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The dark side of the light


Light Makes Toward Shade

Any art has the standard of form and matter. The former is clothing for matter and the latter the body wearing form; therefore, all the fields and genres of art have long required suitable form and matter. That is the same with photography and good photos are relatively faithful to the two of matter and form, and vice versa. So good pictures have well-balanced form and matter. Not an easy thing to perform, though. It means that taking a photo of good matter and form is indeed difficult. 


The most basic form photography requires is definitely light. The base of form for photography is light as a photo is defined as 'A picture of light' by dictionaries. Light means all the stuff of photography and also its beginning & finishing. So photo aesthetics needs three abilities of a photographer: the first is 'being able to see light' and the second 'being able to feel light' and the third 'being able to express light'. They are the key to great photography. Also, they share a single element, the eye of looking through light & shadow and brightness & darkness at the same time.  


Understanding light well is seeing shadow and darkness that exist beyond light. True cognition of light is seeing darkness and shadow and also reflecting on what the two mean. Photography are like human history in that there is no darkness without light and vice versa. Light reveals existence and shadow & darkness conceal existence, so light and darkness are equal in their relationship all the time. Light is the living & revelation of existence and its living & concealment derive from darkness. And light is an ephemeral thing. The ephemerality of light means the transiency of time and also the transiency of existence. Good photography shouldn't keep up with the paces of light, everything of light. 


Artist Jung's photography pursues one day's light. His photos try to express the paces of light cast over the back of a remote town and enable us think about what life their light holds, because there are long profound shadows thrown in his photos. Such shadows show the hidden aspects of small cities and their light & shadow reveal what life the daylight of existence holds. The two major elements are just urban symbols and sense networks. Furthermore, they weave into existential conditions and unselfish time scenes and also the story of time and development passing through the past and the present. 


We follow his light and then shadow to the outskirts area, the specific district where memories and reminiscences are ruminated. And judge modernity through the shadow he interposes and through the symbols that his shadow hides. He wishes not to express something to vanish through the focus and angle but to get an object to express itself through its shadow. Therefore, every piece of space holds their own stories and hurts. Very important and meaningful, the space with stories is the most important element in photography. He has a surprising ability of spatial expression that is calm and temperate and intelligent. So his photos boldly and profoundly project the scenery of small cities faced with redevelopment.   


One day's light is a being's one-day living and day of life. His light and shadow flow through the middle of living. And the traces of transience and the portrait of time unusually perceived. Now the imagery of reminiscence. His light and shadow falls on the walls or the asphalt roads or the old furniture as buoys of memory. An artist of deep and sharp vision. He has more interest in invisible space than visible space and hidden things than seen ones. That is just the attraction his photos have, detailed pursuit of the traces of life. 


His landscape is like the wind drifting. And the ephemeral shadow of self-reflection. His photos show the landscape wandering in the deep back of our subconsciousness. The shadow he suggests to us is finally what binds our life. Shadow is the imagery of existential life as thorough self-reflection and the imagery of our life cast in front of us or in this world. The fragments of our time melt into his shadow. Light always makes toward shadow.


Jin Dongsun,  Photo Critic, Professor

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