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Put it on Nam Youngju's Photo Exhibition_ Magic Photorealism

Lee YoungWook


   Mirror images have been mentioned since the invention of photography. One of the inventors, William Henry Fox Talbot, called the photography he discovered by various names, one of which likened photography to a "paper mirror." In his view, he thought that photography resembled reality just like the image reflected in the mirror. His idea is consistent with the empirical theory of the long-standing tradition that our consciousness reflects this world. However, the Immanuel Kant reverses it. We saw that our consciousness was reconstructed by the schematics of time and space, based on the perceived emotional experience in the world out there, but already settled in consciousness. Therefore, according to Kant's view, the problem of looking at pictures is not simply to see an honest reflection of the world. Therefore, the world reflected in our consciousness is not in the objective information that photography conveys, but the distorted images of photographic devices and lenses are filtered through the mesh of consciousness. So we fundamentally cannot see this world straight.


   Nam Youngju carries a mirror and shows scenes taken at a travel destination. As a result, the image reflected in the mirror and the image captured by the lens make up the screen at the same time. The point of view of the lens is facing forward, but the image reflected in the mirror is facing the opposite direction. When several more mirrors are used, the images reflected in the mirrors are reflected back in different directions, complicating the images between the lens and the mirrors. The fragmented gaze, like the gaze of Argos, with 100 eyes from Greek mythology, is as fantastic as seeing the world through the yogurgy. It is quite different from the world that humans have seen with their own eyes. What's surprising here is that the camera's lens is one and shows a space that matches the gaze of one-eyed Cyclops. Therefore, we consciously intend to fully believe in the world we see in photographs, even though photography is completely different from the world we observe with human eyes. As in Snow White's story, the phenomenon in which the witch, the queen, looks in the mirror and orders, "Mirror, mirror, who is the prettiest person in the world?" We want and want to believe in the world where consciousness is directed through photography. Nam Young-joo shatters the expectations into pieces. Through Argus's eyes, the world we habitually look at is paradoxically distorted, how unimaginable it is.


   Nam Youngju associates her work with magic. Based on the magical realism of South American literature, including Gabriel Garcia Maŕquez, he turned his destination into an unrealistic world. That's why we created a world that doesn't exist at all. The attribute of magic is actually a trick of the eye. It's not about creating something that has nothing at all, but letting it disappear or appear in the moments when we're not late. Therefore, the world of magic is a phenomenon in which what is hidden and what is visible disappears completely. So the way she poses the problem to us is to make us realize what we were not late for through the fantastic experience of magic. The experience makes us rethink how the framework of perception underlying our consciousness is being reconstructed, and is not virtual. The world reflected in our consciousness never exists outside the world. Unconsciously, we become helpless in front of her picture. The world I see is an illusion and a mirage that doesn't exist. But it is not despair. It is also a sign that humans have created this world. When we magically make it disappear, if there is God, we may only see the world created by God.

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