10 January 2007

invited guest: Hyun-Jin Kwak

According to me, Hyun-Jin Kwak is one of the most interesting contemporary photographers. She was born in South Korea and educated in Seoul, Stockholm and Helsinki. Nowadays she is living in Stockholm. Ever since I first discovered her photographs I have been fascinated by them and the many ways one can interpret them. I would like to quote Harri Laakso and Ronald Jones about her work:

High noon is the point of most intense visibility. It is the moment of “all for light”, when the sun has reached its peak, the moment that marks the beginning of its descent. One could speak of a momentary flash of ruthless lux, the light of truth, no longer the subtle lumen that allows the separate things of the world to shine forth. More than one of the images in Hyun-Jin Kwak’s series Girls in Uniform take us to these points in time – the decisive moments that are opportune for duels, when one stands ready to alter the course of the rest of one’s life. Harri Laakso

Courage is the portal into the sisterhood Hyun-Jin Kwak pictures. It is a special sort of courage that we only experience once in a lifetime when we pass from childhood to adulthood. This passage comes in many forms, but for Hyun-Jin Kwak it always involves secret rituals or death-defying games each initiate must suffer before she can be accepted as a sister who the community is bonded to; and who is bonded to the community. Hyun-Jin Kwak’s initiation rituals always involve risk , pain, physical brutality or psychological torture. Ronald Jones


High Noon © Hyun-Jin Kwak, 2005.

Game #2 © Hyun-Jin Kwak, 2006.

Game #3 © Hyun-Jin Kwak, 2006.

Dig #1 © Hyun-Jin Kwak, 2006.

Dig #2 © Hyun-Jin Kwak, 2006.

Part 1-Prize/Dues © Hyun-Jin Kwak, 2003-2004.

Part 1-Temporary/Collaboration © Hyun-Jin Kwak, 2003-2004.

Invited by Fredrik Skott.

6 comments:

j. s-g. said...

I find your work nothing short of stunning, Hyun-Jin. I have seen some of these photos at Hasselblad Center before. Then, as now, I always want more. Therefore I am greatly pleased to see you here on the F blog - with a couple of photos I have not seen before.

You seem to strike a perfect balance between myth, story and ambivalence. How, I wonder, do you find the ideas to your photographic series? Do you start in the abstract, working your way down to the specific? Or do you first see a vision of the specific, eventually connecting it with the abstract?

Gild in uniform is not a cultural convention in Sweden, yet I find lots os stuff to relate to in this series of photographs. The imagined innonence of a young woman; the conformist uniform; the somewhat (in a positive sense) disturbing poses and actions. A vision of a childhood? A saga of the contemporary world? Looking at it in different ways, the photos open up to very different interpretations. A mark of great talent.

I hope to see lots more of your work in the future.

ulf said...

Perfect balamce between myth, story and ambivalence. Well Joakim, you are the one among us to find the right words. I am glad to see these samples from your work here Hyun-Jin.
The big skies, the girls...almost like characters in a video game. Fascinating.
/Ulf

Anonymous said...

pure magic!

abeku said...

Hyun-Jin, great work! The pictures 2 and 3 really stand alone. I like this...

marcin said...

this is like trip into uknown, fascinating world

Jeanette said...

Very interesting and so great to see your work here Hyun-Jin!!!



Jeanette