The Columns is pleased to present Unreal, a selected exhibition of contemporary art works incorporating photography as primary medium.

With the traditional genre of art such as painting and sculpture, we are more apt to readily engage with the art work owing to their materialistic tangibility. It enables us to be in the same place and time and thus be part of the experience it intends to deliver. Even with the abstract art, despite the ambiguous and unfathomable traits inherent in it, viewers manage to make sense of it in their own way with the little help they get from being part of the experience. Tangibility in this sense, allows far greater understanding and appreciation in convincing us with the idea of reality of an art work than any other method.

In contrast, photography mainly deals with images that the artist regenerated with his camera, presenting them as secondary source. It is not something that we can touch nor feel. It prohibits us from experiencing the work in real time basis. Being able to share the moment with the object explains much about how we engage and appreciate the art work. However, this seemingly frustrating barrier that constrains our experience, in a way lets us find a new path: curiosity and imagination. With these two aids, we defiantly cross the border of reality and come across abundant meaning and experience.

Here in the desolate houses of the military base in the old East Germany, Lina Kim picks up a subtle beauty of serenity and silence that for a moment one doubts its reality of having been the center of Cold War. The merry and vivacious people in the midst of a busy city or on the beach that Massimo Vitali depicts are so well positioned and constructed throughout the plane that it looks as if it were fabricated to assume vitality and excitement. On the other hand, in the Urbanus series in which Brian McKee captured the grandeur and glory of Indian interiors, we somehow identify some threads of Greek and Roman myth despite the fact that it was part of our recent lives

Photography is truly mesmerizing. It knocks down our preconceptions of what is real and what is not, blurs the boundaries between existence and absence, truth and false and pushes us into that vast horizon of imagination and experience. Soon, the viewer wanders around the lazy beach in Italy or opens up a tiny door within oneself and embarks on a journey of calm meditation.
The exhibition also shows works of Michael Wesely who amassed and consolidated the passage of time into a poetic image and of Dionisio Gonzàlez who voices hope and dream with his imaginary buildings added onto dilapidated slums. Viewers will also find themselves exposed to the naked desires they hide underneath presented by Daniele Buetti and come to the awareness that they own the answers to all their questions.

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000Dong Jo Chang Director