2022. 8. 11 – 8. 27
Lim Young Kyun
Lim Young Kyun’s Photography of the Antarctica
One cannot exclude the ‘recording’ element of photography prior to discussing its ‘artistic’ element. It is not of problem to constitute photography without the element of art if it serves its purpose of recording. It is precisely here where the difference with normal painting lies. The main appeal of Lim Young Kyun’s works is their conspicuous artistic appeal along with its function of recording, whether the works focus on persons or scenery.
Lim Young Kyun’s exploration of the remote, far flung areas of the Earth already traces back to 20 years from now. His exploration is, of course, not the discovery of new things but the discovery of the scenery of inception that has been discovered yet has not been appreciated in its fullest form. In this sense, his exploration does, in fact, belong to a realm of exploration.
The route of his expedition began in the edge of the primitive life in Himalaya and its scenery to Siberia and the pasture of Mongolia to the Antarctica. He explored the Antarctica five times and the present exhibit manifests the essence of such expeditions.
Fellow artists inquire his ordeal in all seriousness – why would he expedite the Antarctica that is so distant and so harsh? Such an ordeal is what makes his photography journey enormously adventurous. The questions that the fellow artists make imply such anxiety that ensues the adventure. They unfortunately overlook the awe – better yet, the exaltation – of the discovery of the scenery of inception that reaches far beyond the scope of this commonsensical anxiety.
To return to the Antarctica “notwithstanding the pain and suffering that ensue its expedition, drawn to it by the pure white, majestic power of the nature” cannot be understood unless as a reward for the awe or the exaltation of the discovery. The dramatic moment that the encounter with the mysterious nature endows is a dimension that extends beyond “the truth of the moment” that photography art usually speaks of. The iceberg that appears at the place where the sky and the ocean meets is not mere scenery. This untrodden scenery is the presence of the pure existence uncontrolled and uninhabited by human influence. It is the scenery of the dimension that seeks to go back to the origin of the world; existence but beyond existing, landscape but also an inception that does not exist as landscape any longer; and where the breath of the creation of the world still lies. Despite the abundance of sustained global attention to environmental change and preservation, this scenery belongs to the artist and is an answer to his meditation, and therefore belongs to a different ontological realm. It is the crystal of individual truth. It would not be wrong to call it a fruition of desire to explore the very first moment of the truth, the naked flesh of nature, to nacheleben (roughly translates to represent, relive or reenact) the moment of the creation of this world.
Therefore, we do not merely at a “scene” or a photography, but tremble at the inherent visual abundance that the scene possesses. The appeal of photography art, it is the moment of appreciation that Lim Young Kyun’s exploration gives us.
Kwang soo Oh (Art Critic)
King George Island 2011
73 Garosu-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea
+82 2 542 5543