Photographic portraiture, on a fundamental level, implies the issue on how to portray the inner self of an individual through the camera. As this invisible and constantly changing self, cannot be bound to the temporality of photographic representation, the human face in the photograph is always regarded as both familiar and strange. This series of images, entitled The Reading, was initiated by my interest in this intrinsic issue within the genre of photographic portraiture.
Within this body of work, I have produced a series of portraits of actors reading the script. My interest was focused on the reading as a stage where the actors create and internalize their fictional characters they play through repeated verbalization of the script. This psychological and analytical process demands the actors to be oscillating between intellect and emotion, the text and the imagination until it becomes a part of their own life. The reading is therefore a stage, which is undetermined and open towards possibilities yet constantly vulnerable at the same time.
This project encapsulates faces and bodies that reflect actors’ state of being in eternal flux. Their intimate yet strange faces in suspended moments ask a simple but unanswerable question of what does it really mean to look at the face of the others through photographic portraiture, then invite us to hidden narratives unraveled by our own projection to the images and finally to the journey to our own identity.
About the Artist
Hee Seung Chung, born in 1974, is based in Seoul, South Korea. After studying painting and photography at Hong-ik University, Seoul, he moved to London to attend an MA in Photography at the London College of Communication. In 2007, his MA Final project, ‘Persona’ series, was selected for the Nikon Discovery Awards and won the ‘Sproxton Memorial Award’ for the best in show at the LCC MA Photography final Exhibition. The following year, his works were showed at Descubrimientos PHE of Photo Espana in Madrid and Seoul International photography Festival. Since 2008, he has been working in Seoul. his coming solo show will take place at Doosan Gallery, Seoul in March 2011.