Conflict and Reaction

Conflict and Reaction

LEE Gap Chul

Publisher: IANNBOOKS

“Conflict and Reaction” by Korean photographer Lee Gap Chul, available again for the first time in 18 years thanks to this Iannbooks publication.

The black-and-white photographs in Lee Gap Chul’s series “Conflict and Reaction” (shot between 1990 and 2002) seem to possess a strange power that makes them linger in the viewer’s mind long after the book has been closed. One is caught off-guard and overwhelmed by his images, whether through unexpected elements within familiar-seeming compositions and scenes or through direct contact with his subjects, and then brought inside the world it portrays. With many of the photographs created in relation to religious rituals and locations, Lee’s images convey primal impulses and an ancient shamanism that is deeply rooted in Korea’s collective unconscious.

“How mysteriously complex are the various faces of the world of humans hidden within the word, “life”? People want to free themselves themselves from suffering – they dream of deliverance, to reach a state like the existence of a tree. However, no one can escape the shackles of cruelty in life. That’s life. Life is painful. Life is life only when it embraces death. Light and dark embrace one another, as does pain and delight. Lee is a unique artist who approaches life from a comprehensive perspective. This is why his expressions of our special sentiments acquires an air of unique universality.” ― from Kim Yong Taek’s afterword (included in English translation)

Keywords: Korea


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Book Size
300 × 213 mm
192 pages
Publication Year
English, Korean

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