This July, PhotoIreland presents two recent bodies of work by Korean photographer Youngdon Jung, Wondering Wandering (2011-15) and Ants (2013-16).
Both projects Wondering Wandering and Ants were born out of the careful observation of Jung’s immediate surroundings; one offers the atomised view of the human figure, lost and seen from his high-rise apartment, while the other one seeks to understand the very experience of the familiar,
Youngdon Jung’s work was selected last year by an international jury of professionals as the winner of the Portfolio Award at PhotoIreland Festival 2015, and this exhibition at The Copper House Gallery is part of the recognition.
The rhythm made by all different human beings in the same space. This is the scenery which we can see from the top of a high-rise apartment. Every person seen form their own movement, within their own clothes and steps. Jung caught particular patterns from it. There are images of gathering and scattering of diverse crowds, alongside detailed images of concentration and dispersion of people from their own bodies. These images show people’s lives and the direction of their bodies. However, like soil which scatters away when it becomes dry, the movements of people are also hard to use to define a clear outline.
The image which disappears from our sight as soon as we take it, is crumpled like a clod of dirt in our hands. If the particles of the frame, or the photo disappear, a lot of these images would be scattered in all directions. Then where can the particle go and what rhythm of image can it make?
About Wondering Wandering
I lost my way home. Was it because I mistook the way or, because I didn’t know where I was. Although, I have been living in my home town over 10 years, I didn’t know its geography and what my desire here was. There is only sounds of a gun, a bird’s wings, sweet cement powder and feelings of desolate mist. Looking back, I couldn’t seize anything and just passed the time. However, unlike me, everything has been changing, repeating, and scattering with many events over a period of time, and it aims towards perfection all the time. It suddenly occurs to me that I will live just as one of the eyewitnesses or I will make my camera capture it.
I have caught people, things on my camera, when riding a bicycle or camping. I requested from people that they write down their story, in letter form, and I then portrayed the city’s shape, as seen from their eyes. Through wandering on the road with strangers and observing the surrounding landscape of my hometown, I wanted to understand the face of other forms of life, their relationship with each other, and their differences. We trust the familiarity of life but sometimes, we are embarrassed about its unfamiliar scenery. I hope those photographic image will fill us with further questions about life.
About Youngdon Jung
Youngdon Jung was born in Seoul, Korea. He graduated from the photography department of Chung-Ang University and is presently participating in master classes at Graduate school of Chung-Ang University. He is interested in connecting people and places, understanding diverse cultures and exploring nature while further interpreting our daily lives. He focuses on the unified pattern which is usually seen in the daily life. He gives attention to the phenomenon that each individual is standardised in the society. To present these ideas, Jung usually uses photography to deal with questions of time and space.
Since his first exhibition Evocation; Ventilation at the Total Museum For Contemporary Art – Project Space the Room, Jung has participated in several international group exhibitions and projects such as Against Photography (2015, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea), and Inner Color (2014, Laznia Contemporary Art Center, Poland). In addition, Jung was part of the collective Moojin Brothers focusing on media art works. In this group, Jung usually takes the role as cinematographer, but has also had the experience to explore other mediums.
Youngdon Jung has also shown media art works at European Media Art Festival (2016, Osnabrück, Germany), 16th International Cine A La Calle Short Film Festival (2016, Barranquilla, Colombia) and has recently won the PhotoIreland Festival Portfolio Reviews 2015 and the Grand Prize of Glocal Contest at the 15th Seoul International New Media Festival.