Truths and fictions - images of North Korea: through the lenses of photographers, Noh Sun Tag and Back Seung Woo

Yoon, Hana (2019) Truths and fictions - images of North Korea: through the lenses of photographers, Noh Sun Tag and Back Seung Woo. Masters thesis, LASALLE College of the Arts.

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Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Truths and fictions - images of North Korea: through the lenses of photographers, Noh Sun Tag and Back Seung Woo
Synopsis:

What is the meaning of photography in a world inundated with images and amid advances in digital technology? People unconsciously accept images shown to them, and numerous images of North Korea shown in the mass media shift people’s perception of North Korea. This thesis, which began with questioning what is visible and not visible in photographs on North Korea’s image, analyses photographs by Noh Sun Tag (b.1971, Korean) and Back Seung Woo (b.1973, Korean) based on the concept of the ‘optical unconscious’ argued by Walter Benjamin and Shawn Michelle Smith to examine the process where one accepts and interprets photographic images. Modern Korean photographs on North Korea by the previous generation before Noh and Back were only able to capture political and social issues arising from the division of the two countries or scenes in the divided zone. As a result of policy efforts to improve relations between North and South Korea, however, some South Koreans had an opportunity to visit North Korea in the early 2000s, with the possibility open for about a decade. Noh and Back used that opportunity to go to North Korea in person and take photographs. In their photographic works, Noh and Back captured the reality and fictional image of North Korea that they experienced first-hand. With their serious reflection on the photography medium, their works that questioned the photographic image itself explored the vulnerability of human vision and the fictionality of photography. Noh’s Red House I- III (2004-2006), which deals with North Korea’s image viewed from various angles under the circumstance of the Korean division, and Back’s Blow Up (2005-2007) and Utopia (2008), which deal with the manipulated image of North Korea, all feature North Korea as their subject matter but provide a variety of reflections on North Korea’s image and on photography with different themes and production methods.
This thesis suggests seeking visual autonomy and open interpretations through their works, which view North Korea from the perspective of the optical unconscious- one of the most important theories in photography.

Subjects: Art History
Art History > Thesis -- MA Asian Art Histories
Divisions: Faculty of Fine Arts > Master - Asian Art Histories
Depositing User: Ms Ashalatha Krishnan
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2020 04:57
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2020 05:45
URI: http://drlib.lasalle.edu.sg/id/eprint/744
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