The Korea Herald


[What to see] Photo exhibitions of note

By Park Yuna

Published : May 25, 2024 - 16:00

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For photography enthusiasts, it is time to go gallery hopping around Seoul and view works by internationally renowned photographers Richard Misrach and Candida Hofer on exhibition. An exhibition of Korean photographer Joon Choi's works featuring the Pensive Bodhisattva statue (Bangasayusang) is worth a visit for those seeking peace within themselves.

An installation view of “Richard Misrach” at Pace Gallery (Courtesy of the gallery) An installation view of “Richard Misrach” at Pace Gallery (Courtesy of the gallery)

Richard Misrach’s play on colors, light at Pace Gallery

American photographer Richard Misrach is one of the most influential photographers of his generation. The artist’s first-ever exhibition in South Korea “Richard Misrach” highlights photographs from his “On the Beach,” “Desert Cantos” and “Icarus Suite” series.

The never-before-exhibited Elephant Parable body of work, produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, is on view at the exhibition. The series was inspired by the fable of a blind man and an elephant, and the works in this series are all derived from a single image of a bamboo forest in Hawaii.

Since the 1970s, Misrach has been known for his poignant, large-scale images that look into social, political and environmental issues of the present while also engaging with the history of photography.

The exhibition at Pace Gallery in Hannam-dong, Seoul, runs through June 15.

"Stiftsbibliothek St.Gallen III 2021" by Candida Hofer (Courtesy of Candida Hofer, Kukje Gallery)

Candida Hofer’s renascence at Kukje Gallery

German photographer Candida Hofer is best known for large-scale color images of empty interiors such as museums, libraries and concert halls. Kukje Gallery in Samcheong-dong presents the artist’s new works at the solo exhibition “Renascence,” four years after her exhibition at the gallery's Busan space.

“Renascence” shows 14 works that include the artist’s latest series documenting historic buildings that underwent renovation during the pandemic. Among the works is a series of photographs that focus on the New National Gallery (Neue Nationalgalerie), a modernist landmark in Berlin, following its renovation. Designed by the modernist master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), it is considered an icon of 20th-century architecture.

Over the past five decades, Hofer has photographed the interiors of culturally significant public spaces around the world with her signature compositional precision and detail.

"Banga Sayusang 2" by Joon Choi (Courtesy of the artist)

Gilt-bronze Bodhisattva at Duson Gallery

Korean photographer Joon Choi’s photographs of the Pensive Bodhisattva Statue (Bangasayusang), a designated national treasure, offer comfort and tranquility to viewers.

The Pensive Bodhisattva Statue created in the Three Kingdoms period (18 BC-660 AD) features a classic contemplative pose with one leg perched up on the other knee and the fingers of one hand raised against the cheek.

In 2021, Choi was given permission to photograph the statue that is on exhibition at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. Choi explored the Buddhist sculpture from different angles, emphasizing the rough surface of the Bangasayusang which shows the passage of time and the scars that have accumulated over 1,500 years.

The exhibition “Inevitable Encounter, Serendipity” running through July 28 at Duson Gallery in Jeongdong also includes the artist’s experiments using AI programs that are reminiscent of pop art.