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Posted December. 25, 2006 07:37,   


“I took pictures of Toronto, Canada, but they say it looks like an Oriental painting. I opened the camera lenses for a long time to capture the white snow, and it’s being interpreted as blank space. When I heard that, it felt like someone read my mind.”

Photographer Choi Young-man (38) is opening his first Korean exhibit after working in Canada. The exhibit will open from January 10, 2007 to January 28 at the Gallery Jinsun (02-723-3340) located in Palpan-dong, Jongro, Seoul.

On display are his series of works called, “My Silence.” To him, silence is like blank margins. He says, “When I started taking pictures of scenery, I began getting over the complications in my life and letting it out, and I started seeing objects for what they were for the first time. If you close your mouth and listen to the sounds of nature, a new world opens up.” He emphasized, “It’s unfortunate that we’ve forgotten how to communicate with the language of silence.”

In the “My Silence” series, there are pictures of scenery that appears to be an Oriental painting of an orchid, and another that looks like a Western sketch. The pictures do not try to enforce some kind of message, but prompt visitors to take a step back and observe.

Choi graduated from college in 1991 in Korea and immigrated to Toronto the following year. During that time, he never once formally studied photography. It was during his education at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the United States during the 1990s that he majored in photography, and afterwards in Toronto he began taking fashion pictures. The “fine art” collection in the exhibit was embarked upon many years ago. “Thanks to the small shop I have next to my place, I don’t have to worry about my livelihood, and I can really focus on fine art. It’s not easy to fit in Toronto because they’re so conservative, but the local artists there are pretty interested in my pieces,” he said.