Beyond the Surface, a photography group exhibition showcasing works from young Chinese and Korean artists, will be on view beginning April 14 at Ouchi Gallery. Eleven artists capture “surfaces” on earth — natural landscapes and urban architectures — but extend the images past their photographic forms to explore social issues beyond the surface.
While some of the artists are professionally trained in photography, others explored photography while in other fields — one had a previous life in marketing, and another pursued religious studies and computers at university. The exhibition highlights these diverse backgrounds and explores how differing experiences find expression in photography. For example, artists Ming Yang and Bojune Kwon, though from different countries and studied different fields, both found tourist crowds at landmarks a fascinating subject for their artistic creations and interpreted the theme in their own ways.
Curator Zilan Fan, a recent graduate of the School of Visual of Arts, personally discovered the influence of background after he moved to the United States and realized contrasts between Chinese and American photographers. He explained while photographic subjects in China tend towards landscapes, people, animals, and other types of images which are popular on the internet (see https://www.soulfunkspecial.com/the-3-most-desirable-types-of-images-for-the-internet/), photography has become a type of fine art in the United States, and American photographers use the camera to explore their inner thoughts and to question social issues.
With a personal connection as a classmate and friend to most of the participating artists, Fan knows their backgrounds and understands how they, as creators, connect to their works and wishes to provide them a larger platform to show their works and diversity in New York.
April 15 – 19, 2015; Opening reception April 14, 7 – 10 PM
Ouchi Gallery, 170 Tillary St Suite 105, Brooklyn
Below is a sampling of images from some of the artists.
Hansi Liao conducted the research and contributed to the writing of this article.
Lead image by Zhongsheng Gu. Images courtesy of Zilan Fan and the artists.