the first such large scale retrospective survey of photography undertaken by the NYPL, is intended to explore the ways in which photography is and has always been both widely shared and encouraged such sharing. The ubiquity of the medium and its ability to be transmitted has made it uniquely able to move ideas between locations and over time. Photography was a sharing medium before social media.
Of the numerous books in the show, three caught my eye as being relevant to this blog. In KPB’s review of Lee Deugyoung’s Two Faces I noted that his book referenced Ed Ruscha’s Every Building on the Sunset Strip. Ruscha’s book is included in the NYPL exhibit beside a similar book published in Japan in the mid-1950s: Ginza neighborhoods & eight subdivisions of Ginza by the photographer Yoshikazu Suzuki (edited by Kimura Shohachi and published in Tokyo by Toho-Shuppan in 1954). A few steps away was a book that predated Ruscha’s and Suzuki’s books by almost a century: Eadweard Muybridge’s 13 panel panorama of San Francisco (in book form).
What struck me seeing these three books and thinking of Lee’s book was the way that variations of a single form could emerge in such different times and places, drawn from such different concerns and used with such differing intents. The cross-pollination that occurs between cultures, over time and across distance is difficult to map or to measure.
There are almost certainly other such connections to be made from the NYPL’s show. A single point of connection opens one up to potentially numerous connections. “public eye” is well worth seeing if one is in New York City.
Flowers Gallery on West 20th Street here in New York City will be showing Boomoon’s Naksan photographs. The exhibit opens this Thursday, March 5th, and runs through April 4th.
Boomoon published a monograph of this work with Nazraeli Press; I assume that this book as well as his other books with Nazraeli will be available for purchase (as will original prints!) at the gallery.
Aline Smithson and her Lenscratch blog are a constant source of great photography. Whether she is producing her own projects or scouring the web for new and interesting work to post to Lenscratch, Aline is a photo-dynamo.
The series is well worth an extended read. Eun Kyung Shin’s Photo Studios and Jung Jihyun’s Space Between Creation and Destruction immediately resonated with me, though I’m travelling and haven’t had time to give the entire series of posts (and the linked photographer’s sites) with the deeper attention that they deserve. I’ll have more to say about the work Hye Ryoung has shared, hopefully sooner rather than later. And, hopefully I’ll be able to find some of this work in book form at some point.
Here in American it is Memorial Day Weekend. It is the official start of the summer driving season. BBQ grills are on overdrive, and nearly everyone is gathered around one. In Brooklyn the cyclists are out in droves, and the mood is festive. The skies are blue. And, oh by the way, the weekend is meant to provide an opportunity to memorialize those who have given everything to preserve this country in the many (military) struggles it has been engaged in and to reflect upon their sacrifice.
To extend this memorializing and reflection to another country and another culture is dangerous. To even broach the raw emotions of contemporary politics is more dangerous still (and rude). Well, so be it. Continue reading →