At times in daily life, we all can feel like we are stuck in a groove. Some of you may even dream of breaking out of your frame of confinement and starting a new life. ‘Nick Knight: Image’ exhibition may be what you are looking for. It is a great way to start a brand new you. Nick Knight is a pioneer of fashion photograph. He makes a ceaseless effort to incorporate new technologies and parlays into his work. After a short visit to the exhibition, you are sure to obtain a clear sense of respect for his work. To pass along Nick Knight's bold messages to Sookmyungian, SMT went to Daelim Museum to see the exhibition.
Nick Knight, Image-Maker
Many refer to Nick Knight as a famous fashion photographer, but he does not wish to be remembered that way. He calls himself an ‘Image-Maker’. For quite some time, he has work diligently at creating his own unique style. Also, by collaborating on projects with individuals such as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Christian Dior and Vogue, he has successfully made a name for himself that is recognized all over the world. He started his career in the early 1980s, but he still pushes himself to create something bold and unique. His continuous effort is the driving force that has made him become known to the world as a pioneer of fashion photograph.
The exhibition ‘Nick Knight: Image’ is an opportune chance to feel his passion and enthusiasm. Visitors are giving the opportunity to discover Nick Knight’s early to late period works at Daelim Museum. 110 of his key pieces are sure to inspire any and all visitors. Also, Daelim Museum offers visitors the chance to partake in a docent tour. The professional docent provides onlookers with explanation behind Nick Knight’s works each hour, which helps visitors better understand the world of Nick Knight. To get to the exhibition, take bus number 7016 or 1711 from bus stop 03- 010, and then get off at Gyeongbokgung Station. It will take about 20 minutes. Walk one block towards Hyojadong Sushi, and Daelim Museum is just around the corner. The admission price is 5,000 won for adults, 3,000 won for elementary to high school students, and 2,000 won for preschool children.
‘Nick Knight: Image’ is divided into four parts. The first floor is designed as the souvenir shop. On the second floor of the Daelim Museum, visitors are given the chance to appreciate some of his earlier works. His first photo album piece that is on display is in the SKINHEADS section. Nick Knight was strongly influenced by the skinhead culture, so he once emerged himself in the culture and caught that time in his life on camera. However, the skinhead culture soon degenerated into a culture of violence, and Nick Knight wanting no part of that, opted out of the skinhead culture. In the PORTRAITS section, visitors view his debut works as a fashion photographer. It was around that time in his life that he started to focus on getting onlookers of his work to see the clothing itself and not the eyes of model faces. Also, he challenged old adages about women by borrowing epicene concepts and applying them to female models like the use of the bobbed hair style. For people in the 1980s, it was quite shocking. Those prepostrous concepts captured the world’s attention, and it opened up opportunities for him to participate in projects with famous designers at the time.
The main theme on the third floor is Nick Knight’s golden days. In the PAINTING & POLITICS section, visitors are shown bold work created with Alexander McQueen. ‘Visionaire’, a photograph of the model Devon Aoki, contains grotesque elements like bloody tears, scars and bruised skin. It is for these horrible aspects that ‘Visionaire’ brings to light the horrors of beauty, something simply unheard of in fashion photograph. In addition, he utilized Photoshop techniques to maximize the impression of unrealistic elements in his works. He is quoted as saying, “I think fashion is a political comment. It’s the statement you make when you dress.” Knight’s message of peace and harmony are apparent in all of his works. He worked with models with disabilities like Aimee Mullins to challenge the fashion industry. He argued for the essence of beauty by creating fabulous photographed images of models with disabilities. These pieces make visitors ponder society ethics and structure, which is what Nick Knight hopes to accomplish with his art.
His works in the STILL LIFE & KATE section of the exhibition on the fourth floor show Nick Knight’s special view of the world. Nick Knight sees paintings as being similar to photography, so he tries to merge the two. He paints on the back side of photographic paper to spread the ink. Using this unique technique, he integrates painting and photography. His rose series was created using this technique. Knight also sees the process of 3D printing as being similar to the process of photography, so he has created a statue of an angel, which is displayed in this section. His ongoing curiosity keeps him fresh. Nowadays, Nick Knight is challenging something new. With the next generation of technology available to use, he is using various media like video. He maximizes the narrative of clothes by taking photos of them from various angles and combining them into a ‘fashion film’, a new genre of fashion photograph, which the exhibition highlights in the FASHION FILM section. In this section, visitors are introduced to ‘fashion film’, a completely new art genre. Visitors learn to expand their horizon of view beyond the ordinary perspective.
Open Your Arms to Novelty
“I don’t have a personal definition of beauty.” Nick Knight once spoke this when questioned about art. His idea of beauty has progressed constantly. Just as the world changes rapidly so must one’s mind. It must open up to novel ideas and accept 21st century demands. Nick Knight’s passion for beauty is the fine sample of what a leader should be like in the 21st century. Visit ‘Nick Knight: Image’ to melt your frozen heart by the passion of Nick Knight for beauty. It will surely change your point of view.