Filmmaker Park Chan-wook's quest to seek hidden beauty through photography

Asia's Tech News Daily

Filmmaker Park Chan-wook's quest to seek hidden beauty through photography

“Face 16” (2013) by Park Chan-wook / Courtesy of the artist and Kukje Gallery

By Park Han-sol

BUSAN ― During an evening walk in Morocco in 2013, filmmaker Park Chan-wook came across a cluster of white parasols in a hotel restaurant, waiting silently for the next batch of customers with a ghostly presence.

“I felt like I could almost hear their murmurs and whispers when the night fell,” he said. This chance encounter was enough of a reason for him to stop everything else, take out a camera and immortalize that moment in a still frame.

Titled “Face 16,” the piece is one of many photographic works created over two decades by the film director, who is known for cinematic masterpieces like “Oldboy” (2003), “Lady Vengeance” (2005) and “The Handmaiden” (2016), and are now on display at his first solo exhibition at Kukje Gallery Busan.

Filmmaker Park Chan-wook's quest to seek hidden beauty through photography

Filmmaker Park Chan-wook at his first solo gallery exhibition, “Your Faces,” devoted to his photographic works / Courtesy of Kukje Gallery

Inside the gallery, not far from the parasol piece stands “Face 205,” with another curious story to tell. Park turned his eyes to a small basket of fruit laid gently out on a street in Bali, Indonesia, as an offering to the gods. Blackened spots cover a piece of an apple, but an up-close view reveals that these spots are in fact a swarm of ants feasting.

“You can either see the creatures as the visual manifestation of god or as good-for-nothing pests snatching away the sacred offering. It’s really up to the viewer,” he said, adding that the contrast between the black-and-white background and the vibrant color of the fruit “reminds him of his own film’s characteristic look.”

As an artist who has favored both moving and still images for years, he admits that there can’t be a line drawn to completely separate the two worlds. He never goes anywhere without a camera in his hand, not only at film sets and during location scouts, but also during overseas trips, at his office and even at home.

In addition to the movie releases, he has also continually participated in small-scale or group exhibitions of his photographic works ― including at the “Park Chan-wook Theater” at CGV Yongsan and at the Asia Culture Center in Gwangju with his artist brother, Park Chan-kyong, with whom he makes up the duo called “PARKing CHANce.”

But that doesn’t mean the two mediums are one and the same to Park. While hours of contemplation and calculative decisions dominate his cinematic works, his photography is born from intuition and accidental meetings with objects during his wanderings in different parts of the world, while loud music from headphones fills his ears.

Moreover, the fact that movies are collaborative projects requiring constant interaction with other people has exhausted ― and still exhausts ― Park, who sees himself as a lone wolf. And of course, there’s the pressure coming from spending billions of won of other people’s money for each project that keeps him up at night.

Filmmaker Park Chan-wook's quest to seek hidden beauty through photography

“Face 106” (2016) by Park Chan-wook / Courtesy of the artist and Kukje Gallery

Filmmaker Park Chan-wook's quest to seek hidden beauty through photography

“Washington, D.C.” (2013) by Park Chan-wook / Courtesy of the artist and Kukje Gallery

“Meanwhile, I have free rein in photography,” he said, smiling. “Every responsibility lies solely on me, and I don’t waste anyone else’s time or money ― just my own.”

“And I think photos, which inherently have much more temporal and spatial limits compared to films, paradoxically offer more chances to exercise your imagination.”

While the main focus of his films has been humans and their emotional turmoils, in the world of photography, he steers away from anthropocentric tendencies and turns his attention to the non-living objects and landscapes seen in everyday life.

“I want to capture the moment of my private, a one-on-one conversation with an object. And in that process, I see their own life force, characters and facial expressions different from those of humans.”

Filmmaker Park Chan-wook's quest to seek hidden beauty through photography

“Face 45” (2015) by Park Chan-wook / Courtesy of the artist and Kukje Gallery

The gallery is filled with shots of a nameless stone mountain reminiscent of a menacing creature located by the seas of Bali; a curious-looking mannequin gently placed in the passenger seat of someone’s car instead of in a trunk; a single pillar that serves no particular function in a small Catholic church in Rome; drooling gas pumps at an abandoned gas station in Spain; and a random raincoat being dried near the Iguazu Falls in Argentina.

Whether the subject is an easily forgettable item or an abandoned building, he captures everything as if shooting a portrait, transforming it into the hero of a new narrative.

But there’s one thing that exists in common between Park’s motion and still pictures ― his effort to explore and expand the idea of beauty.

“Just like how The Handmaiden seeks to capture beauty hidden deep beneath the ugly, hideous world of men, the point of my photos is to discover and appreciate such quality in an object that seemingly has none.”

