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[HanCinema's Digest] Photography and Art

2017/03/19 | Permalink

Digital cameras and new technology put pressure on Korea's photo studios, Kyungah Ham smuggles embroidery out of North Korea to create incredible works of art, photographer Park Young-kyu captures women he encountered on a dating app, and explore Korea's Museum of Modern and Contemporary art from afar.

"Photo studio takes visitors back in time"

Did you know that Korea's first photo studio opening in Seoul in 1907? "On the occasion of special commemorative events, Koreans visited photo studios to capture their special times in photographs", writes Back Byung-yeul, "Due to the soaring popularity of the film camera, photo studios enjoyed their heydey in the 1990s". But the rise of digital cameras has resulted in a sharp decrease in the number of Koreans seeking studios. Some studios are still thriving, but the trend is definitely downwards...


"The South Korean Artist Who Smuggles Internet Culture Across The DMZ"

This is an incredible story: artist Kyungah Ham has worked on "a series of massive embroidery pieces with collaborators she's never met" across the DMZ. "I had the idea to convert collected internet news articles, images, and text into embroidery-an analog and labor-intensive method-which in some ways reflects current life in North Korea", says Ham. This article on Fast Company is an interview with Ham where she talks about how it all got started, the significance of the project, and how she goes about commissioning pieces from North Korean artists. "[T]he value of the work lies in the process and evolves over time".


"Photo exhibition explores human vulnerability"

Park Young-kyu's piercing photo exhibition "1km" is a powerful look at loneliness, helplessness and vulnerability. Park studied photography in New York for nine years, and for this showing he spent two years photographing over a hundred women he encountered on a dating app. "The models are not objects but subjects. Each photo has a different angle, theme, pose, and lighting based on the model's personal background", says Park. The exhibition is on at the Space OPT Studio in Seoul until March 22.


"National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea Gwacheon-si, South Korea"

Explore Korea's National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art with this digital tour via Google. The museum has been around since the late 60s, and when it was first established it was the only museum dedicated to "accommodating modern and contemporary art of Korea and international art of different time periods". If you're in Korea or planning a visit in the near future, a trip to this thriving establishment should definitely be on the cards.


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