Collector’s tale

A yearly program which shows a prominent Chinese photography collector’s treasures, Collector’s Tale is expanding to Asia this year. After Charles Jin’s collection of world-renowned photo masters (from Man Ray to Mapplethorpe, Alfred Stieglitz to Richard Prince), Huang Jianpeng’s investigation of the history of Chinese photography (through the works of Chin-San Long, Xue Zijiang and Lan Zhigui), The Archive of Modern Conflict’s disparate and eclectic collection of amateur photos and photo albums of Chinese food and food production, this year Jimei x Arles brings masterpieces from the collection of The Museum of Photography, Seoul.

Brassaï, Koudelka, Giacomelli

Romantic Melancholy

co-CURATED BY Son Youngjoo & Kim Sunyoung

Brassaï began taking pictures because, as a reporter in 1930s Paris, he earned more if a story had photos to go with it. He didn't at first consider photography as art. But the Paris he loved best, at night and often soaked with rain, populated by streetwalkers, toughs and tramps, was most beautifully captured by photography.

It was the music, plaintive and dark, that in 1962 led Josef Koudelka to begin photographing the Gypsies of his native Czechoslovakia. His images depict the poverty and isolation of Gypsy life, he shows the Gypsies as perpetual outsiders, and their life as a mix of wonder, sorrow and mystery.

Mario Giacomelli never left his hometown of Senigallia, a small city on the Adriatic Coast. He developed an abstract style in which landscapes became both depictions of land use in Italy and actual photographic ‘paintings’ with abstract signs. His series “On Being Aware of Nature“ captures the morphological change imposed by intensive agriculture: his landscapes/bodies show scars, wrinkles and curves. 

These three photographers’ series, part of the collections of The Museum of Photography, Seoul, share one common feature: they blend the melancholic with the romantic, gloominess and beauty.

LOCATION: Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre

In partnership with The Museum of Photography, Seoul.