PRESS RELEASE: Ahae - Through My Window: A Testimony to the Flow and Transformations of Time
July 15, 2011 - August 14, 2011
Curator: Tomáš Vlček
The exhibition is organised by the National Gallery in Prague - Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art in cooperation with the Hemato-Centric Life Institute.
The unique exhibition of the work of Korean photographer, philanthropist, environmentalist and
inventor Ahae will be a highlight of the summer season in the National Gallery in Prague. In the last two years, Ahae has taken an incredible one million photographs of his neighbourhood from the window of the house where he lives and works. They show nature in its purest form and are devoid of the artificiality and manipulation typical of today's nature photography. "So simple, so beautiful, so perfect...unlike most over-sophisticated artworks these days that try too hard to elicit social meaning," says exhibition co-author Professor Milan Knížák.
Ahae's large-format photographs will be on display from July 15 to August 14 in the Veletržní Palace's Great Hall - the first solo exhibition of a living artist since Alphonse Mucha's 1928 exhibition.
"Photography has become a natural consequence of the artist's focus on nature, which he has
worked to protect since the 1970s. As his lens concentrates on a single place, Ahae's photographs genetrate our mind and remind us of our responsibilities as human beings," says Professor Tomáš Vlček, the exhibition's curator and director of the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art of the National Gallery in Prague.
The Veletržní Palace exhibition follows an exhibition at Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal, New York City held in April and May 2011. The photographs vary in size depending on their
theme; the unframed ones measure 28 x 40 cm to 183 x 275 cm. There are larger ones, the largest being 5 x 10 metres. The artist's short poems will also be part of the exhibition.
Who is Ahae?
The Korean photographer Ahae was born in Kyoto, Japan in 1941. He took to various artistic genres as a young boy and by his mid-thirties began to apply his creative talents to the business field, inventing his own unique products.
Ahae has received numerous international awards for his inventions, which include a paper-like soap, a self-opening and self-closing fan now used in households worldwide, the Hi-Boat, a hydraulically operated safety boat, and various general health aids. Ahae has over 1,000 registered patents and trademarks.
Ahae designed some of the entertaining artworks still afloat on the waters of the Han River in Seoul for the 1988 Olympic Games.
Taking a keen interest in natural methods of maintaining health, Ahae has invested large sums in research to develop health food products, natural remedies and natural cosmetics. He has also given numerous speeches on the importance of exercise in maintaining one's health, encourages everyone to be physically active and has even developed certain exercises of his own to promote healthy blood circulation.
He has also donated substantial sums to nature conservation and other charitable causes and
encouraged many young people to get involved in the environmental protection movement in Korea.
Ahae began collecting cameras and taking photographs in the 1970s. He continued to be active in photography in the 1980s, but his later commitments prevented him from continuing with his hobby - until recently.
Ahae used Japanese cameras with long-range telephoto lenses for most of the images in the Through My Window collection. The scenery shots were taken with various (primarily medium format) cameras.
Ahae has taken 2,000 to 4,000 photographs a day on average in recent years. He only allows himself to "clean up" his photos, e.g. alignment, spot removal, minor contrast and light correction. To keep his photos as natural as possible, there is no major trimming, colour alteration, cutting and pasting, combining of photos or introduction of foreign elements in the images.
In all his endeavours, Ahae seeks to encourage people to share his sense of responsibility for nature conservation and the wise production and use of our natural food resources, always with the health of the individual in mind.
The National Gallery in Prague - Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art / Veletržní Palace
Open daily except Mondays from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m.
Dukelských hrdinů 47, Prague 7
Special admission fee for the exhibition
Basic fee: 100 CZK
Transport: Tram Nos. 1, 5, 8, 12, 14, 17, 25, 26 - stop: Strossmayerovo nám.
Subway line C - Vltavská station
Reduced fee: 50 CZK
Family fee: 150 CZK
Main partner of the NG: UniCredit Bank
Sponsor of the NG: SYNOT TIP a.s.
Main media partner: Hospodářské noviny
Press release of July 14, 2011
Contact for journalists: Eva Kolerusová, Public Relations Department, firstname.lastname@example.org