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Oan Kim
at PYO Gallery LA, Downtown Los Angeles, California
Recommendation by Jeannie R. Lee

Too often photographs taken to capture late night partying bliss turn out to be a harsh dose of reality the morning after. It is not as easy as it appears to bring images of night-time revelry into the daylight, at least not without disintegrating the easy mood in which they were taken. Somehow the French-born Korean artist Oan Kim pulls it off. Using an arsenal of old-fashioned photography techniques, like double exposure and over-exposed blurs, Kim creates large black and white prints of fans, both enjoying the show and at the after-party. In “Fanfare” a man’s head is improbably horizontal to a marble tabletop. Nearly touching him is the mouth piece of a well-worn trumpet jutting out between somebody’s legs--while somebody else’s hand is pulling a cigarette from out of the unidentified trumpet player’s front jeans pocket. The number of hands reaching for smokes, clasping knees, and touching strangers--all in this single cramped shot—sums up the story of the collapsed sense of personal space that we have all experienced late at night.

Published courtesy of ArtScene ©2009

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