Fine Art Photography Daily

Korea Week: Yang, Jae Kwang

This week Guest Editor and photographer Hye-Ryoung Min shares the work of Korean photographers.

01 Red mask_ pigment print_2013

©Jea Kwang Yang, Red Mask, from Urban Myth

Jae Kwang Yang was born in Seoul and lives in Sung-Nam city at the moment. Sung-Nam is a place where many new buildings are built continuously due to the fast-paced redevelopment. He majored in photography and is interested in various subcultures. He is working on photography and video making work– filming by himself and managing an art institution for people to participate. He produces independent projects, in which he directs, produces, and acts.

Jae Kwang had 10 individual exhibitions and participated in many group exhitions with major focus on his work. Solo exhibitions have been at Platoon Kunsthalle, seoul, Korea, 2011 / Gallery on, Seoul, Korea, 2008 / Space VAVA, Seoul, Korea, 2006 / ART CENTER NABI, Seoul, Korea, 2001 / etc group exhibition spaceㅋㅋ, seoul, korea, 2013 / goeun museum of photography, pusan, korea, 2012 / – museum of fine arts Houston, 2009 / – Ilmin Museum of art , Seoul, korea, 2009 / – Memory of the Future , Daegu, Korea, 2008 / Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea, 2006 / naniwa camera – Earka+, osaka, Japen, 2004 / Art Theater Koeln, Keoln, Germany, 2001

Nightswimming – my deer grandmother….

The outline.

Nightswimming starts from my first memory – ” the parting with my deer nanny(I called her grandma) I really believed she was my mother.
This work said the sense stamping on me from childhood based on my life environment.


Everybody has various stories about their childhood.
I was a typical child of two income family, so I went through mental chaos about my real parents because the nursemaid took care of me instead of my real parents. So, I was utterly bereft when she went off me. At that time, I felt so sad and missed my lost mother very much. I was in deep sorrow and missed my lost mother unconditionally.
Since she went off me, I am waiting for her until now.( I can’t remember her face anymore…) It I am waiting for is not grandmother anymore. But I have a habit to wait for something.

01 nightswimming001_pigmentprint_2006

My first memory in childhood is dim now, so I have only feeling about that.
Memories I can’t forget during my life fade away easily, however, something remains to me leads me. That is the sense that it is not seen and thought, but my body can feel that sense.

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Like as swimming night sea, nothing is not seen. But I can feel something to cold ocean, horror and movements of fishe… Nightswimming is like my lie, so I felf many senses although I can’t see that.
Long time ago, My memories about childhood faded away. But the senses I felt at that time was still stamped on me. My body and mind react differently according to senses I experienced in childhood. That is similar with not forgetting to ride bicycle and swim I learned.
I check myself afresh. After many worries, what I find is my senses stamping on me. And I am going to say my child story to you making my senses images.

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This may be a sad fairy tale ,however, this story is your won story stamping on you about your childhood.

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Urban Myth

As a young child, I often read horror fictions or watch horror movies. I actually enjoyed the genre of horror in general, even though it scared me for days afterward. There are numerous bizarre stories in the world. Naturally, people are drawn to the genre of horror because of our curiosity. But there are more to this genre than just curious plots. Often horror stories reflect the society we belong in, as well as how we live inside that society. For example, such stories expose our secretive desires or insecure feelings that we try to hide from others, which then allows readers a glimpse to others’ lives while keeping their secrets in dark.

02 The Han river_ pigment print_2010


Following photography pieces represent bizarre stories or rumors circulating among the general population since 2010. However, unlike a title of a piece which is ‘urban myth’, you can’t find a scary scene in it. As a matter of fact, the piece is focused not on the ghost story but on the background of the story which made those stories to come out. It was filmed within the radius of my action which is quite small. If you look around, there is always a place which gives impression that something is going to be happen and is going to pop out. The hidden, forbidden places which look like abandoned in the city seem to be condensed with many desires.

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By walking around those spots, I imagined where could those horror stories I had collected be happened and made many mise-en-scenes. In such places, many unexpected things are actually happening and it makes people feel anxious. In fact, urban myths are not just a simple story. It’s rather criticizing our society with sarcasm.

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Like I mentioned, this piece has no horrifying scene. There is only a story about before and after of scary stories. I chose a better way of beginning and ending to show people’s anxiety. This piece is a story of people’s fear, of a individual abandoned in the city where redevelopment and expansion are happening continuously. And also, of hidden desire under enormous network of roads. To express those things efficiently with photography, I borrowed a mise-en-scene used in horror films. Though it’s not very scary urban myth, I wanted to make a myth which is reflecting a fear that people have within a society.

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07 Zombie_ pigment print_2011

08 Hero_ pigment print_2012

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11 Zombie_ pigment print_2011

12 The Kitty mania_ pigment print_2011

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14 Hero_ pigment print_2012

15 Red mask_ pigment print_2012

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