Modern Times  1.


Modern Times  2.


Modern Times  3. gloomy rhythms


Modern Times  4. jingle jingle


Dot + Dots.




A hole.


A better place to kiss you.


Photoraphic Look 1. a construction


Photoraphic Look 2. a sign




photographic Look 3. a de + sign


Modern Times  2.


Modern Times  3. gloomy rhythms


Modern Times  4. jingle jingle


Dot + Dots.




A hole.


A better place to kiss you.


Photoraphic Look 1. a construction


Photoraphic Look 2. a sign























Its the third show of photographic look. As mentioned on the photographers note earlier, a series of photgraphic look is about appreciating works as if they are photos or the products from that perspective. So, it will end up being filled with works that only photos can do. The previous show was about sign. This time, its about de+sign.


1. About abstract photography

If you take a picture of something abstract, is it an abstract photo? No. Abstraction is mixture of willingness, methods and revelation. That is, a photographer must have a willingness about abstracness from deep inside, there must be proper methods to express it, and the willingness has to be revealed through a piece of work along with the methods. Needless to say, these three things should begin and finish at one place called a work of art.


Let me specify them. Equivalents series by Alfred Stieglitz is not an abstract photo. Abstraction is coming from humans not the nature. In this context, getting abstration from the nature does not make sense at all. Clouds are seen as something abstract but they cannot be an abstraction. If so, is a photo of abstract artifacts an abstract photo? Its not, either. What the photographer does is only to find out something that seems abstract and then picture it. He doesnt actually abstract the photos. Thats because, as for abstraction, willingness, methods and revelation should exist in one place as I mentioned earlier.


If so, what is an abstract photography?  Its not something serious. Just think of abstract art.

When people explain photography, they usually use these rhetoric. Facts, objectivity, evidence, record, neutrality, representing, reality, revelation, existence, truth and so on. If a photographer is willing to go against them, and if he feels an urge such as manufacturing, subjectivity, manipulation, omission, extreme, non-representing, imagination, onlooking, fiction, untruth and so on, and if these can be revealed on photographic paper through methods of taking photos, it can be abstraction. This is like almost all concrete photography or photography from its various unique machinary methods. Whether the works are done well or not, once it is done, the work fulfills necessary conditions to be abstration.

Wilhelm Worringers theory is not only applied to drawings. Thats because abstraction is fundamentally rejecting reproduction, escaping from reality and exiled for the sake of beauty.


Thats why almost all abstract photos have a feature of de (not) + sign (photography), not sign (photography).


2. De+sign, which is read design

[1]If just adding one more strok to the word Dear. Adding just one brush stroke on the picture can make a world of difference. Its something like my Dear turns into my Tear.

You cant say its not a drawing just because one more stroke of a brush is added. You cant say its not literature just because one word is added to a completed novel. You cant say its not music just because one more instrument is added. You cant say its not a moive just because one more scene is added in the middle. However, strangely, photography is a different story. Lets say a new photo is added to the original one. Plus, something different in kind such as a drawing is added as well. In this case, can we call it a photo? No one can say yes right away.  

[1]The lyrics of Korean pop song which means literally, if you add just one brush stroke to the letter of sweetheart , it turns into a stranger .


Every part of photo is packed with a feature of representing reality without any extra. So, things that cannot represent reality in one-to-one corresponding way will end up being expelled from photos. The exclusive feature of photos that never accepts non-photographic elements makes something different impure. It gives a feeling of alienation. This is because a concept of photography is strongly bound to the strereotype that a photo has to represent reality. 


Thats why the fact that some different willingness, substances, textures, and non-representational factors begin to be used in photos means sign becomes de+sign. That is, it becomes abstraction.


3. Our tracks of eyes draw abstration.

Paradoxically, the role of photos might finish when representing reality but thats the moment another creation is started. As they always have the potential to be changing into something else, the fact that photos can be can enterance and exit at the same time of other visual arts is interesting.


The starting point of this show is photos as the potentiality, and photos as the process from sign to de+sign. Geometric pattern is added to the existing formulation on the printout paper. By adding some geometry to formulation dedicated to representing the reality, it creates another new mix. Colorful acrylic paint is applied on the black and white gelatin silver print. Then dots, lines and faces are crossing and dividing formulation repeatedly. Colors and shapes of a different nature help each other. In the end, it shows a certain harmony.


Id like to add the fact that this kind of abstract pattern makes the pattern of attention. As for our habitual point of view on photos which represent reality, the pace and direction of our view could be induced by the geometry pattern as its intention. Two eyes are alternatively following formulation and abstration and then pulling and pushing them. Our tracks of eyes design a photo and draw abstration. So, our appreciation can be completed in the form of abstraction. In the end, all these photos can be de+signed by appreciators eyes and finally become abstraction. The tracks of eyes will be imprinted in their mind. Every art work is a new finding. (By Wassily Kandinsky)


4. So what?

Ah, so what has always been a problem. So what? Why is it like that? That makes me crazy.  

When an artist works, he has to bear in mind the proper balance among what, how, and why. We all know. Emphasizing what could lead to simply focus on materials, and emphasizing how could easily lead to focus on the ways, not the whole work. These kinds of photographers cannot succeed. If you only stick to why, it becomes empty. So does a piece of work and appreciation. When form and content can keep a good balance, they look much better. Concepts derived from math or science would rather be more artistic.


However, despite the fact that why is directly connected to the necessity and value of work, quiet a lot of works do not start from why. Creating why from the absence of why is difficult. In this case, photographers leave room for others to make. I believe if theres no why, photographers have to be able to frankly say theres no why.


Genesis does not tell us why Yahweh has created the world. It only says its just created and its great. There was no reason in creating the world and its just good to see. One of the greatest questions that human can make is why this univers exists. The answer to the question is it just exists. Sometimes things can be valueable just becaust they are good to see. I think we need to accept this for appreciation and evaluation.

My work, this time, is a lack of why. Former rhetorics are about what and how, not why. Thats becasue, this time, the work is more focused on the feature of medium. So, its more of experimental works on medium.


We are living in an age when a photo proves the reality. Its not exaggerating to say image can replace reality. Those powerful image can proliferate by accessing and exchanging with enormous amount of them. In a narrow space among them, what kind of differences do artistic photos have? Are photos something that we can add some artistic achievement? Is a newess from getting too worn out something that can be reformed into another newness? This is my short and frank feelings, while preparing for the next work. / Hyun Hong