Photographers

An Interview with the Architectural photographer Tae-ho Jeong

Architectural photographer Tae-ho Jeong graduated from Seoul Art College (Department of Photography) is acting as an expert photographer in the field of architecture and interior design. He represents Space Studio, is a regular member of KAPA (Korea Advertising Photographer Association), and works as the head of the photography department at the Interior Design Monthly. He held private exhibitions including Black and White Exhibition hosted by Yeon Art Gallery and Photo exhibition of Korea Interior Design hosted by Gwanhwoon Art Museum. He hosted a book publication ceremony <Light of Enlightenment - Vairocanna Buddha> and photo exhibition at Gallery LaMer, and held a private exhibition through the invite from Gyeongju World Culture Expo. As an active member of a diverse number of group exhibitions including the KAPA member exhibition and International Advertising Photo Exchange, he is remaining active in his work in related fields.

An Interview with Tae-ho Jeong

What are the major impressions you have in terms of differences in architectural photography and taking Buddha images?

I was committed in interior and architectural photography for the last 30 years in Korea. Then in recent 10 years, I devoted myself to showing Buddha images “as they are” with untainted documentary photography rather than through the approach of an architectural photographer. Architectural photography strongly involves capturing the beauty of artificial design and natural aspects together. Also, it is related to finding harmony between space and time. 

In the contrary, reinterpreting the figures of delicately carved Buddha into conventional photographs, was challenging. In the beginning of my work, I spent several months to visit the same sites, consistently looking for the most perfect lighting from different times of the day. I eased myself as a photographer and tried to confront and reflect the nature itself as they are without artificial lighting and techniques. I made my best effort to “show them as they are” in purely documentary style photos. 

What is your inspiration on showing Buddha images, and what is the message you’d like to convey?

Over 30 years of my career in architectural photography, I realized there is beauty of lines in oriental architecture, which led me to comprehend aesthetic matters from the figures of Buddhas. I personally believe Buddha himself has the most beautiful and generous smile of lines, embracing great depth of mercy. Furthermore, these thoughts guided me into a 10-year long master project. 

I am a believer of Buddhism myself before I start my career as an architectural photographer and the teachings of Buddhism have encouraged my career with favorable result as a photographer. Not only just as a believer, but also as an architectural photographer, I think compiling and publishing all the images of the Buddhas scattered around Korea is one of the ways to contribute my skills to Buddhism in a meaningful way.

Over the 10 years of my project, I am strongly aware that numerous Buddhas were damaged from poor maintenance. I hope we all develop awareness of our vulnerable history. From a cultural perspective, the first Buddhist cultural book named <Light of Enlightenment - Vairocana Buddha> was published with a collection of 1,700 images of Buddhas, from the Unified Silla Period to the Chosun dynasty. 

Also, I would like emphasis on the back of the Buddha statues to the world. Not a lot of people have the chance to see it and it has been misunderstood as solemn and obscure. Nonetheless, I can feel the monks have contributed significantly even on the rear part of the Buddha statues. I perceive that lines in the back of Buddha statues convey to the world great sense of energy and strength.

By taking this opportunity, I want to share the beauty of the lines of Vairocana Buddha. I hope this collection can bring more interests in Korean culture and Buddhism to everyone.

“Light Built on a Great Rock” by Tae Ho Jeong, South Korea, Room 4218 .jpg

LIGHT BUILT ON A GREAT ROCK

When an event is held at a Buddhist temple, a flag called the ‘Tang’ is installed at the entrance of the temple. The pole where the flag is hung is called the ‘Tanggan’, and the two stone pillars on either side of the Tanggan’s to support the Tanggan is called the ‘Tanggan Jiju’. The Tanggan Jiju is set-up in front of the temple and is used to mark the sacred area. The biggest Tanggan Jiju in South Korea, At Gulsansa Temple, was built using one giant stone, and showcases the simple yet breathtaking beauty of sculptures. Built during the Unified Silla period, the 5.4 meter granite pillars vibrate with the power and wisdom of the Silla people. The sky was clearing after the evening rain.

