Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Emerging international artists share narrative photos

A group of emerging artists from around the world is holding a photography exhibition in Seoul to tell diverse stories.

Photographers of the Seoul International Women’s Association (SIWA) are sharing their latest work in a showcase titled “Stories — by International Emerging Artists” through Oct. 28 at Gallery Namu in Jongno.

Participants include Joke Verheersch from Belgium, Julita Wick from Indonesia, Berenice van der Elst of France/Belgium, Lorrie Gomes and Caroline Maryan from the United States, Esther Thelen from the Netherlands and Ann Tae-rang from Korea.

Some 20 pieces are on display. As much as it is a group show, gallery-goers can see portraits, landscapes and still lifes featuring a wide range of themes and styles.
The collection introduces exotic faces and scenery captured during travel in faraway places like Turkey as well as endearingly familiar shots of Seoul at night. There are also stills that enable the viewer to rediscover beauty in the mundane, such as coins dispersed around a thick moss-covered pool or white paper lanterns which, shot from below, appear as if they are floating in the sky like round clouds.

“The keyword in our exhibition is diversity. Each photographer tells her own personal story through her photos,” said Shin Mihe, a Korean fine art photographer who taught the exhibited artists.

Also a member of SIWA, Shin has been teaching photography courses through the organization’s enrichment program that provides members with opportunities for cultural, creative and intellectual growth.
She focuses on allowing her students to express themselves through photography through intensive discussion sessions rather than teach the technical aspects of the craft.
“Photography in a way is an easy medium, especially after it went digital. All you have to do is press a button to take a snapshot and edit it right away. Though photography has become more accessible it has at the same time become more difficult. Photographs are created through a machine but their meaning depends on the state of mind of the individual taking the shot,” Shin said.

The exhibition is a prelude to SIWA’s 50th anniversary that falls next year. The volunteer-run organization boasts half a century of providing a place where women from all over the world can meet, find friends, share their knowledge, culture and interests while helping those in need around them.

What took off at a kitchen table when the Korean War (1950-53) ended is now the largest international women’s organization in the country, and SIWA plays a vital part in the life of the expat community with members from over 80 countries.

For more information, visit www.siwapage.com.

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