Archive for July, 2008

adjø enhver!

We’re going to Copenhagen for a wedding, then to Berlin for some debauchery, and then to London to see family and friends. Away for two weeks!

In the meantime, perhaps you’d like to watch every single episode of one of the best TV shows ever… for free… on the internet! (These are the kinds of discoveries one makes when living sans television set). Or maybe you’d like to watch Ghostbusters again, if you’re really keen.

But I guess I should link to something more edifying and photo-related. So, via From This Moment (Justin James Reed’s blog), you can watch every single episode of the BBC’s Genius of Photography. It’s actually very good!

Auf Wiedersehen!

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cohesion kang

When I was at the Royal College, I was making photographs like this:

© Hee Jin Kang

I was working almost exclusively in a studio, using strobes and aided by a technician. The photographs I made were constructed (rather than found) and mostly about expressions of desire.

Now back in New York and out of the confines/comforts of grad school, I’m focusing more on personal projects, mainly about family and the familiar. And I’m finding pictures in the real world rather than constructing them. I’ve moved so far away from the work I was making in graduate school that I wonder if it has any cohesion.

Sometimes I make a picture that echoes my older work:

© Hee Jin Kang

Or does it?

Ultimately I’d like to redo my portfolio and shuffle all the imagery together, not edited by projects per se. It’s more difficult than I imagined. There is definitely some kind of connective tissue throughout all my photographs but pinpointing it is not so easy.

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My former gallery returned my work last week. One gigantic fed-ex cardboard crate and a jumbo tube. Whoa. I have to bring this stuff home but where will I store it? I’m already monopolizing all the free space around the apartment – portfolio cases, framed pieces, mounted photographs, boxes of prints and negatives, rolls of inkjet print-outs, etc. Luckily F. has his own painting studio!

So I’m wondering (again) if I should get a studio space. Like other photographers I know who don’t shoot a lot in a studio environment, my apartment is my workspace. An 8-foot long pin board and a nice long deskspace with the requisite computer/printer/scanner trio make it (almost) a cozy place to get workin’. I suppose it’s a live/work space, or more like a live space invaded by work.

Really what I want is a true live/work space for me and F. which probably means we either have to move much deeper into Brooklyn (Ridgewood anyone?) or leave NYC completely (Portland anyone?).

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William A. Ewing, the Director of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, edited Face: The New Photographic Portrait and now it’s available in paperback.

Thanks to my friend for the link to The Independent’s (a UK newspaper) review that mentions my photograph in the book:

Reviewed by Christopher Hirst
Friday, 25 July 2008

… Many of the images are jarring. This is only to be expected with the surgically implanted “horns” of the French artist Orian or Hee Jin Kang’s portrait of a lip-glossed mouth surrounded by a sprouting beard. But one of the most disturbing pictures in the book is the literally defaced photograph of a Bosnian family found when they returned to their Serb-occupied house in Sarajevo.

Cool. You can order the book on amazon.

And this is my photo that was included in the book and in the Face shows curated by Mr. Ewing:

© Hee Jin Kang

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my website above

A Photo Editor might be onto something here.

Looks like he’s getting into the photographers’ website design business – watch out liveBooks! – with his new company APhotoFolio.com. At first glance, I must say it appears promising.

When I want/need to update my current website, I have to sit down with a designer (currently this talent-laden friend) as he manually updates images, content, and text according to my direction. The entire process is time-consuming, which is why I only update my website once every 6 months or so (I know, how lazy).

I dream of having a cool and efficient back-end admin control panel where I can easily upload images, create new project portfolios, and revise my CV whenever I wish, thereby keeping the website content completely up-to-date and in my control. Imagine it! I suppose if I knew anything about html and flash, I could manage my own website, but alas I don’t.

(Side note: part of why I love wordpress.com is its simplicity – so easy to add images and write entries, it’s almost dangerous…)

Last year, I briefly toyed with the idea of signing up with liveBooks, but balked at the price. The fully customizable “unlimited” package costs $3,200 plus $90 annual fee. Seems like a lot. But more importantly, I really didn’t like those scroll-down menus on the top navigation bar. When I spoke to a (very nice) rep from liveBooks about having scrolling menus on a side panel (rather than along the top), he said that was one design element that couldn’t be changed. And the nail in the coffin: their client examples often seemed to load s l o w l y . . . maybe I was looking at them at peak traffic hours (2am on a Tuesday?) but still.

