An exhibition of striking black and white nature photography by Busan National University arts professor Won-il Chung opens at West Liberty University’s Nutting Gallery from 5:30 – 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 31.
Chung will attend the opening. He is a friend of Assistant Professor of Art Moonjung Kang, who has taught at WLU for eight years. Chung lives in Busan, South Korea and Kang just returned from an educational trip there where she took four of her graphic arts students this summer.
“Previous viewers of Chung’s work often reflect on the multi-dimensional lighting of his expansive atypical subject matter,” said Robert Villamagna, assistant professor of Art and director of the Nutting Gallery.
Chung’s method includes a minimal post-processing technique. “It isn’t grand or spectacular beauty but humble beauty (found in his photographs). Each branch tells its own humble beauty among the countless trees and branches,” he said.
Several guests who have viewed his work reflected on the pleasant abstractness in Chung’s photographs.
“It’s different,” said art enthusiast Chris Wu, who attended one of Chung’s recent exhibitions. “There doesn’t seem to be a focus on one place in the photograph. It is more abstract.”
Chung’s style also draws fans with a more technical interest in photography.
“I am curious about how the photographs are so large, usually prints are much smaller,” said Jo Freeman, a photographer herself. “He must have used a very short shutter speed.”
Chung explained how he implements his artistic vision by capturing the purest kind of lighting through his technique.
“There is a difference between light on and light through,” Chung said. “Light on means strong light to the surface of the objects but the light through means the light illuminating the soul of the objects.”
“I think it is very impressive and relaxing. I really like the three dimensional effect,” said Villamagna.
Chung also described why he thinks many viewers are attracted to such simple subjects: “Everyone has a different perspective on the woods and mountains and interprets differently. My intent was capturing the effect of the light through capturing the soul of the humble objects with the world of various lights.”
The Won-il Chung exhibition will be on display in the Nutting Gallery for two weeks only, closing Sept. 14.
The Nutting Gallery, located in the Hall of Fine Arts, is dedicated to educating, enriching and engaging students and the public through art exhibitions of the highest quality as it promotes the visual arts within the WLU campus community.
It fulfills this mission through eight exhibitions during the academic year. This exhibition schedule includes five exhibitions by visiting artists, two Senior Exhibitions and the Annual Art Faculty Exhibition. Other exhibitions this academic year include:
- Vernon F. Howell’s Mixed Media, Sept. 28-Oct. 20
- Post-MFA Exhibition: WLU Alumni Victoria Lavorini, Sophia Kayafas, Thomas Stoller, Nov. 2-22
- Fall Senior Exhibition, Nov. 30-Dec. 8
- Art Faculty Exhibition: The Toy Show, Jan. 18 – Feb. 9
- Flash! (tattoo exhibition, multiple artists), Feb. 15-March 9
- Kathryn Carr’s Cut Paper, March 22 – April 13
- Spring Senior Exhibition, April 19 – May 11