A SMILE FROM THE HEAVEN

A SMILE FROM THE HEAVEN

I cannot forget the moment I first saw the statue. The second it revealed itself from the dark museum storage (after requesting a viewing with much difficulty), I saw a treasured heavenly face, shining an endless smile upon me. I was lost for words for its dignified form did not succumb to flames hot enough to burn the body. The slightly imbalanced face allows mankind to realize ‘something’ deep inside their heart.

THE HEAVEN’S AND EARTH ARE ONE

THE HEAVEN’S AND EARTH ARE ONE

The ‘Ji-kwon-in’ is a handshape which implies ‘reason and wisdom, all creatures and Buddha, and delusions and enlightenment are one by origin’. Thus, posing the Ji-kwon-in means ‘sound wisdom and rapid enlightenment can be attained through a devout disposition’. The basic form of the Ji-kwon-in holds the two hands in front of one’s chest, holds the left-hand’s forefinger up, and wraps it with the right-hand so the tip of the left-hand forefinger and bottom of the right-hand thumb touches each other. Granite may be well-known for its hardness but seems like it also cannot withstand the weight of time. This photo reflects my intention to focus on becoming one with Buddha and gaining inner peace and rest through the help of the flower blossoms on Buddha’s body.

It was a big challenge and pleasure to seek out an untaken track. It is my honor to hold an exhibition before the important people who foretold me about the values of the challenge. It was a great pity that there was no guidebook on Buddhist images on the level of the whole country despite the fact that Buddhism had left numerous cultural heritages for us for 1700 years since the religion was introduced to this land.

But at last, it has materialized. I devoted myself to showing Buddha images “as they are” with untainted documentary photography rather than through the approach of an architectural photographer. Lastly, I would like to give big meaning to the fact that the photos collected in the book were surveyed and taken by myself without external assistance.

I would like to invite you to the photography exhibition at the Hong Kong Art Fair. It would be a great pleasure to see you at the event.

Thank you
Photographer Tae-Ho Jeong

For more detail information, please visit: www.spacephotostudio.com or visit https://www.asiacontemporaryart.com

The Spring edition of the Asia Contemporary Art Show is held on the 40th to 43rd floors of the 5-star Conrad Hong Kong in Pacific Place.

DATES: March 29th - April 1st, 2019

UNIONPAY PRIVATE VIEW (by Invitation only)

Friday, March 29th - 3pm to 5pm

UNIONPAY VIP COLLECTORS PREVIEW (by Invitation only)

Friday, March 29th - 5pm to 9pm

GENERAL ADMISSION

Saturday, March 30th - 1pm to 8pm

Sunday, March 31st - 1 pm to 8pm

Monday, April 1st - 11am to 6pm

PARKING, MTR, TAXIS

The 5-star hotel is conveniently served by the MTR station in the basement of Pacific Place and has abundant car parking and taxi ranks outside the hotel or at Pacific Place 1 and 2.

VENUE ADDRESS

Conrad Hong Kong — Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong

The Macallan Presents the Masters of Photography - Magnum Edition 

Documenting the New Macallan Distillery

Magnum Edition marks the seventh release in The Macallan’s award-winning Masters of Photography series.  Previous Masters of this remarkable series included iconic photographers Rankin, Albert Watson, Annie Leibovitz, Elliott Erwitt, Mario Testino, and Steven Klein. On 27 August 2018, The Macallan Masters of Photography, Magnum Edition was officially launched in Hong Kong. 

The Macallan Creative Director Ken Grier kicked off with a video documenting the photo-journey of the Magnum Photographers during the construction of New Macallan Distillery. Ken then led the press on an exclusive tour of the event space and drew attention to each photographer’s individual style and works.  

