Visual Communications

JES JOHNSON PROCESS DIARY

Exhibition

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This weeks task was to visit an exhibition and make commentary on its presentation.

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The exhibition I attended was the Youngho Kang exhibit at the Ballarat Biennale.

  • What is here? Describe what you see, how is it laid out? Describe the lighting, size and format of the images, the gallery etc.

The exhibition was laid out along two white painted wooden walls, with their backs facing each other. This led you around the space in a nice way. It was housed in a very large, grand old red brick building, with a high roof and large arched windows all the way around up high. The images were lit by strip tungsten lamps. The images were all quite large, but I forgot to get actual measurements, however you can see in the pictures in relation to the wall they’re mounted on that they’re big.

  • Finally describe the images/image in detail, what do you see?

The images in this exhibition were awesome; I really enjoyed it. Youngho Kang made powerful, simple self-portraits with a running theme through most of them. Most had white body paint, centred subject, and the same lighting. Muted tones seemed to be used, with a not-quite-black-and-white palette running through.

  •  What it is about? Consider its subject matter. Describe your interpretation of what the photographer is trying to say or your opinion of how successful the message is in regards to the artist’s statement. Discuss the technical elements of the images, contrast, focus, density and other composition elements and how this relates to the success of the overall message.

I feel like the series is about self-reflection. The images all show a different aspect to Kang’s self; internal and external. Some seem to be about androgyny and his feminine side. Others seem to be telling stories about technology or grotesque things. The singular image above that I have chosen to focus on to me speaks of the dance with our robotic perhaps unconscious or maybe unfeeling selves. He’s looking to make peace with this dance. I think the choice of including the camera in the shots is a strong compositional choice, and speaks to the strong reflective nature of this work. I love the depth of tone in these images; the stripped back colour is awesome and distills it down to its core depth, which for me is humble self-reflection.

  • Is it good? Give your opinion on the work. Is it successful? Be honest, it is far more valuable to you and the artist to be honest, rather than try to impress.

I loved this exhibition. For me it was my favourite within the whole festival (not that I managed to see everything). I loved the large printed format. To me it is totally successful, and so interesting to look at. The self-portrait theme is awesome, and rendered so strongly by Kang with the choices of makeup, costume and titling. I thoroughly enjoyed his work.

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