The photographic work of Lee Yoon-ha (李玧河) has a quiet but absorbing presence in “Parallel Vision”, an occasion to sample works by contemporary Korean and Japanese photographers. Not meant to typecast, the all-female line-up has managed to strike a slightly different cord.
Lee, a housewife turned photographer, combines digital photography and ink work with the aid of graphic software to produce a series of images that speaks out in a male dominated country. The storyboard-format work is not a report nor narrative on an event as traditional photography would embrace. The black and white inkjet prints, a purist might argue, pertain more to graphic art than photography. Their compositions are more naïve than sophisticated for a minimalist to appreciate.
The photo-graphic work, in reflection to its hybrid nature, tells an allegory of dried anchovies imagining possible lives at sea or elsewhere. These creatures are small in stature but their presence in the Korean food context is indispensable. They are the ultimate metaphor of the sexes in the eye of the photographer.
Sonatas of anchovy
(Digital photo-montage with Chinese ink on Korean paper)
(photos ∣ Lee Yoon-ha 李玧河)
The Forest, Yi Hyuk-Jun (李赫焌)
It is another digital composition of half hidden temples juxtaposed among heavy foliage for viewers to explore. The print-out with shiny varnishes is presented as a column of oriental styled scroll paintings.
(photos ∣ Yi Hyuk-Jun 李赫焌)
Hamel’s Boat, Kim Ok-Sun (金玉善)
The series of portrait photographs documents the personalities of 70 foreigners in Korea. Inspired by the innocent story of Hendrick Hamel, who was held in closed quarters in Jeju Island from 1653-66, Kim touches upon the fringes of a seemingly homogeneous population of her country.
Dawn, the dreamer
Rich, the naturist
(photos ∣ Kim Ok-Sun 金玉善)
Parallel Vision: Japan and Korea Contemporary Photography Exhibition
(Hong Kong Arts Centre from October 14 to November 4, 2012)