The 6th Daum Prize Artist Exhibition – Kim Oksun / Hamel’s Boat
Period : 2008. 6. 19 – 6. 29
Place : Kumho Museum
In June 2007, Geonhi Art Foundation has named Oksun Kim as the 7th Daum Prize winner. In last year’s contest, 54 young photography and video imagery artists participated with outstanding works, and their work was meticulously evaluated by Seungwan Kang, the curator at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Atta Kim, a photographer, Bonglim Choi, a photography critic, and Bohnchang Koo, the chairman of the foundation, as the head of the awarding committee.
The evaluation process consisted of referring to the submitted portfolio and evaluating the novelty and originality of the work plan. Oksun Kim’s work captures the life of foreigners living in Jeju Island. At a time when the scope of social activities extends beyond continents as globalization accelerates and traveling across the borders is no longer considered a special experience, these people have left their native countries to settle in Jeju Island, an island in the southernmost part of Korea.
They are sailing across the regional, cultural boundaries under the identity of a student, a resident reporter, a special correspondent, and a long-term traveler. Just like Hendrick Hamel (1630-1692), a Hollander who landed in Jeju Island 350 years ago, they are experiencing the unfamiliar nature and culture of Korea while holding on to their native cultures.
Kim approached them in a truly natural way. Her view, being very close to an ordinary picture taken for a souvenir, is different from the curious or cautious stares of our ancestors towards Hamel. It is simply an unaltered image of how they enjoy their everyday lives on this land amongst us. Also, the foreigners in the photographs do not seem to be particularly conscious of
the camera in the hands of this Korean female photographer. The postures and facial expressions, looking neither too up close nor too negligent, harmonize with the Jeju environment to arouse special kind of prolonged suspense. Jeju Island is a region that holds a unique natural environment. This is the very reason why it has attracted so many foreigners in the past, and continues to do so in the present. An extraordinary place that is very local yet very foreign. In Kim’s photographs, the sea, the sky, and the land reveal the subtle cultural, geographical boundaries as they embrace the foreigners that came from afar.
We would like to give our applause to the photographer Oksun Kim, who has worked with persistent passion for a whole year and is finally unveiling the fruit her work has bore. Also, we would like to thank all of the photographers who contested for the 6th Daum Prize with remarkable works, and to express our regrets for not being able to support everyone.
We would like to pay our respect to the passion of young Korean photographers. Also, we would like to ask for your continuous concern and support for our foundation, and we promise to make unceasing efforts for the future of Korean photography.
June 2008, Geonhi Art Foundation
Hamel’s Boat [Works]