Reinventing Our Time
Greetings from South Korea
Exhibition: – 24 Mar 2019
Sun 13 Jan 14:00
Three Shadows Photography Art Center
No.155, Caochangdi, Chaoyang District
REINVENTING OUR TIME
Co-Curated by Seok Jae-Hyun and Kim Sunyoung
Between 1910 to 1945, Japan annexed Korea and attempted to eradicate Korean culture and identity, for example, by banning Korean literature and language from schools. Only six years after World War II, the country was devastated by the Korean War. This exhibition shows the work of five of the most prominent photographers of the post war generation, who began work while a succession of military regimes ruled the largely agrarian country. They were the first generation of Korean artists who studied abroad and brought new ideas back to their country. Nevertheless, many of them remained attached to Korean landscapes and traditions while embracing new aesthetic ideas. Many photographers from this generation depicted the extraordinarily beautiful nature and landscapes of Korea, a country surrounded by the ocean and mostly covered by mountains and forests, and its religious and spiritual practices that are primarily tied to nature. “Reinventing Our Time” investigates what it means to be Korean after this disruptive history, from the viewpoint of five photographers born in post-war Korea: Kim Jungman, Koo Bohnchang, Lee Gap-Chul, Min Byung-Hun and Park Ki Ho.
Born 1954, Cheolwon, South Korea. Lives and works in Seoul.
As a teenager, Kim Jungman left Korea for Burkina Faso, Africa. Leaving his homeland marked the beginning of a long philosophical journey that eventually took him to Europe to study painting. He discovered his passion for photography while attending École Nationale Supérieure d’Art à la Villa Arson in Nice, France in 1974-77. In 1979, Kim won the prestigious Best Young Photographer Award at Rencontres d’Arles. The same year, he was named one of Today’s 80 Photographers in France, the youngest on the list. He moved back to Korea and found his way into commercial and fashion photography in the 1980s and 1990s. Recently, he has battled to overcome a limitation imposed on photographers in Korea to be either artistic or commercial, but not both. In leaving his flourishing career as a commercial photographer in 2006, he stopped photographing Korea’s most famous celebrities, instead turning his lens to the countryside of his native land.
Born 1953, Seoul, South Korea. Lives and works in Seoul.
Koo’s work has always dealt with the passage of time. He captures still and fragile moments, attempting to reveal the unseen breath of life. Since completing his studies in Germany in 1985, Koo Bohnchang has established an international reputation as a photographic artist. His works have been featured in over 30 solo exhibitions including Samsung Rodin Gallery, Seoul (2001), Peabody Essex Museum, Massachussetts (2002), Camera Obscura, Paris (2004), Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Kahitsukan Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan (2006), Goeun Museum of Photography, Busan (2007), and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (2010).
Born 1959, Jinju, South Korea. Lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.
Lee Gap-Chul has travelled to various corners of Korea and photographed images that portray the joy and sorrow of his ancestors, their cheerful nature and persistent vitality. A graduate of Fine Art & Photography from the University of Shingu, he has participated in many solo and group exhibitions at prestigious venues in Korea such as the Lux Gallery in Seoul, the Daegu Photo Biennale (2006, 2014), the Kumho Art Museum, The Museum of Photography, Seoul (2002), the GoEun Museum of Photography (2012) and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art , Gwacheon (MMCA), Contemporary Art Museum (2008). He was invited to participate in international fairs and festivals such as FOTOFEST 2000 in Houston, US, and Photographie Contemporaine Coréenne in Montpellier, France, in 2002, and Paris Photo in 2005.
Born 1955, Seoul, South Korea. Lives and works in Gunsan, South Korea.
Min Byung-Hun was a student in electronic engineering before shifting to photography in the early 1980s and studying at the Soon-tai Hong studio in Korea. In 1984 he was awarded the silver medal of Dong-A Salon with his work 25th hour. For over 30 years, Min Byung-Hun has represented nature and human bodies through black and white gelatin silver prints. From the moment he laid his eyes on the object through the viewfinder until the images are printed onto traditional paper and dried, Min makes sure no one interferes with the creative process. What is important for Min is not just the traditional photographic process or the virtue of handicraft but his autonomy to lead the entire operation. Min’s stubborn perfectionism and delicate sensitivity are best expressed in series such as Not Much of a Landscape, Weed, Sky, Deep Fog, Tree, Snow Land, Waterfall, and Nude, which have established a world distinctive to the artist.
Min's work has been widely exhibited and collected by institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Brookings Institution, Washington, DC; Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; Seoul Art Center; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art , Gwacheon, Korea.
Park Ki Ho
Born 1960, Seoul, South Korea. Lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.
Park Ki Ho moved to U.S. as a child and studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1986. After returning to Korea in 1987, Park worked for various international magazines including Time, Business Week, Fortune and Forbes. In 2007, he had his first solo exhibition called Photography & Texture which was a combination of large photographic prints with three dimensional objects. Then, he went back to RISD to earn his Master’s degree. After coming back to Seoul, with his newly attained sensibility of empty storefronts, he began documenting deserted old towns that were about to be demolished to build new townhouse projects while teaching at Yonsei University Songdo International Campus and Graduate School.