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Under ocean currents

Photographer Song Jung-keun captures intense feeling in nature

Photographer Song Jung-keun captures extreme emotions in nature. In the photograph of a large, spontaneous ocean wave, one feels the rage of Mother Nature and the state of calamity at the same time.

The dramatic impact of Song’s photographs reflects the emotions he felt in the early 2000s when the world he was becoming polarized, struggling.

“I experienced the low point in my life after the Asian financial crisis in 1997. I had struggled financially and also saw others struggle like I did,” said Song. “I asked myself how I could express my intense emotions, something that isn’t possible in words.” 
Photographer Song Jung-keun. (Courtesy of Artist/Gallery Kong)
Photographer Song Jung-keun. (Courtesy of Artist/Gallery Kong)
“Ocean,” by Song Jung-keun (Courtesy of Artist/Gallery Kong)
“Ocean,” by Song Jung-keun (Courtesy of Artist/Gallery Kong)


At his first solo exhibition at Gallery Kong in Seoul, which ended on Sunday, he presented the result of his quest to depict the strong emotions in photographs.

Song has 20 years of experience in photojournalism and commercial photography. He has participated in numerous projects with Magnum Korea, Ewha Womans University, Hyundai Card and Jeju Olle.

Since reaching that emotional turning point, he has devoted his practice to capturing strong emotions of human beings in the sublime movement of nature.

The “Winter” series shows the emotional state of withdrawal in the frozen water; the “Cloud” series expresses kinetic energy through flooding water and the “Ocean” series depicts the emotional climax through the waves of the deep Pacific Ocean.

“I concentrated on transforming the grandness of nature into an object while removing perspective in my photographs. It’s an attempt to maximize the originality of nature,” said Song.

By Lee Woo-young (wylee@heraldcorp.com)
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