APhotoFolio.com only has 2 designs so far, and I must admit that I like their Brooklyn template quite a bit – it’s similar to my website with lots of white and a simple layout. And scroll-down menus on the side. The one-time set-up fee is a thousand bucks, but there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee! How fun!

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books & blogs

So many photography books. So many photoblogs. So many photographs. Why the abundance? We’re all desperately trying to leave some kind of mark. We’re terrified of dying.

I submitted a small book for the blurb competition and a truly morbid thought crossed my mind: if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, at least there’s this blurb book and my infrequently-updated blog to refer to. How long do I exist on google before I’m history? Are any of my online fingerprints indelible? Evidence that I once was here.

I call these my legacies: my photographs, my photo books, my musings posted on this blog. I kept journals in high school and in college but who has the penmanship for that now?

Of course there are memories and stories, there always are. You remember odd details when someone dies – the sound of that person’s laughter, or the way she holds her hands when she walks. My friend died recently and I remember her only as a teenager in love with Depeche Mode.

Memories are intangible and often inaccessible, on the tip of your tongue.

I may never take another picture of myself, but at least my photographs are a record of who I am. This is who I was, before I wasn’t anymore.

(I am reminded of this person: http://theresalduncan.typepad.com

You may recall her story. I didn’t know her personally but reading her bizarre blog posthumously feels so eerie.)

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Creative consultant/coach Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua’s post about her ER visit on Burns Auto Parts definitely gave me pause.

When I started freelancing years ago, I never bothered to get health insurance. At the time, it seemed expensive and unnecessary. Three years went by and I was lucky – only one trip to the ER for cutting my finger open while making New Years invitations (they were elaborate!). It took over a year of $50 monthly installments to pay off the hospital bill.

Now that I’m no longer that young and foolish, I have insurance through the Freelancers Union and appreciate the peace of mind. So if you don’t have health insurance, consider this a friendly reminder – go get it!

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I received this email a while ago (shrug) but it landed in my inbox again today so I thought it was worth passing around for those interested. It’s certainly not new – I think they launched in 2005 – so they must be recycling an old email, but it still may be worthwhile to join:

I am contacting you from the Saatchi Gallery here in London. I would like to tell you about a new development here at the Saatchi Gallery where you can showcase your work for free.
We have created a new resource entitled Saatchi Online; this allows artists to post their work and information on The Saatchi Gallery site. You can now post up to 20 images, biographical information, information about you and your art, as well as your own contact details and website. There is no fee and no commission for any sales you make through the site. We have created resource to assist artists in raising their profile on a worldwide basis. Once you have registered on Saatchi Online you will be able to add your artworks to our new Saleroom Online, where curators and collectors will be able to search your work and buy directly from the site free from commission.
Curators, collectors as well as the thousands of visitors that browse the site everyday have the opportunity to view your work. You have your own page which you can update as often as you wish.
Saatchi Online Facilities
* A direct link in our new Artists and Art Links section of our website.
* Interactive chat with other artists from all over the world.
* Space to display up to 20 images which can be enlarged and viewed in the size uploaded.
* Showdown: As a Saatchi Online artist you are allowed to submit art work to our competition, ‘Showdown’, where each week visitors to the site vote on their favourite artworks. The winners proceed to a head to head final and win a place in the new Saatchi Gallery opening in 2008.
* Crits : Here you will be able to submit your work for critique by other artists.
* Artist of the Day and Critics Choice featuring artists on our unique daily online art magazine.
If you are interested please visit: http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/yourgallery/
or you can register here for the Photographers section.

Above skull courtesy of Damien Hirst, of course.

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blame the heat

I was really looking forward to attending aphotoeditor aka Rob Haggart’s Editorial Boot Camp on Sunday, part of Photo Shelter’s Shoot the Day/NYC Gathering’s very strong line-up.  Lots of interesting presentations and cool air-conditioning. 

But after a weekend of Moscow mules and milkshakes, birthday and going-away parties, and a general abundance of drinks and heat, I completely forgot!  It was the summer swelter that did it – my brain was fried.  I woke up Sunday feeling like I was forgetting something, and then proceeded to forget.  Oh well.  I read somewhere that the Photo Shelter people would post a video of the event, so I’ll look out for that.  Did anyone attend?

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Haven’t been in the mood to post, but thought this video was awesome! Love those white shorts.


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