The Magnum Edition is a collaboration between The Macallan and the world’s most famous photographic union, Magnum Photos, and celebrates the opening of the new Macallan distillery and visitor experience in Speyside Scotland.

The creation of the new distillery will forever change the landscape of The Macallan Estate and this special release documents this historical moment, telling The Macallan story in a new and compelling way, as some of the world’s leading photographers record the next stage in the journey of the world’s ultimate single malt whiskey.  

This awe-inspiring collection of images, taken by six world renowned Magnum photographers - Steve McCurry, Martin Parr, Paolo Pellegrin, Mark Power, Gueorgui Pinkhassov and Alec Soth - captures different aspects of the iconic distillery.  From the landscape and the materials from which the distillery is born to the character of the workers and protagonists who have brought it to fruition, artistic portraiture of people and casks complement more abstract representations of the building and its unique structure.  

This magnificent and world-class collectible set of images comes together as a limited edition objet d’art, presented in a stunning archive style gift box.  It comprises a specially limited release whiskey; a selection of six signed prints, one from each photographer, and an exclusive book of photography.  The box that holds the collection was influenced by the classic photographic portfolio boxes on display at the Magnum studio.

By immersing herself in the photography, The Macallan Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess has created a single malt crafted from a combination of eight casks, all differing in character to reflect the photography style of each of the Magnum photographers and to represent Magnum itself.

A spicy gingered cask reflects McCurry’s bold and brave style; a cask of age where oak influence prevails over individual characteristics symbolizes Parr’s oblique view of the world; a classic cask with an intense black cherry note complements Pellegrin’s forceful black and white pictures; two casks reflect Power’s photography which captures the familiar, but from an often obscure point of view; an ex-European red wine cask imparting a rich mahogany red color represents Pinkhassov’s contrasting and brightly colored work and a first fill American barrel with its delicate citrus notes captures Soth’s heritage and spirit of adventure.  The final cask is an intensely sweet yet classic Macallan with edge and depth, bringing the whole creation together and representing the imagination and brilliance of Magnum.

Ken Grier, Creative Director for The Macallan, said: “Magnum are the ultimate masters of their medium, offering incredible diversity and distinction within their ranks and capturing all aspects of human life around the world with an unparalleled sense of vision, imagination, and genius.  They are the greatest collective of documentary photographers in the world and their partnership with The Macallan reflects our shared values of craftsmanship and commitment to excellence.  

“For the first time in The Macallan Masters of Photography series, we are working in partnership with multiple photographers to tell the story of the new Macallan distillery and the people behind it, taking it from Genesis to completion.  This coveted edition shows history in the making against the backdrop of The Macallan’s ongoing commitment to mastery.”

Tim Paton, Global Head of Commercial Assignments for Magnum Photos, said: “This project has been a wonderful assignment for both the photographers and the Agency.  To be given this amount of creative freedom on a commercial project is very rare.  The photographers were literally shown the building site and told to shoot whatever they liked.  

“Both I and the six Magnum Photographers have loved visiting The Macallan and witnessing this amazing building grow out of the ground.  We first visited the site when it was just a hole in the ground so we all feel very connected to this wonderful piece of architecture.  All the staff and contractors have been great to work with and very welcoming.  This beautiful part of Scotland will forever be a big part of Magnum Photos history.”

The Macallan Masters of Photography: Magnum Edition is available globally from August 2018, priced at HKD$ 26,460 and limited to 2,000 editions worldwide.

TASTING NOTES

ABV : 43.7%.  

Colour : Deep amber with rose gold hues

Nose : Light hints of peat layered into warm spiced ginger with mellow oak notes.  

Gently coming behind these notes, are an almost tangerine citrus and                         

caramelised apple

Palate : Candied dried fruits and a butterscotch sweetness with a tickling of spice that 

moves into a honeyed nut note

Finish : Medium to long finish ending in sweet earthy peat notes

For more information on The Macallan, please visit: http://www.themacallan.com