Johnny H.-C. Pack / Narcolepsy
20. January 2008 to 24. February 2008
Opening: January 19, 2008, 5 to 8 pm
curated by Steffen Conradi
The Nassauischer Kunstverein proudly presents the photographic works of Johnny H.-C. Pack in his current exhibition, Narcolepsy that opens on January 19, 2008. This show will feature 23 images taken with a large format camera that investigates cultural hybrid-identities, the relationship between individual and environment and ideas related to “In-Betweenness”.
Narcolepsy, the title of this show, is a disorder that causes a person to suddenly and uncontrollably fall into a state of deep sleep. For Johnny Pack, this notion of falling in and out of a dream-like state is inherent to his ideas. The experience of flashbacks, the recalling of certain memories caused by sound, smell or color, the deep concentration on a particular thing causing a kind of worldly disorientation in the come-back, all are affects of falling out of touch with reality as we know it into this other “space” within reality which is connected to the past and with memory. It is these ideas he translates into his work.
The further notion of being neither “here nor there” in either states of reality is characteristic to and coincides with the artist’s preoccupation with the ideas of “In-Betweenness”. The idea of “In-Betweenness” has been considered widely within the spiritual where the experiences of the world and the reality beyond this world have been open to interpretation based on varying cultural approaches. In philosophy, nothing exists on it’s own and is an interdependent part of a whole. This allows for movement, change, spontaneity and freedom from exact interpretation and definition.
Cultural “In-Betweenness” as theorized by the French philosophers Deleuze and Guattari, concerned with the notion of what they call “becoming”, in which they expound on the boundaries of sexuality and different states of being, where identity disappears in definition and there is no longer the categorical male-female, child-adult or animal-human.
Johnny Hyun-Chul Pack is a German-born Korean who has traveled within Europe, Asia and America. His exposure to many varying cultures have additionally influenced the nature of his work. “Hybri-Diddy”, is a series of self-portraits that are not only provocative but plays with aspects of cross-cultural hybrid identities. Each culture, has it’s own traditional garb and, in this series you see Pack wearing the traditional Korean female garb called the Hanbok, on the dress itself you see inverted swastikas which in the Korean culture is a protective symbol. Here, Pack plays with the idea of popular cliché, both Korean and German. Another set of self-portraits referred to as landscape photographs shows the artist standing within a German landscape. The nature of the image compositions hints at a slight sense of the comical.
The next group of images called, “disorient” focus on the individual as subject in different orientations or poses, either standing, kneeling or lying in which Pack moves around the subject to capture different perspectives and areas of light. He is consciously shifting our state of observation creating new ways of perceiving the subject from different angles.
Finally, we see a set of light boxes from a series called “(h)there”. These are mysterious depictions of dark imagery, silhouettes, almost like shadows. These works make us consider the associations that light can impart upon our perceptions.
The photography of Johnny H.-C. Pack brings forth considerations in perception and states of being within differing cultures that are continuously meshing and redefining themselves and their borders as a whole. The images he captures are stylised but also contains a sensitivity and knowledge of the subjects on a closer level. The work challenges our personal ideas of identity and how we define the visual, mental and emotional spaces we navigate in.
Johnny Pack is born in Wiesbaden. He studied in Wiesbaden, London and New York. His background includes Communication Design, Photography and he holds a Master of Arts in Fine Arts. He has won numerous prizes in Photography and is represented by L.A. Galerie in Frankfurt and Zandari Gallery in Seoul. His work belongs to private collections in Germany. Pack has held lectures at Parsons School of Design in New York and works as a freelance photographer.
The exhibition forms part of the series perspectives of the future. The Naspa is the exclusive presenter of this series.
Perspectives of the future is a continuing series on socially relevant artistic visions of the future. Questions of the time are examined in various exhibition projects. The Nassauischer Kunstverein and the Nassauische Sparkasse would like to give an impulse for critical and exceptional debate on future visions and social development.
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