Believing is Seeing

On the occasion of the exhibition Believing is Seeing at Ffotogallery (10 November – 17 December 2011), this new publication focuses on the work of seven Korean artists who each adopt different approaches to contemporary photography or photography-based work. Focusing on some common themes in contemporary Korean photographic art – its performative nature, ideas of duration and transience, nature and constructed reality, memory and illusion – the publication expands on the themes explored in the exhibition with curatorial texts by David Drake (ffotogallery) and Jiyoon Lee (SUUM Project and Academy).

The term ‘Junsinsajo’, used in traditional Korean portrait painting, signifies the replication of a person’s shape and spirit. This means that taking a photograph of a person is not restricted to a replication of their physical likeness, but should also embody the essence of their personality. Inverting the Western idiom ‘seeing is believing’, the exhibition features artists with markedly different strategies in relation to photographic portraiture, but who all reject any approach to photography that emphasises visual verification and purely mechanical reproduction.