[The Origin of Things] 김용호 사진전 : 우아한 인생 , 김용호 작가를 만나다
가을을 재촉하는 비가 내리던 어느 오후, 한남동 류화랑 앞 작은 카페에서 김용호 작가를 만났습니다.
엿볼 수 있었습니다. 현재 한남동 소재의 류화랑에서는 <우아한 인생> 전시회가 진행중입니다.
이 전시회는 현대카드 it card 광고사진들을 전시하고 있는데요, 어느 작품 하나 눈길을 끌지 않는 작품이 없었습니다.
On a rainy fall afternoon, we met photographer Kim Yong-ho at a café near Ryu Hwarang in Hannam-dong. He had been reputed to be a sharp dresser and also on the day, he dressed in a white top and bottoms and a black jacket, showing his natural and nice fashion sense. Currently, his photo exhibition <Elegant Life> is being held at Ryu Hwarang in Hannam-dong. The exhibition is showing advertise photographs of Hyundai Card’s IT CARD and each work caught our eyes.
Q. The title of the exhibition is <Elegant Life>. What does it stand for?
A. Most of all, I have thought much about the title. Everybody dreams of elegant life. I wanted to express elegant life we dream of in our daily lives. In fact, sophisticated and luxurious life like a picture image is not common but we dream of it. It is our wish as well as desire and motivates us to move toward a better life. The most ultimate message is that if you use Hyundai Card’s IT CARD, you can realize the elegant life you have dreamed of. (Laugh)
Q. What is the most noteworthy point of the exhibition?
A. The exhibition is unprecedented and meaningful in that pictures used in an advertisement not the advertisement itself are being displayed and sold as a work of art. In particular, it is very unusual that photos of an advertisement, which is being published, are being exhibited. It is very important that advertising photographs do not end their lives by expressing a product but have value as a work of art. Although the exhibition may be unfamiliar in Korea where art and commerce are divided obviously, I would like to say that through the exhibition the boundary of art and commerce can break new ground for a new work rather than becoming limitation. If pictures used in an advertisement can come up in conversation and be sold through the exhibition, it can lead to the second effectiveness of advertising. For its part, a company can recreate an excellent advertisement and products in partnership with photographers. I believe many companies and photographers will pay attention to the significance of the ad and the exhibition of IT CARD.
Q. How have you prepared for the advertising photographs of IT CARD?
A. For the last three years, I have researched a lot on Hyundai Card by visiting its head office and a card issuing department. As the identity of Hyundai Card is included in IT CARD, I began with Hyundai Card to come up with a way to express IT CARD well. Visiting Hyundai Card and studying it to the core, I could draw inspiration. Watching a person’s house or a desk, you can understand his or her personality, tendency or values etc. Thus, I have constantly researched and experienced desire and a lifestyle modern people have dreamed of. For a photographer, an experience is very important. Many pictures begin with a photographer’s experience. From the pictures of IT CARD ads, you may feel that they are neither unfamiliar nor vague. Also, you may feel they are not completed but ongoing.
Q. What does IT CARD mean to you?
A. I can define it in a single word. “IT CARD is a credit card which makes us use it because we want to show it off.” (Photographer Kim is actually using Paris Blue.)
Q. What do you think about Hyundai Card?
A. I do not feel differently from what other people think of it. I think Hyundai Card is a leading group succeeded in design marketing. It is plausible that other companies are trying to benchmark Hyundai Card. The brand, Hyundai Card, is well worth enough. I have obtained most ideas about my work from clients. Hyundai Card was a really good partner. The pictures of IT CARD could be satisfactory thanks to the leading group Hyundai Card. Excellent ads can be created from an excellent advertiser, you know.
Q. Do you have something to say to or wishes for your protégés?
A. As conventional pictures were documentary photographs, many photographers tend to focus on taking a picture only. They try to take only a beautiful shot for what they see. However, the action of taking a picture itself signifies nothing. It is just a means of expression. A photographer is not just a person who records something but should have his own philosophy like a philosopher. Without philosophy, photographers do not have ideas and cannot create work. A photographer’s philosophy and diverse perspectives can lead to better creation. A role of a photographer is not only taking a picture well but also taking a photo containing his thought and philosophy. Pictures of IT CARD were also taken by a photographer who has special thought and philosophy with regard to IT CARD through conducting in-depth study and consideration of it. Those who have no philosophy cannot deliver their message exactly even with a great camera and lens.
Q. Please tell us your dream or plan.
A. I want to establish a picture art center which has advantages of a museum and a gallery so as to build a picture archive; provide educational opportunities for those who are interested in pictures; sell photographs; hold exhibitions and give support, contributing to the development of Korea’s photographic art.
During the interview with photographer Kim Yong-ho, we could feel his ardor for photographs. It was calm rather than strong. However, when he talked about his philosophy about photos, his attitude was firm and he took great pride in it. The exhibition represents much because not only a product is used as material for art but also it is a new challenge covering genres of commerce and art. We hope photographer Kim and Korea’s photographic art can keep on rolling. :)
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