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Kim Young Il at Atelier Hermès

Precious People

Precious People is not a straightforward photography exhibition. The show also includes musical performances, reflecting the twin passions of artist Kim Young Il. Presented at the Atelier Hermès, Kim Young Il’s work explores the ritual aspects of Korean culture.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Kim Young Il at Atelier Hermès
© Kim Young-Il

Born in Seoul in 1961, Kim Young Il is a renowned photographer and producer of traditional Korean music. His work Precious People opens the 2013 season at the Atelier Hermès. The result of a long-term project, the show revisits the Korean tradition of the classical full-length portrait, designed to depict not only the subject’s appearance, but his or her soul and mind as well. The photographer presents performers of traditional Korean ritual music, focusing on female figures wearing the Hanbok costume.

The exhibition is arranged in three sections. The first comprises black-and-white images depicting traditional musicians with whom Kim Young Il worked as a producer before the year 2000. The second begins in the same year, contextualising Kim Young Il’s relationships in the context of social networks, while the third section is a video documentary exploring the Hanbok’s original form, fabrics and accessories, its current significance, the techniques and processes involved in its making and the contemporary rediscovery of its value and beauty.

Concerts of traditional Korean music will be held throughout the exhibition’s run, bringing the photographs’ subjects to life in performances of folk songs and melodies.

Commissioned by Atelier Hermès curator Jee-Sook Beck, Kim Young Il’s work is a celebration of performance – a central theme for 2013 at the gallery.

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