Filmmaker Park Chan-wook's quest to seek hidden beauty through photography

Installation view of the “Your Faces” exhibition at Kukje Gallery Busan / Courtesy of Kukje Gallery

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

KOCCA wraps up ON:Hallyu Festival in success

K-pop boy band Stray Kids interacts with fans during a fan meeting event on Nov. 6, which was held as a part of the ON:Hallyu Festival. Courtesy of KOCCA By ... Read more »

SK chairman's younger brother tapped as battery unit leader

Chey Jae-won, right, the younger brother of SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, left, is likely to be named as head of SK On, the group’s battery unit that will undergo ... Read more »

[INTERVIEW] Documentary filmmaker zooms in on Zainichi Koreans

Filmmaker Kim Cheol-min / Courtesy of Indie Story By Kwak Yeon-soo It was a simple coincidence that documentary director Kim Cheol-min traveled to Mount Kumgang in 2002. There he encountered ... Read more »

POSCO benchmarking Google-Alphabet model for overhaul

POSCO’s office in Seoul Courtesy of POSCO By Baek Byung-yeul POSCO Group Chairman Choi Jeong-woo POSCO is seeking to benchmark Google’s establishing of Alphabet as its holding company in its ... Read more »

Inflation woes grip Korean economy

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki. Korea Times file Consumer prices jump at fastest pace in nearly 10 years By Lee Kyung-min The much-dreaded persistence of inflation is ... Read more »

S.Korea, US agree to update war plans against growing N. Korean threats

South Korea’s Defense Minister Suh Wook (R) and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) at a joint press conference right after the 53rd Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) held in Seoul ... Read more »

Skepticism grows over HYBE shares

BTS members perform during their concert held at the SOFI Stadium in Los Angeles on Nov. 28, local time. Courtesy of Big Hit Entertainment By Anna J. Park Shares of ... Read more »

Community infections of Omicron variant looming large

Medical workers enter a hospital in Incheon, Thursday, where a married couple were hospitalized the previous day after testing positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the first cases in ... Read more »

Choi Woo-shik, Kim Da-mi team up again for rom-com 'Our Beloved Summer'

Actors Roh Jeong-eui, Choi Woo-shik, director Kim Yoon-jin, actors Kim Da-mi, and Kim Sung-cheol pose for pictures during the online press conference of the romantic comedy series “Our Beloved Summer,” ... Read more »

Qualcomm ditches TSMC, lets Samsung produce new chips

Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon speaks during its Investor Day event, Nov. 22. Captured from Qualcomm’s YouTube channel By Kim Yoo-chul Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon said it has chosen Samsung as ... Read more »

MZ Generation flexing muscles behind booming luxury brand market

gettyimagesbank Personal luxury goods market continues to expand despite pandemic By Lee Gyu-lee While COVID-19 has dealt a blow to almost every industry worldwide, bringing chaos and economic recession, the ... Read more »

People Power Party's continued strife puts dent in electioneering efforts

Main opposition People Power Party Chairman Lee Jun-seok pose with families of victims of the Jeju April 3 incident in Jeju on Thursday. (People Power Party)People Power Party Chairman Lee ... Read more »

Hanjin chairman honored for bold leadership amid pandemic crisis

Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Won-tae / Yonhap By Lee Min-hyung Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Won-tae has been selected as the 2021 Person of the Year by Orient Aviation, a commercial ... Read more »

POSCO, General Motors ink JV targeting US EV market

The photo shows the ultimate battery used in GM’s electric vehicles. Courtesy of POSCO Chemical By Kim Hyun-bin POSCO Chemical has inked a joint venture (JV) with General Motors (GM) ... Read more »

FSS chief meets with asset management leaders

Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Governor Jeong Eun-bo, fifth from right, stands next to CEOs of local asset management companies who participated in the meeting held at Kensington Hotel in Seoul’s ... Read more »

Moon's end of war proposal faces multitude of challenges

President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)President Moon Jae-in hopes to declare the end of the Korean War during his term, but such a declaration without corresponding denuclearization does not guarantee peace on ... Read more »

Nongshim challenging Paldo with winter 'bibimmyeon'

By Kim Bo-eun Nongshim’s winter edition of “Baehongdong Bibimmyeon” / Courtesy of Nongshim Nongshim said Thursday that it had launched a winter edition of its cold spicy noodle product, “Baehongdong ... Read more »

BTS most streamed Korean artist on Spotify this year

K-pop boy group BTS / Courtesy of Big Hit Music By Dong Sun-hwa K-pop behemoth BTS was the most streamed Korean artist on Spotify this year, the streaming giant said ... Read more »

NK to hold key party meeting as Kim's 10-year leadership anniversary approaches

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (center) convenes a politburo meeting of the country’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea in Pyongyang on Wednesday, during which it decided to hold a plenary ... Read more »

How much are top Korean actresses paid?

