Asia Week 2024
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Miyako Yoshinaga

Joo Myung Duck: Sensory Space in Photography and Its Conversation with Korean Abstract Painting

Born in 1940 in the village of Anak (in North Korea today), Joo Myung Duck (b. 1940, Korea) came to prominence in the 1970s as a leading social-realism photographer, documenting lives deeply affected by Japanese colonialism and the aftermaths of WWII and the Korean War. In the 1980s Joo shifted his focus to the terrain around him. This exhibition features Joo's work created between 1988 and 2011 when he was experimenting with abstraction in photography.

Joo’s Lost Landscapes is a series of densely black mountain-scapes with slowly emerging details, creating a pathway towards an abstract realm of the senses. They echo a textured black painting by renowned Korean artist Chung Sang Hwa (b. 1932), a central figure of the Dansaekhwa (Korean monochrome art) movement. In 2011 after Joo turned 70, he explored urban surfaces such as walls, grounds, and old paint in his Abstract in Photography series. At extremely close range, he emphasized the depth of color, line, pattern, and texture lit by dazzling natural light, traversing the boundary between documentation and expression.

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San Sebastian
San Sebastian
Mt. Jiri
Mt. Jiri
Bilbao
Bilbao
Mt. Odae
Mt. Odae
Seoul
Seoul
Mt. Taegi
Mt. Taegi
Seoul
Seoul
Kyung Ju
Kyung Ju
Seoul
Seoul
Mt. Kum Kang
Mt. Kum Kang
Seoul
Seoul
Ilsan
Ilsan
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