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First Korean Exhibition of the Works of Salgado, World Renowned Documentary Photographer

First Korean Exhibition of the Works of Salgado, World Renowned Documentary Photographer

Posted July. 05, 2005 02:28,   


First Korean Exhibition of the Works of Salgado, World Renowned Documentary Photographer

An exhibition of the world-renowned documentary photographer Sebastião Salgado (61), who takes warm black and white photos based on humanism, will be held in Korea.

Born in a small Brazilian village, Salgado moved to the city to study economics but engaged in anti-governmental activities and took exile to France in 1969, earning a doctorate in economics there.

When he visited Africa to research the status of coffee cultivation, he saw people suffering from severe draughts and famine, and thought that instead of an economic thesis, pictures of these people would be more effective in showing their distress, so he started documentary photography.

Starting with Africa, his lens captured the images of impoverished and neglected people throughout the world, in particular people suffering from poverty and natural disasters, just the way it is. Such photographs include a “refugees and migrants” series represented by the silhouette of a man walking with crutches in an Afghan city devastated by war, and “Famine in the Sahel,” where a skeletal child supporting himself with a stick is in the middle of a barren sand plain.

He also captured the images of physical laborers, which are slowly disappearing after the industrial revolution. In order to document indigenous farmers he traveled South and Central America for seven years since the late 70s. He published that work in “Other Americans” with pictures of ascetic, dignified, and powerful indigenous farmers despite their poverty and isolation, which took him tracking mountains on foot for years.

His interest in the lively scene of workplaces made him visit 40 to 50 workplaces over 26 countries including, China, India, the former U.S.S.R., Bangladesh, Cuba, France, Brazil, and the U.S., and he compiled the pictures under the title of “The Workers.”

Workers frantically looking for gold in a Brazilian gold mine wearing only a single piece of cloth and workers working hard to make an immense ship on an empty plain are some of the pictures. By capturing places where manual labor’s freshness that lost its place to machines and computers and the healthiness of a basic life are still left, Salgado ironically shows the dryness of the modern civilization that hosts its humanity.

The first ever Salgado exhibition being held in Korea will show 173 original prints. The location of the exhibition is the Seoul Gallery at the Korea Press Center, Jung-gu, Seoul from July 8 to September 3. Tickets are 8,000 won for adults, 6,000 won for ages 13 to 19, and 5,000 won for children under 12. Call 02-733-6331 for more information.

Mun-Myung Huh angelhuh@donga.com