Hyunmin Ryu: Kim Sae-Hyun

It's a tender and attentive gaze aimed at one of the most loved people, the photographer's nephew. It's playful, contemplative, and oftentimes lonely. There's not much interaction between Sae-Hyun and other people or relatives (a picture of a toy-drone, showing his family picture, appears so detached) except for the photographer himself, who starts crawling into the narration, and projects some of his own childhood memories onto the nephew. How unique and how universal is the process of growing up?
At the end of the day, whether you intend it or not, any personal
work is, in a sense, a portrait of oneself.

About the project
The project started purely with interest and love for a person. I wanted to capture the growth of my nephew Kim Sae-hyun, my best friend from the time he was born until now, and the changes around him in photos. The desire to capture such a loved one in a photograph is gradually undergoing a change by accommodating factors that make the work imperfect in the project.
The conceptual element of the imperfection of the photographic medium was actively accepted in the work. In addition, staged photo works that was produced by projecting my own childhood memories onto Sae-hyun was added to the project.
Accordingly, this project has become a work with various layers, mixing existence of Saehyun, the relationship between me and him, and my conceptual and emotional views on the photographic medium.
By arranging or correlating these disparate elements, I try to explore the different possibilities of photography and the lives of me and Sae-hyun.

About the photographer
Hyunmin Ryu was born in Daegu, South Korea, and currently lives and works in Daegu. After graduating from Chung-Ang University’s department of photography, he graduated from Slade school of fine art media art MFA with merit. His work has been exhibited at various national and international institutions, including Daegu art museum, Pohang museum of art, Nikon Salon.
Hyunmin Ryu expresses the concept of failure and imperfections arising from life in a minimal expression. His understated expressions take a strategy that maximizes the effect through small interventions or ready-made applications. His work is done through a variety of media including photographs, videos, and installations. In particular, in his installation works, the use of ready-made objects creates a different context by simply placing them in the exhibition space. Through this, the artist presents institutional criticism in a personal and somewhat emotional dimension. His recent photography work is focused on the limitations and imperfections of depicting a person in a photograph.
He has won awards such as Daegu photo biennale excellent portfolio, Epson color imaging contest special award, Jang Du-gun art award, and Daegu young artist of the year.


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