2 Jun 2011 — 3 Jul 2011
Kyusung Jo
BLOW UP

Blow Up, an exhibition by Kyusung Jo, an emerging artist whose work employs non-digital techniques to make surreal photographs. In the exhibition Jo presents seventeen of his most evocative works from a series entitled Bubble, begun in 2007, in which he captures soap bubbles from different viewpoints within exotic backdrops of European nature.
The Bubble series, capturing ‘the momentary’ and a combination of coincidental elements
The Bubble series is a selection of artworks in which photographs are taken of soap bubbles whilst roaming around different parts of Europe, including Germany, Poland, and England. The soap bubbles may look like constructed images, but they are the actual materials that Jo made himself each time a photograph was taken. The influences of wind and humidity allow them to appear in multiple and constantly changing ways. They are characteristic of a sense of delicate existence, reflecting like glass, through their translucent bodies, the things that surround them. Based on ‘the momentary’, which disappears at the same moment that a camera’s shutter has been activated, Jo attempts to capture a combination of all the ‘coincidental’ elements at play in his surroundings.
The bubble in nature, a contrast between the natural and the artificial
The Bubble series reflects the European landscape throughout the four seasons, traversing dark coniferous forests and beautiful beaches bathed in warm sunlight. All the sites were intentionally selected as places that haven’t been marked by human traces, in order to maximize the contrast between the natural and the artificial, a persistent theme within the artist’s work. Soap-bubbles, as features from our ordinary, everyday lives, appear to transform into unfamiliar objects when relocated to a most unexpected backdrop of nature. A chain of interpretations or significances can be derived in a number of different ways, depending on the freedom of the viewer’s imagination.
Photographs created entirely through analogue means.
What is particularly fascinating is the fact that the series was produced using analogue techniques rather than digital. In addition, the photographer works by wandering around without a pre-determined location. Solely relying on manual cameras, Jo grappled with the soap-bubbles and nature, both of which were thoroughly uncontrollable and unpredictable. The artist finally succeeded in capturing ‘decisive moments’ after significant amounts of trial and error. This is perhaps the reason why viewers can relate to a sense of the genuine within these seemingly unreal scenes.
The Bubble series holds meaning in the way it traces the journey of a soap-bubble, at the same time as it captures the trajectory of the artist hidden behind the camera. Jo says that he will continue to work on this series in the future. This exhibition can be assumed as a prelude to another chapter within this endless journey.
Installation view