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May 19, 2014, 10:06:42 PM
Reply #15

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2014, 10:06:42 PM »
Tensions escalate. I'd been wondering where this window was that Mr Yoo is said to have taken millions of photos from. That question is answered in this article, and that answer is the cult's compound where the stand off is happening. Interesting, very interesting.
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ANSEONG, Gyeonggi Province ― Tension is escalating in Geumsuwon, the stronghold of the Evangelical Baptist Church, as prosecutors are expected to raid it to arrest Yoo Byung-eun, the de facto owner of the sunken ferry Sewol.

Hundreds of followers of the sect have assembled here to block prosecutors from entering in defiance of law enforcement against those who are allegedly involved in irregularities related to the operation of the vessel.

The Evangelical Baptist Church unveiled the Geumsuwon compound to the media, Sunday, amid the prosecution’s imminent raid to capture Yoo, the former Semo Group chairman, who is believed to be hiding there.

The prosecution has obtained the court’s approval to detain Yoo, and is seeking an arrest warrant for him. The court will hold a hearing for the warrant Tuesday. Once it is issued, the prosecution is likely to raid the premises.

Lee Jae-oak, the chairman of Hemato-Centric Life Foundation, who is close to Yoo, said that while there are many different opinions about the whereabouts of Yoo among the followers, he personally believes Yoo is staying somewhere in the 2.5-million-square-meter compound.

“Yoo took photos here for four years. I think he is still here,” said Lee in a press conference held in front of an assembly hall built with metal panels. Yoo took more than 3 million photos between 2009 and 2013 in one of the rooms in the building.

Lee said that the Salvation Sect and the Evangelical Baptist Church aren’t the same group, and are protecting Geumsuwon from the prosecution for different reasons. The Salvation Sect regards Yoo as a mentor so it tries to protect him. The Evangelical Baptist Church does not want the prosecution to enter and search the premises because it is a church.

The sect was formed in 1960s, and some members set up the church in the 1980s. Some residents living and working inside Geumsuwon follow either of them or both. Yoo belongs to the sect, but not the church, Lee said.

The devotees from both the bodies continued to form human barricades for six days in a row. They sat in chairs behind the metal gate and sang hymns including “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” and “Fight Against the devil.” They occasionally stood up with placards and shouted slogans condemning the prosecution and the government.

“Be prepared for bloodshed. Things cannot get worse. We will protect with our lives. In case of bloodshed, the prosecution will be responsible. If we lose the church, we lose everything,” they shouted, punching the air with their fists.

Unlike the tense atmosphere at the entrance, the inside of the Geumsuwon was tranquil. While known as training facilities for the Salvation Sect, Geumsuwon consists mostly of hills and farms. Followers of the Salvation sect and Evangelical Baptist Church form a community here, living and working together.

The sect members guided journalists through fish farms, a dairy farm, and a narrow path in a bushy hill to the assembly hall with Yoo Byung-eun’s photography studio. Members said that they farm various fish including eels, catfish and carp and earn an annual revenue of some 100 million won while 79 dairy cows produce just enough milk for members of the sect and church.

While Lee said Yoo is no longer religious and is only a mentor to the devotees regarding their living and lifestyle, his influence prevailed in Geumsuwon. Park Young-hwan, a team leader of the dairy farm, said, “Chairman Yoo told us not to feed the cows antibiotics, so we have researched for methods to grow them without antibiotics.” ...

May 19, 2014, 10:07:28 PM
Reply #16

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2014, 10:07:28 PM »
Now this is a refreshing change. Not everyone bought into Ahae's manufactured reputation:

Click the above link for the full piece. I'll just save my favorite bits here:
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Paris at the time was bombarded with advertisements everywhere–on billboards, buses, in the métro, in newspapers and magazines. ...

As an artist and photographer seeing such a media and marketing blitz for an unknown, relatively inexperienced but wealthy photographer such as Ahae inevitably leaves a bitter taste. ...

Knowing that there are so many young (and not so young artists) who have worked tirelessly and with passion to develop their own powerful work without managing to successfully break into the art world it can feel as the rich businessman was able to step to the front of the line to show work that is ultimately not special in any way.  That the Louvre should have signed up for this project is likewise a disappointment.  I’m not naive, I understand that museums are expensive undertakings and that one can’t look a gift horse in the mouth.  I suspect that the museum received a considerable cash payment to allow Ahae to stage his special exhibition while receiving the stamp of approval of listing his exhibition as taking place at the Musée du Louvre. ...

