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New Photography in Korea II
by Galerie Paris-Beijing
Location: Galerie Paris-Beijing | Beijing
Date: 12 Mar - 8 Jun 2011

After the success of the first part of New Photography in Korea, held in Paris this past winter, the Galerie Paris-Beijing is proud to bring the second part of New Photography in Korea to Beijing. The ambitious title does not reflect an attempt at exhaustiveness but more of a wish to present to the public a subjective, yet hopefully coherent look at the photography that has come out of Korea over the past few years.

When we say Korea, we should really be saying South Korea, the small discreet country between the two Asian giants of China and Japan, who most often appears in the media to contextualise the conflict with its awkward brother, North Korea.

Since the 1980s, we have been witness to lightning growth in “The Land of the Morning Calm.” The path that South Korea has taken since the devastating Korean War (1950-53) has, in only a few decades, transformed it from a Third World country into a fully industrialised nation. One only need be there to appreciate its economic as well as cultural vitality, its perpetually changing urban landscapes, and its incredibly dynamic art scene led most notably by its cinema and museums, festivals, contemporary art fairs, and other biennials of international scope. Not a day goes by without a new gallery opening in Seoul.

And photography? It‟s booming, abundant, and vibrant. What better choice of medium to highlight such social upheaval and express uncertainties as resulting sociological transformations? It is thus quite natural that the young artistic vanguard, born at the end of the 1970s, has largely adopted the photographic medium to document the richness, identity, and complexity of their widely neglected country.

For New Photography in Korea, we have selected nine young photographers that live in Korea today and who we believe represent the principal currents in contemporary Korean photography.Introspective and sociological photography, fashion and architectural photography, conceptual, or even staged photography. The work confronts urbanisation, globalisation, consumption, identity, culture, memory, family, sexuality, and the fabric of society. A whole host of themes are addressed by this generation of artists born out of the Korean miracle, who are now on the cusp of international recognition.

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