|▲ Artist Okran Ki
An abstract photograph is not an opposite of a realism photograph. It is a photographic image that speaks a language over realism. Talking of abstract photographs we should better bring up three prodigies: the ‘new objectivity photograph’ of Albert Renger-Patzsch and the ‘formative photograph’ of Paul Strand and the ‘mechanic characteristics of photos’ of Aaron Siskind.
A South Korean artist Okran Ki, famous for ‘trans-human’ and ‘neo-nomad’, held an exhibition in February themed on abstract photographs mixed with her unique pictorial elements at the Juan Art Gallery in Gwangju Metropolitan City under the title ‘Traveling the universe on a canvas of trans-human and neo-nomad’. 45 of her abstract photographs attracted a great attention from visitors. Multiple exposures, a method Ki used, combines several images to make a single work of art and it is her new style of works. The expressing method is allegedly the first type of photographic works for the three and four dimensional space effect presented at one dimension.
Exhibitions home and abroad
Ki is as famous for her vigorous engagement in exhibitions as her abundant productions. She has held or joined 50 exhibitions in South Korea alone and around 60 art fairs in the world. Her trademark ‘trans-human’ and ‘neo-nomad’ are an inspiration from the French writer Jacques Attali’s <L’homme nomade>. The book describes ‘trans-human’ as people who welcome travelers, open their harbor to strangers with different thoughts, ready meals for visitors and try to see the value of the difference.
<Dream of Stranger> illuminates Junggeun An
“This is my third photo exhibition. I used multiple exposures to express relations of objects, landscape, existence, lights, colors, time and forms by combining deliberate expression and possibilities.” says Ki who has prepared the exhibition for 2 years. She said that she made the most of her trans-human and neo-nomad abstract methods to give difference to general landscapes and portraits.
A visited photographer hailed her works as “fresh and creative” and an appreciator assessed the works as “sensation and touching”. Some of the visitor gathering works are <Quasar>, <Prayer of Wind> and <Prayer of Stranger>. The first one is mysterious, the second impressive but the latter is meaningful.
“<Dream of Stranger> is about a Korean independent activist Junggeun An. An was an inspirer of the independence movement and I got an inspiration from his museum in Harbin, China and thus born was <Dream of Stranger>. He wrote the poem <Great Man> 2 days before he assassinated Ito Hirobumi, the resident-general of colonized Korea. I got hold of the poem written by Yongok Kim aka Dohol and it was so touching so I made it into an art work.”
The poem reads:
A great man brews a big plan
The world calls a hero and the hero makes the time
Only when is the question
East wind is getting cold but spirits of a great man hotter
Anger behind, I will fulfill my heroic deed
You rats and thieves, how can you live with yourselves?
How come we are here like this?
My fellowmen, fulfill our great deed
Hail independence of Korea
Hail and hail proud people of Korea
Though deplorable and angry of the poem, Ki tries to deliver her message of reconciliation and communication through the work. Often called as the Korean Picasso or the Korean Basquiat, Ki has held and been invited to many exhibitions home and abroad including New York and Paris.
She has won numerous prizes and some of them worth mentioning are: presidential prize at the Unification Art Exhibition, special prize at the Grand Art Exhibition of Korea, special prize at the World Art Exhibition, the artist of the year from monthly Art Journal, ministerial prize from the Education Science and Technology Ministry, lawmaker’s prize, JoongAng Ilbo prize, Hankook Ilbo prize, and Herald Group Future Management Awards 2018 and Value Management Awards 2019 and Culture Management Awards 2019.
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