Chan-Hyo Bae at Purdy Hicks, Photo London

Jumping Into, Diana and Callisto, 2017

Photo London takes place this week at Somerset House, and brings together photography galleries from around the world. For anyone with a serious interest in photography it is a once a year opportunity to catch up with a broad range of galleries and photographers. Of course, the sheer breadth of the range becomes almost a problem as their are galleries exhibiting everything from Victorian prints, to celebrity photography and fine art. You simply have to pick and choose the photography which strikes a chord with you.

The London gallery Purdy Hicks is showing some works by Korean artist Chan-Hyo Bae which I found very engaging. Chan-Hyo Bae came to London in 2007 to study at the Slade and has used photography as a response to the sense of cultural and emotional estrangement he felt in coming to terms with living in London. He first expressed this in a series called Existing in Costume, (see below, Existing in Costume, Anne Boleyn, 2012) a series of tableaux and self-portraits with him posed in female historical costume, drawn from the Elizabethan to Regency periods.

His new series Jumping Into (see above, Jumping Into, Diana and Callisto, 2017) further develops this concept by placing himself, again in female historical costume, at the centre of paintings drawn from the collection of the National Gallery. The images are printed on piebald animal skins to give yet a further sense of dislocation. However the resulting images are really rather compelling, have a rich intensity that feels very much of the historical period. Well worth a look.

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