These two file photos show actresses Song Hye-kyo, left, and Jun Ji-hyun. Korea Times file By Yoon Ja-young With the rising popularity of Korean dramas around the world, salaries paid ... Read more »

2021 Busan Int'l Art Fair opens to bring together 300 artists from home, abroad

BUSAN, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) — The 2021 Busan International Art Fair (BIAF) kicked off Thursday for a five-day run, showcasing over 3,000 unique works by some 300 celebrated artists from ... Read more »

PEFs face difficulties in acquiring or selling manufacturers

gettyimagesbank By Park Jae-hyuk Private equity funds (PEFs) are facing difficulties in buying and selling manufacturers in the Korean market, as politicians are calling for measures to restrict them from ... Read more »

Arts Picks: Bhaskar's Butterfly Lovers returns, interactive kampung tour

Malini Bhaskar (right) plays Liang Shanbo and Sarenniya Ramathas plays Zhu Yingtai (left) in Bhaskar’s Arts Academy’s upcoming staging of Butterfly Lovers. Butterfly Lovers A bharatanatyam take on the Chinese ... Read more »

Seoul reports record high of 2,268 daily COVID-19 cases

A man wearing a face mask walks in front of Christmas decorations in Seoul, Dec. 1. AP-Yonhap The number of Seoul’s daily COVID-19 cases has hit a record high of ... Read more »

[Contribution] What can we expect in post-pandemic Korea?

Alicia Garcia Herrero By Alicia Garcia Herrero After a long fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Korea has started to open up recently by making international travel possible albeit still difficult. ... Read more »

Coronavirus: New infections, critical cases hit record highs

People queue in line to wait for a coronavirus test at a temporary screening clinic for the coronavirus in Seoul, Dec. 1. AP-Yonhap South Korea’s new coronavirus cases and the ... Read more »

BTS to be absent from MAMAs due to self-quarantine after overseas travel

BTS performs during the concert at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, Nov. 28. The group will be unable to attend the 2021 Mnet Asian Music Awards scheduled for next week ... Read more »

Assembly set to pass W607.9t budget by deadline: official

Parliament holds a plenary session for the revision of the youth protection act on Nov. 11. (Yonhap)The National Assembly is set to pass the government’s 2022 budget before Thursday’s deadline ... Read more »

N. Korea to hold key party meeting as leader Kim set to mark 10 years in power

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) convenes a politburo meeting of the country’s ruling Worker’s Party in Pyongyang on Wednesday, in this photo released by the North’s official Korean Central ... Read more »

Inflation growth hits 10-year high in November

gettyimagesbank South Korea’s consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in nearly 10 years in November due to surging energy costs and high prices of farm products, data showed Thursday, ... Read more »

Defense chiefs of S. Korea, US to hold annual talks on OPCON transfer, N. Korea

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (Reuters-Yonhap)South Korea and the United States are set to hold their annual defense ministerial talks in Seoul on Thursday to discuss the envisioned wartime operational ... Read more »

Korea's Q3 economic growth unchanged at 0.3%: Bank of Korea

gettyimagesbank South Korea’s economy grew at the same pace as earlier forecast in the third quarter of the year despite better-than-expected private consumption and robust exports, central bank data showed ... Read more »

Ruling party desperately appeals to voters ahead of presidential election

Rep. Park Wan-joo of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea speaks during a meeting at the National Assembly, Tuesday. Yonhap By Lee Kyung-min The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) ... Read more »

Underdog brewery wins hearts of young drinkers with creative biz tactics

Local brewery The Satellite Brewing Company collaborated with Samyang’s Spicy Buldak Ramen to release Buldak Mango Ale. Courtesy of The Satellite Brewing Company Beer startup CEO launches beer for outer ... Read more »

S. Korea confirms 1st cases of Omicron variant infection

A passenger from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, arrive at Incheon International Airport, Wednesday. Yonhap South Korea confirmed its first cases of Omicron variant infection on Wednesday, adding to ... Read more »

Moon says S. Korea-US alliance 'linchpin' of Northeast Asian peace

National Security Adviser Suh Hoon reads a speech by President Moon Jae-in at a South Korea-U.S. alliance dinner event at a Seoul hotel on Dec. 1, 2021. (Yonhap) President Moon Jae-in ... Read more »

Rival parties tentatively agree on 2022 budget at W607tr

This file photo from Sept. 15, 2021, shows a plenary session of the National Assembly in Seoul. (Yonhap) The ruling Democratic Party and the main opposition People Power Party reached ... Read more »

OECD ups 2022 growth outlook for S. Korean economy to 3%

The logo of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is seen in this October file photo. AFP-Yonhap The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Wednesday revised ... Read more »

Rookie girl group IVE eyes becoming 'First XI' in K-pop world

Members of K-pop rookie IVE pose during an online press conference Wednesday. Courtesy of Starship Entertainment By Dong Sun-hwa In the realm of football, the term “First XI” often refers ... Read more »

Yook Sung-jae to lead in MBC's upcoming series 'The Golden Spoon'

Actor and singer Yook Sung-jae / Courtesy of MBC By Lee Gyu-lee Actor and singer Yook Sung-jae, who is also known as Sungjae of K-pop boy band BtoB, will play ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic