Asian Contemporary Photography: Jung Yeondoo & Wang Qingsong Set The Stage

There is a balancing act happening in Korea as well as other countries in Asia. Tradition is finding a new position within culture as industry and technology are becoming more important to rising economies. This topic is the focus of much of the photographs on display at Daegu Art Museum as part of the current Asian Contemporary Photography exhibition. 

Korean artist Jung Yeondoo (curator of our June 2013 issue) and Chinese photographer Wang Qingsong focus mainly on creating scenes with their photographs. Rather than capturing a candid moment, these artists set the stage, intentionally creating a fantasy or highlighting a social issue.

Jung Yeondoo interprets children's drawings in to real life dreamscapes.

Jung Yeondoo interprets children's drawings in to real life dreamscapes.

Jung Yeondoo's work always straddles reality and a dream.  Upon first glance, his images seem to be set in a place we are familiar with -- a bedroom or field of flowers -- but we quickly discover that some small details don't align with our expectations. Exaggerated elements and quixotic details give a magical playfulness to each piece. Jung invites us to think about how our realities and dream worlds are connected, and where the boundary between the two lies. 

Follow You - Wang Qinsong

Follow You - Wang Qinsong

Wang Qingsong shows his perspective on the effects of extreme capitalism on modern China with his work. His large scale photographs usually involve numerous people which creates drama and helps to illustrate how industry can marginalize the majority of a population. Qingsong often utilizes satire and metaphors to address these heavy issues. 

The Asian Contemporary Photography exhibition will be on display until February 1st, and it's only 1,000 won to check out the entire museum. Be sure to take advantage of having this amazing collection of work here in Daegu.

- Lisa Highfill

How to get there:
Subway: Daegu Grand Park Station on subway line #2 at Exit No.5
A shuttle bus that runs every 30 minutes can take you from the subway station to the museum for free. 

The 604 and 403 busses also stop at the museum.

(More Than) 3 Spots To Hit For The Best Biennale Yet

(More Than) 3 Spots To Hit For The Best Biennale Yet

The 2014 Daegu Photo Biennale: Photographic Narrative will run until October 19th at three main locations: The Daegu Culture and Arts Center, Bongsan Culture Center, and Daegu Art Factory. Each location focuses on various themes. Below is a quick guide to give you a taste of what you can expect from each leg of your photo tour (which you definitely need to take).

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Walk It Out, Snap Some Pics, Win Prizes

Today marks the one-month countdown to the 7th Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk. The walk is the largest of its kind with over 800 walks scheduled to take place in countries all over the world on Saturday, October 11th.

Five walks have been organized in Korea so far and photographers of all skills levels are invited to join the groups who will be trekking around Gwangju, Gyeongju, Daejon, and Seoul (which will host two walks). If you don't have a fancy camera and are only working with your iphone, don't worry. Join a walk anyway. This is a time for photographers to practice, learn, teach, get some fresh air, and generally nerd out over their love of taking pictures.

Each organizer has planned for their group to meet at a cafe or restaurant to relax and share their work after the walk.

Participants will also have to opportunity to submit their photos from the event and win prizes from this year's sponsors.

Click on the city names listed above to sign up for your walk. No photo walk organized for your city? Click here to start one! 

This Weekend: 2 Things To Do On Saturday That Are More Than Just Drinking

Gallery [t.] is excited to host our fourth installation of work from another talented [b]racket artist.

Martyn Thompson will be bringing selected works from his Korean Bow Collection 2014 to Daegu. A catalog of additional undisplayed works will also be available for you to browse through. Wanna know why you're lucky? Well, since Gallery [t.] will be the last stop for this body of work, Thompson has decided to reduce the prices of his pieces by 50%, putting them at 50,000 - 150,000 won depending on size. Here's an opportunity to spruce up your terribly wallpapered apartment (don't be ashamed, we all deal with this struggle) with amazing art.

A raffle to win a piece from the Korean Bow Collection 2014 will also be held during the opening. So come to Gallery [t.] on saturday, have a coffee and get a dose of culture before heading in to the abyss of downtown Daegu for the night.

The fun starts at 6PM. Click HERE for a map to Gallery [t.]

Already have plans to take it to the beach this weekend? Can't blame you. If you'll be in Busan this saturday, help Daegu band Colours go out with a bang during their LAST SHOW EVER (in Busan...maybe?). They'll be celebrating with Busan bands Say Sue Me and Barbie Dolls at The Basement. Click HERE for more information on the facebook event page. What would we do without facebook? Answer: probably a lot more with our time. But damn if it isn't convenient for events. 

Directions to The Basement can be found HERE.

- Lisa Highfill

Art Fix: The Secret To LIFE

The Daegu National Museum is offering up something special over the next couple of months that photography fans won't want to miss. Some of history's most important photographs will be on display as part of the LIFE Photography Exhibition which kicked off on Tuesday and will run until June 28th. 

While most magazines of its time began with the intent to spotlight writers, LIFE was the first weekly publication to specifically focus on photographers. 130 photos from the impactful publication will be featured. The photographs will play on the themes of "People vs People" (think historical figures), "Moments" (major historical moments in history), "It's Life" (snapshots of everyday life), and "Kiss the Life" (lots of smooching pictures, from what I can gather). 

The cost of the exhibition is 12,000 won. Check the bottom of the post for directions.

Pssst...skip ahead if you hate things like secret passwords and saving money:

Alright. Word on the street is if you show up to view the LIFE Photography Exhibition on Friday April 18th at 4PM, all you have to do is WINK ; ) at the receptionist and say "I missed Daegu Art Museum" and the first 20 people to do so will be given free entry. Literally, you have to wink at the receptionist and say a secret phrase. While this would be a good way to make a bunch of foreigners look like total creeps to the museum staff, I promise you this information came from a reliable source.
Perhaps you'll want to try the phrase in Korean: 대구미술관이 보고 싶었어요 (Daegu misulguani bogo shiputsuyo)

If you actually skipped ahead to this part, I fear we have little in common...

But here's something I know you'll like: Leeahn Gallery's exhibition of film and photography from Eve Sussman, her collaborative team Rufus Corporation, and Simon Lee.

Rufus Corporation 'whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir'

Rufus Corporation 'whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir'

'whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir' (the main video piece of the exhibition) is a film noir which was a featured selection at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The structure of the film is explained on the Rufus Corporation website: "Pushing the envelope of cinematic form, the film is edited live in real time by a custom programmed computer they call the 'serendipity machine.' whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir delivers a changing narrative - culled from 3,000 clips, 80 voice-overs and 150 pieces of music - that runs forever and never plays the same way twice...Driven by key words, the work seamlessly comes together as a movie – that is not a movie."
Other photographic works and collaborations from Sussman are on exhibition as well, but I won't be like those facebook friends who spoiled Game of Thrones for you by giving away too much -- just be sure plan a visit to Leeahn Gallery before May 3rd to see it for yourself.

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Leeahn Gallery
Take exit 9 at the Banwoldang subway station. Go to the right and head down Bongsan Culture Street. At the end of culture street, continue straight (south). Leeahn Gallery is on your left before you get to the road with the monorail.
Here's a map to help

Daegu National Museum -
Click HERE for detailed instructions from the Manchon subway stop on Line 2. Click HERE for less detailed instructions but more bus route options found on the museum's website.

- Lisa Highfill

Art Fix: Artists From [b]racket's Past And Future

Korea loves a good photo booth. Andy Knowlton, a featured Seoul artist in our October 2013 issue, has created photo booths out of phone booths. Andy's phone/photo booths do not come equipped with the editing station that you're used to in Korea, and you can't decorate your pictures with random hangul bubble-text, teddy bears, or hearts. Andy's booths feature the bare minimum: a disposable camera secured to the booth with tape and a padlock. Once enough pictures have been snapped by strangers, he develops them and tapes the unedited photos inside the booths. There is a sweet sincerity to all of the photos captured--even the ubiquitous fuzzy middle-finger snap shot.

It's not surprising that Andy has embarked on another project that he has chosen to essentially give away. He's always been an artist who likes to leave it all behind. When living in America, Andy regularly wrote poems in movie theaters and coffee shops, then abandoned his work for someone else to discover. In Korea, he has art bombed Seoul with paintings, poetry, and handmade dolls made out of trash. His processes itself is simple, honest and poetic, as are the unedited photos that are randomly snapped with the disposable cameras. Check out the video above to see how Andy made phone booths in Seoul a lot more fun.

Let's take a peak in to the future together, shall we? Maria Vazquez Castel, a photographer slated to be in [b]racket's May 2014 issue, will be begin exhibiting her work this week at Gachang Art Studio where she is a current artist-in-residence. Her work will be displayed March 21st thru the 27th. The space will be open for you to enjoy her work from 11AM to 6PM everyday. Be sure to stop by and try to pick out which pieces we'll include in our May issue. Click the flyer below for a map to Gachang Art space.

- Lisa Highfill