Clearly Ahae worked with the best equipment money could buy while shooting between one and two million images (is this really a number one wants to reveal with pride?!) in his three years preparing the exhibition (which had previously been exhibited in Florence, Venice, New York City, Moscow, London and Korea). ...

The entrance to the show was free (I wasn’t going to pay any money from what I had already seen on the internet!) but the little book shop clearly was included to try to recuperate some of the investment to put up the show:  One of the catalogues for the show was priced up to 215 euros ($280) and just 80 grams of organic tea (one of Ahae’s businesses) were priced between 45 and 85 euros! ...

Update:

Ahae has programmed another show in the Paris region, this time at Versailles during the Summer of 2013 with a similar propaganda blitz. For those who read French, I strongly encourage you to read this excellent exposé on Ahae by Bernard Hasquenoph: (Ahae à Versailles, le privilège de l’argent).

As you have already read above, I guessed at an exchange of money with the Louvre (and now Versailles) to allow Ahae not only to exhibit in these spaces but to claim that he is exhibiting at the Louvre and at Versailles (sites with significant cultural cachet!) but I had no idea to what degree these groups (and the same has undoubtedly happened in other major world capitals) have compromised their standards and, I believe, their principles. That Henri Loyrette, the director of the Louvre and Catherine Pégard, ex-journalist, wrote glowing  statements about Ahae’s work, and that two French art magazines devoted special out-of-series publications on Ahae is beyond belief. Can we read Connaissances des Arts or Beaux-Arts Magazine any more without wondering if a positive review was paid for? Should these magazines by obligated to announce in plain and clear words on the cover or at the top of an article when such have been paid for by an artist/gallery?

May 19, 2014, 10:07:59 PM
Reply #17

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2014, 10:07:59 PM »
This piece about Ahae, while rather glowing (I realize I'm speaking with the benefit of hindsite), does offer some more details on the thousand plus patents he said he has. There's a nice touch of skepticism too, which I of course like:
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Ahea is an entrepreneur, inventor, designer, environmental activist, Taekwondo black-belt, exercise guru, painter, sculptor, poet, and photographer. He owns an environmentally-friendly multinational paint-and-resin conglomerate, two organic tea plantations, and a lavender farm in SoCal; in his free time, he used to design small ships that still cruise the Han River. By his own estimate, he holds over a thousand patents, for everything from home-improvement gizmos to anti-radiation pigments. He might be able to turn lead into gold. But Ahae’s somewhat schizophrenic bio hides a serious commitment to conservation, evidenced through his organic farms, eco-friendly businesses, and wildlife protection efforts.
And that wasn't all his bio hid ;)

May 19, 2014, 10:08:39 PM
Reply #18

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2014, 10:08:39 PM »
From Ahae's Wiki:
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In the late '80s, Yoo was the leader of a religious cult in Korea. In 1987, 32 members of his cult were found dead, bound and gagged. Yoo was investigated, but cleared of all charges and the mass death was ruled a suicide.

In addition, Yoo Byung-eun was known to practice a "legitimacy" campaign where he would arrange to have his photograph taken with Korean dignitaries, officials or large corporation leaders, and then would have his photograph printed in articles and publications implying "endorsement" by the pictured dignitaries. (This is a technique also known to have been used by Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God.) Yoo's photograph has been seen in poses with Korean figures such as former president Chun Doo-hwan and even U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

And from today (May 19), another reference to the window Yoo took 2.4 million photos from at a rate of one a minute, a cult member slips up, and a possible escape attempt:
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=162546
Quote
The chairman of an affiliate of Semo Group, which controls Chonghaejin Marine Company, seemed to confirm that the practical owner of the Sewol-ho ferry is hiding at the headquarters of a religious sect led by the Yoo family in Geumsuwon, Gyeonggi-do province, south of Seoul. Later, he reversed himself.

Hemato-Centric Life chairman Lee Jae-ok said in a press briefing inside the compound on Sunday that Yoo might come out if his name were called.

"Yoo has taken pictures from that window over the past four years. He might come outside if I shouted his name."

But as the press continued to ask about Yoo's whereabouts, Lee reversed himself, saying he doesn't know where Yoo is. "The last time I saw him was about a week after the Sewol-ho ferry accident."

The briefing was held in a yard inside the compound, where Yoo has taken photos.
The religious sect opened some of the facilities to the press on Sunday, and asked that everything happening inside be made public. ...

Yoo is believed to be in hiding, after he failed to appear for questioning last Friday.
Recent reports that Yoo was trying to escape the compound in the car of a believer have prompted police to strengthen its surveillance of cars coming in and out of the facility.

May 19, 2014, 10:10:17 PM
Reply #19

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2014, 10:10:17 PM »
Well I guess Yoo is hiding in that compound, and his cultists aren't doing him any favors:
Quote
Journalist Given Tour of Ferry Owner's Cult Compound

A cult led by ferry owner Yoo Byung-eon on Sunday showed journalists around part of the sect's compound in Anseong south of Seoul where he is believed to be hiding. But cult members refused them access to the main buildings in the sprawling 260,000 sq. m compound.

Reporters could only catch glimpses of the exterior of a building Yoo is said to have used as a studio and living quarters while he indulged in his hobby of photography from 2009 to 2013.


Cult members told them not to stray from the guided course and trailed those who broke away from the group. Five cult members then held a press conference on Sunday afternoon claiming that Yoo, an undischarged bankrupt, is not their leader and has no financial interests in the compound.

But when asked about Yoo's whereabouts, one member said, "I believe he is living inside" the compound. He claimed he saw Yoo inside the compound about a week after the sinking of the ferry disaster on April 16.

Around 3,000 sect members gathered at the compound on Saturday and around 1,700 on Sunday.
Gee, could he be hiding in the big building they wouldn't let the reporters enter?

May 19, 2014, 10:16:11 PM
Reply #20

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2014, 10:16:11 PM »
According to this tweet, which references the following French site:
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유병언 aka Ahae, head of family that owned #Sewol has not cancelled a planned Paris exhibit of his photos for early 2015

http://www.louvrepourtous.fr/La-Philarmonie-de-Paris,774.html
Well, I hope he's cancelled his flights ;)

And here are two AHAE twitter accounts:
https://twitter.com/AhaePhotography
And https://twitter.com/AHAEProducts

May 21, 2014, 01:07:07 AM
Reply #21

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2014, 01:07:07 AM »
Interesting reference to AHAE's photos here:
Yoo is not religious leader
Quote
"Some complain business came to a halt, while some demand compensation for the prices of the photography works by Yoo Byung-eun they bought having crashed. It's a very complicated situation," Lee said.
Regarding Michael Nyman's 6th Symphony (unfortunately named AHAE), the London Symphony Orchestra has recorded the work, but they are not involved with plans to release the CD. The nice LSO guy who replied to my question suggested Ahae Press (who hired the LSO) or the publisher -Music Sales - might have more information. I imagine Ahae Press have other things on their mind, so I tried the publisher. I'm really curious to hear the piece now. My main interest in life isn't actually cults; it's music.

Not many cult leaders get symphonies named after them. Kim Jeong-eun would be jealous^.

May 21, 2014, 09:44:40 AM
Reply #22

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2014, 09:44:40 AM »
An Ahae follower added some interesting pro-Ahae propaganda to his Wikipedia page. Wow.

Quote
Ahae was born in Kyoto, Japan, to Korean parents on 11th February, 1941. The family moved back to Korea following the liberation from Japanese colonial rule in August 1945, and Ahae has spent the rest of his life on the South Korean peninsula. His younger years in Korea were surrounded by the tumult and aftermath of the Korean War, while he himself fought a battle with tuberculous pleurisy. This lifetime of experience in his formative years, left Ahae with much food for thought about life and human existence. His father had been a freedom fighter and an avid reader, and his mother had artistic talents thwarted only by dire circumstances which would not allow the pursuit of such luxuries. Ahae’s actual name is Byung-eun Yoo. It was while he was in fifth grade that the nickname of Ahae came along and became attached. One day, his teacher who had made a big impression on him in several ways, wrote a poem on the blackboard. It was by a famous Korean poet by the name of Cho Shik:

“Now that I see the two waterfalls of Mount Jiri of which I’ve long heard And the mountain reflection in the clear waters where peach blossoms float, Small child where is paradise? Maybe I am already there.”

So entranced was Ahae by this poem that he memorized it immediately. He was particularly impressed with the phrase, “small child,” (Ahae” in Korean) so he wrote it down and started using it when referring to himself. Later, he used it in association with his poems and with his photography exhibitions entitled “Through My Window.” By the time he reached high school, Ahae had started buying books and building up his own library. His love for reading has remained with him all his life. He is always surrounded by books wherever he goes. His personal library now contains over 10,000 volumes, most of which he has read. As a child, Ahae was always seen with pencil and paper in hand. While his friends ran in the fields and beside the streams, he would sit and draw them or the natural scenes and details around him. If any clay or other pliable substance was available, he would form it into some familiar object to the delight of his friends. This is how he himself described this creative side of his childhood. Ahae was also interested in sculpture and handicrafts. Curious about working with plaster, he even researched and made a detailed study of the making of mannequins. Despite his artistic talents, which were obvious to all around him, Ahae never expressed a wish to follow his friends’ suggestions and become an artist. He wanted what he made to be of some practical use. All of his endeavours demonstrated his extraordinary passion for inquiry and challenge.

By the age of 21, Ahae had finished his formal education and it was time for him to go out into the world and make his mark, but his mind was preoccupied as he continued to question the meaning of life and search for an answer. It was at that time, while listening to a sermon given by a foreign missionary at the Daegu YMCA that he found the answer he was looking for through the Bible. That was on 7th April, 1962 and from that time on, the Bible became the most important book in Ahae’s collection. He studied the Bible avidly, although he never became a member of any established church or joined in any Christian ceremonies or rituals. Ahae wanted to share with others the truth he had found in the Bible, but at the same time he saw the need to apply his creative talents and ideas to the world of business and industry and thus play his own part in the development of his country. So he began to walk the path of an entrepreneur. He has invented and developed a variety of products, including a self-closing ventilating fan, a safety boat and other marine vessels, and a whole range of health foods and products to enhance the health of the individual. Many years of illness had given him time to contemplate and experiment on himself so by this time his mind flowed with an abundance of ideas. He is not only a master of martial arts, but has even developed his own style of Taekwondo. His interested in this field has always been for the promotion of the health of the individual and self-defence, against attacks from both inside and outside the body.

Ahae has been a conservationist all his life and has done everything within his power to ensure that his business activities do not conflict with his endeavours to maintain the purity of the natural world. At various times throughout his adult life, Ahae has written poems that reflect his thoughts and insights in certain circumstances. His most prolific period of poetic writing, however, began in 1990 and by 1991 he had already written about 900 poems. It was during the late 1970s that Ahae first became active in the photographic field. He bought a Leica, a Hasselblad, and a Nikon and continued collecting cameras and taking photographs through the 80s as well. A camera of some kind was rarely far from his side, but his photographs were never just art for art’s sake, although his keen eye and artistic talent are clearly evident in his photographs of that time as well. He made it a habit to pick up his camera whenever he saw something that made such a deep impression on him that he wanted to keep a record of it. He often photographed scenes of natural areas that were about to be destroyed by industrialization. If he could not prevent the land from being ravished, he could at least keep a record of how it once was. Ahae’s “Through My Window “project began one day in early spring 2009. It began with a photograph of some water deer that suddenly appeared out of the forest within the view from his studio window. The project continued for 4 years, during which time Ahae took about 2.7 million photographs, making a detailed record of the scene as viewed from his window, capturing nature in all its moods, seasons, and activities.


Contrary to media reports, Ahae has no stake in the ferry company and his two sons have an indirect stake of only 10% of the ferry company. The Korean government is known to be influencing the mainstream media to further its own political agenda and to divert attention away from their own responsibilities related to the Sewol tragedy. Yoo Byung-eon is the head of the family owning Chonghaejin Marine, the operator of the MS Sewol which sank on April 16, 2014.[6][7][8] Due to his reclusiveness, he is known as "the millionaire with no face."[9] Currently, he is wanted for questioning by the South Korean government.[10][11] The numerous misleading media reports and the public statements and actions of the prosecutor’s office initially focused on the inaccurate claims of Ahae’s “ownership” of the ferry company.  Additional erroneous claims that he “controls” the company through his sons followed.  Reports in the media in Korea have continued to suggest that AHAE was directly responsible for purchasing the Sewol ferry and instructing that renovations be made to carry more cargo.  These reports are pure fabrication.  Simply put,  AHAE does not own any shares, has any business dealings with, or is involved in the day-to-day operations of Chonghaejin Marine Co. Ltd. (the owners of the Sewol ferry). Ahae’s two sons through I-One-I Holdings indirectly own approximately a 10% stake in Chonghaejin.  However, there are 361 other shareholders who have stakes in I-One-I Holdings and thus indirectly in Chonghaejin, as well as 27 other direct shareholders of Chonghaejin itself. Given the large numbers of shareholders, it should be apparent that Ahae’s sons do not “own” the ferry company or control it.  But this large and diverse ownership has been ignored by the prosecutors and the media.[12][13][14] Testimony states that Yoo ordered the restructuring of the upper floor of the Sewol in order to install an exhibition hall for Ahae's photographs, which may have contributed to the sinking.

Religious Activities
In the late '80s, Yoo was the leader of a religious cult in Korea. In 1987, 32 members of his cult were found dead, bound and gagged. Yoo was investigated, but cleared of all charges and the mass death was ruled a suicide.[16][17] The irresponsible news reports at that time speculatively associated Mr. Yoo with a major mass suicide scandal related to a religious cult. Korean authorities thoroughly investigated the incident and determined that Mr. Yoo had no link to the mass suicide. But the media attacks left a painful and lasting impression on the Korean public, which has been further exacerbated by the reports after the Sewol tragedy, many of which repeated the inaccurate and unsubstantiated reports of more than 20 years ago.

Photography:
Ahae took over 2.7 million photographs, all through one window, within four years. Ahae's collection mainly consists of natural scenes through the window of his own studio, which capture intimate moments of the four seasons, as well as the lively movements of birds and water deer. The first exhibition to display his work to the public was held in Grand Central Terminal, New York, in spring, 2011. Ahae's photographs were displayed in a total of nine exhibitions, including the Louvre Museum and the Palace of Versailles.

May 21, 2014, 10:46:00 AM
Reply #23

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2014, 10:46:00 AM »
I wonder if he took his camera?
Quote
“We were tipped off that Yoo got out of the place on Saturday,” said Prosecutor Kim Hoe-jong of the Incheon District Prosecutors’ Office.

“Based on phone records and other reports, we are pretty convinced that he is not there,” Kim told reporters.

Also evading investigation are Yoo’s elder daughter Som-na and two sons - Hyeok-gi and Dae-gyun. Hyeok-gi is believed to be in the United States and Som-na in Paris. Investigators have submitted criminal extradition requests from U.S. and French agencies. The Ministry of Justice asked Interpol to arrest those in overseas countries.
Hopefully, AHAE's next exhibition will be called "The 20 million photos I took from my cell window over the course of my life sentence"

Regarding Yoo's son Keith who popped up in Paris for the exhibitions and concerts, this May 12 article identifies him as Hyeok-gi:
Quote
Previously, Yoo's other three children ― Hyuk-kee also known as Keith, Seom-na known as Ennette and Sang-na ― all ignored the prosecution's summonses.

May 21, 2014, 10:51:13 AM
Reply #24

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2014, 10:51:13 AM »
Spare a thought for Michael Ham, the author of the recent propagandaish press releases, who left a job at a plush resort to work for AHAE.
Update: That resort is owned by Yoo and Michael is a member of his cult. I don't know why I'm surprised.


Michael, there's no shame in asking for your old job back.
Update: Michael is a long-term member of Yoo's cult.

May 21, 2014, 09:03:16 PM
Reply #25

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2014, 09:03:16 PM »
List of AHAE exhibitions from AHAE's wiki:

Quote
Extraordinary Within the Ordinary. Chateau de Versailles, Versailles, France. June 25, 2013.
Through My Window. Musee de Louvre, Paris, France. June 26 to August 26, 2012.
Through My Window. Magazzini del Sale, Venice, Italy. March 20 to April 24, 2012.
Through My Window. Alinari National Museum of Photography, Florence, Italy. Dec. 1, 2011 to Jan. 8, 2012.
Through My Window: Vibrancy and Serenity. Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal, New York City. October 13 to 22, 2011.
Through My Window. Vremena Goda Galleries, Moscow, Russia. Sept. 15 to Oct. 5, 2011.
Through My Window. Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London, United Kingdom. August 25 to 29, 2011.
Through My Window. Clarence House Gardens and Lancaster House, London, United Kingdom. July 27 to 31, 2011.
Through My Window. The Great Hall, National Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic. July 15 to August 14, 2011.
Through My Window. Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal, New York City. April 29 to May 7, 2011.

And some Ahae-related links:
French Wiki: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahae
Twitter Ahae hash tags offers an interesting look back through the eyes (and tweets) of those who enjoyed his photos: https://twitter.com/hashtag/ahae?src=hash

May 22, 2014, 09:48:43 PM
Reply #26

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2014, 09:48:43 PM »
Grand Central Terminal presents "Through My Window" Korean artist photo exhibit
Quote
If everyday you were to take a picture of the world outside your window, what would your pictures show? Korean naturalist and photographer, Ahae, transforms a simple concept into beautiful thought provoking art with the photo exhibit, “Through My Window.” The exhibit features a collection of one million photographs captured from 2008 to 2010 that show an ever-changing world outside one window. It is currently on display at Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall until October 22.

Ahae’s photography in “Through My Window” shows the simple natural beauty of nature at its purest and most undisturbed. “There is no other photographer who has ever produced such a large body of work,” states Keith Yoo, Ahae's son and spokesperson. “Especially with no artificial lighting, no staging, and no manipulations during editing. This is a very simple but rare project.”

It is a simple but rare project that has captured the attention of the art world. Professor Milan Knizak, former General Director of the National Gallery in Prague has called Ahae’s photography “so simple, so beautiful, so perfect.”

And what has influenced Ahae’s work as an artist?

“Ahae has been a painter, sculptor, environmentalist, and inventor all his life,” Yoo replies. “The recent photographic works reflect such roles Ahae played as an individual for 70 years and are a product of his lifelong observation of the changing world.”

Ahae's love towards photography inspired the creation of "Through My Window.” The exhibit emphasizes “the importance of honest and simple photography, which is disappearing in today's art world," adds Yoo. "Often, such photographs are overlooked as ordinary.”

May 22, 2014, 09:55:21 PM
Reply #27

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2014, 09:55:21 PM »
Some very interesting comments under this article. Once again, it's great to see that not everyone bought into AHAE's manufactured and paid-for reputation. First the fluffy article, and then my favorite comments:

New Photo Exhibit by Ahae Opens in Grand Central Station  Friday, October 14, 2011
Quote
Visitors and passerby to Grand Central Station can now take a look through a window in South Korea.

For "Through My Window," the photographer Ahae took more than a million pictures through the window of his house, which overlooks an organic nature preserve in South Korea. A selection of the photos of birds, deer and other wildlife is on display in two atriums of Grand Central Station's Vanderbilt Hall.

On Thursday, some bustling travelers stopped to check out the photos, which are divided into two contrasting groups : "Vibrancy" and "Serenity."

“Vibrancy” features bright colors and images with a lot of movement. “Serenity,” captures the more peaceful and quiet aspects of the natural world.

“Through My Window” opened on Thursday and will be on display at Grand Central Station through October 22. Check out images below.

“I’m from a place with a bit more nature than New York City,” said Betsy Hiadek, who was visiting from Iowa. “But I love the city,” she said, adding that the natural imagery was a calming contrast to the bustle.

Quote
Jeremy from New York
I honestly think this is the typical example of a rich-born South Korean who can buy opportunity, location, publicity, and image. His pictures are notoriously mediocre. I am a photography teacher and I see young students everyday who are actually more talented than this guy. Unfortunately money can buy too many things these days.
Quote
Jon-Marc Seimon from New York
Ms Rousseau: I was sitting IN the exhibit hall, surrounded by the photographs at the time I wrote the above! Furthermore - wondering if I was merely feeling dyspeptic, I then encouraged my wife to go and wander around the hall - and I didn't give her any indication of my own feelings about it. It took her about thirty seconds to look at me with a "huh - why am I looking at these crummy pictures" kind of expression. She, by the way, is a successful (and acclaimed) painter.

The cumulative effect produced is sort of a hallmarkish numbness. And I stand emphatically by what I said above - the photographs themselves are totally banal. Look at any National Geographic, for crying out loud - there is NO comparison. This is really basic nature photography, badly focused, badly exposed, badly everything (well, okay, it's a nice showcase for Duggal's printing). Sorry. As for the suggestion that I don't have the "eye": I've spent the past forty years loving and appreciating photography of all sorts, both as a practioner and a critical viewer, and I love great nature photography. This show doesn't even come close.

But I'm glad you liked the show, and it appears that many others in the hall did too. I'm happy for you and for them. And we do agree on one thing: it IS the most beautiful terminal in the world.

A million exposures. And THIS is what emerged? Sorry, but despite the lavish production, the pictures are pretty banal. I'm happy that someone sees fit to do a show like this in this incredible space, but it's sad to see the opportunity squandered on such mediocrity. As for the "organic nature preserve" and the neutral soap...please!
And a couple of positive comments (to be fair) ;)
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Jackie Rousseau from New York
With all due respect Mr. Seimon, you either were not present to see Ahae's photo exhibition with your own eyes or you simply do not have the eye to see the extraordinary images captured by the artist. His photos are simply breathtaking and they move me by showing what happens in true nature. I recommend all to go see this exhibition in the most beautiful terminal in the world!
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Rajiv from India
Your wonderful pics are captivating. After reading your brochure I feel he is like Leonardo Da Vinci with a camera in modern times. Indeed you shoot not only with lenses or keen eyes but with open aperture heart. Marvelous! Your efforts in taking 1.2 million pictures from your fixed window reveal your versatility and in-depth vision towards nature, planet and humanity. We must learn to see and to use our eyes. Indeed your NY show shall prove to be an eyeopener. A hearty salute to great AHAE. I am from India in US for vacation. I am a judge in U.P. state of India. I hope you display in India too.

May 22, 2014, 10:30:46 PM
Reply #28

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2014, 10:30:46 PM »
AHAE in Moscow. Sept. 2011:


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Ahae's “Through My Window” exhibition will be on show at the “Vremena Goda” art gallery from Sept. 15 until Sept. 30. The natural daylight that fills the atriums of the “Vremena Goda” gallery provides an organic setting for Ahae's unique photographs. The exhibition takes up two halls — the solemn first level of the gallery and the panoramic hall in the design center on the fourth floor.

May 23, 2014, 09:52:13 AM
Reply #29

Offline Peter

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Re: The Artist Formerly Known As AHAE
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2014, 09:52:13 AM »
US (Actually he's Korean) artist buys French ghost village
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It was the village no one wanted: an abandoned hamlet of 21 buildings including the ruins of a 13th century castle, a chapel, an empty swimming pool, overgrown tennis courts and falling down stables in the unspoilt central region of Limousin.

But on Monday the ghost village of Courbefy, 30 miles from Limoges, went under the hammer for a second time and was bought by an American photographer.

The buyer, a South Korean-born artist whose name is Ahae, was not present for the auction in which he made the final bid at €520,000, nearly €200,000 more than the asking price. ...

Ahae, based in New York, specialises in landscape photography and has an exhibition at the Louvre next month. He has not said what he intends to do with the village 280 miles south-west of Paris.
]It was the village no one wanted: an abandoned hamlet of 21 buildings including the ruins of a 13th century castle, a chapel, an empty swimming pool, overgrown tennis courts and falling down stables in the unspoilt central region of Limousin.

But on Monday the ghost village of Courbefy, 30 miles from Limoges, went under the hammer for a second time and was bought by an American photographer.

The buyer, a South Korean-born artist whose name is Ahae, was not present for the auction in which he made the final bid at €520,000, nearly €200,000 more than the asking price. ...

Ahae, based in New York, specialises in landscape photography and has an exhibition at the Louvre next month. He has not said what he intends to do with the village 280 miles south-west of Paris.
Well it looks like he hasn't done much with it, and I imagine he was more pressing concerns these days:
The Abandoned Hamlet of Courbefy - Revisited 2013

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A cold,misty and chilly morning, but i had decided it was time to return to see if there was anything new about the place but sadly not, thief's seem to have been here during the night stealing electric cables and other scrapable items, but nothing else seems to have happened, to the artist who spent €500,000 on purchasing this property, i hope you do something with it soon, at least the church is still untouched, well except the donations box!...
There are lots of photos in the above Facebook link. It looks like a nice place to hide and lay low a years. ;)

French article: http://www.leparisien.fr/bordeaux-33000/le-hameau-de-courbefy-haute-vienne-adjuge-520-000-euros-a-l-artiste-ahae-21-05-2012-2009843.php