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Jungho Jung

Jungho Jung, Tensions in Black VI, 2012,
from the series White Utterance.
Courtesy of the artist.

White Utterance

What I want to do through photography is to document the visible while referencing the invisible. Photography is a medium that is able to document the world realistically, but it also does the work of interpreting meanings from layers of visible signifiers.

I can capture nature, but grasping true nature is not easy. I now feel it is impossible to represent the world realistically with a camera lens and still portray “the invisible.” After several failures in this regard, I began to concentrate on the sounds of nature and promptings from my inner self. At given moments, I began to press the shutter in accordance with my feelings and my instinctive will, disregarding conventional concerns such as composition and depth of field that academic photography dictates.

Captivated by snow and its field of whiteness, I began to wander, following my intuition, without knowing what I “needed” to photograph. I took photographs at random. I pursued spiritual freedom as I put aside conventional composition. I trusted in “contingency” and relied on my hunches. My camera at last began to capture the boundaries between the visible and invisible.

When seeing photographs, viewers try to learn the messages they convey. My photographs can be said to be ambiguous, with no concrete objects or messages depicted, or even abstract elements composed of dots, lines, and planes. The simplicity and ambiguity of my images refer to another kind of expansion, through which viewers, I hope, will discover invisible and unintentional meanings.

Wassily Kandinsky said, “White is a deep, absolute silence full of possibility.”* This is the nothingness of youth or, more exactly, the nothingness before inception and birth. My white is a blank space to fill, responding to the impulse of my inner will to do something, to utter something. It is a sublime silence and a simultaneous outcry. Snow becomes another eye that sees the world in my photography.

Jungho Jung

* Wassily Kandinsky, Du spirituel dans l’art et dans la peinture en particulier, French ed. (Paris: Denoel, Gonthier, 1969), 155.


Jungho Jung was born in Seoul in 1981. He completed his M.A. in fine art photography at Hongik University and in mass communication at Konkuk University, both in South Korea. He photographs different aspects of landscape and the ambiguous shapes of water, snow, and ice to explore how visual impressions bring about changes in human sensibility and thought. In his series White Utterance, he has tried to figure out “the true nature of white” by photographing in white landscapes covered with snow.

He is a recipient of residencies at the Art Council of Korea’s Nomadic Residency Program in Iran in 2014 and at Bogong Centre for Sound Culture in Australia in 2015. Recent exhibitions showing his work include Five Senses of Iran (2014) at the Iranian Academy of Arts, Iran; International Young Photographers (2012) at Bongsan Cultural Center, Daegu, South Korea; and Circulation (2011), Pingyao International Photography Festival, China. His works will appear in a solo exhibition at the Australian Centre for Photography (ACP), Paddington, NSW, in August 2015. He has won many awards including the National Geographic International Photo Award (2007) from National Geographic Korea; the Korean Air Photo Award (2008) from Korean Air Lines; the Magnum Korea Award (2007) from the Hankyoreh Media Company; the Art Preview and Portfolio Award (2012) from the Korea Art Education Promotion Association; and the New Discourse Artist Award (2013) from the Cyart Research Institute in South Korea.

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