In the Spirit of George Rose... booktown... she took of the photographers at work. She was the modern-day equivalent of the ‘guide’. Clunes has a strong relationship to Paju Book City near Seoul, they are both international Booktowns. This exhibition grew out of that relationship ...
Australian photographer William Yang and South Korean photographer Koo Bohnchang have created new images inspired by the Clunes-born photographer George Rose.
George Rose used a stereograph camera. This creates two images that are nearly the same. When you view them through the eyepiece, they become a 3D image.
George Rose went to Korea in 1904. His images of the streets of Seoul, and surrounding villages, are highly valued. They are almost the only images of street life in Seoul from the turn of the 20th century.
They capture a time when the Japanese were colonising Korea. The Japanese wear darker clothes in the images, the Koreans are in white. Notice how, in one of the images, a Korean climbs the city wall to gain access without going through the guarded gates. Some of the other images show the Japanese quarter, with their different style of housing and shops. Many of the images show the new electrical and telegraph wires, which had been installed by the Japanese.
George Rose’s guide was Japanese, and that influence can be seen in the way he describes the Koreans. Japanese people, at that time, considered Koreans to be a lesser culture than their own.
George Rose’s guide can be seen in one of the photos, dressed in western clothes, with a child, standing in front of a village.
In the exhibition, Koo Bohnchang used images he took in Clunes, and William Yang used images he took in Korea. Both artists reveal the gaze of the foreigner, they show what someone from outside the culture sees. This is similar to when Australian George Rose visited Korea in 1904, he too was an outsider, looking at another culture.
The curator Catherine Croll, worked closely with the photographers, travelling with them to Victoria and Korea. Below, you can see some of the images she took of the photographers at work. She was the modern-day equivalent of the ‘guide’.
Clunes has a strong relationship to Paju Book City near Seoul, they are both international Booktowns. This exhibition grew out of that relationship.
Their exhibition launched at Clunes Booktown on May 2, 2015, before it travelled around the world.
To learn more about Clunes booktown, visit www.clunesbooktown.com.au