Opening: 6pm, Apr 4th, 2019(Thu), Alternative Space LOOP
Venue: Alternative Space LOOP
Organized by Alternative Space LOOP
Sponsored by Arts Council Korea
/// altspaceloop.com /


Less는 지금 한국의 젊음이들이 갖는 현실Raw과 이상Star 사이에 존재하는 다양한 층위를 사진에 담습니다.
전시의 제목 <로우틴스타 Rawteenstar>는 80년대와 90년대 젊은 셀러브리티를 일컫는 ‘하이틴스타Highteenstar’라는 대중문화의 표현을 차용했습니다. 작가는 한국의 소도시를 주기적으로 방문하며 그 풍경과 청년들의 모습을 촬영했습니다.
이 전시는 가공되지 않은Raw 현실의 Teen이 꿈꾸는 이상과 현실 사이의 교집합을 보여줍니다. 똑딱이 카메라의 미감을 활용한 작가의 사진들은 지나간 과거에 대해 향수를 불러일으키는 대신, 우리 내면에 늘 존재하는 젊은이들의 모습을 다시 포착합니다.


Photographer Taekyun Kim, better known professionally as LESS, explores the realm of youth and vitality that lies between reality (raw) and ideal (star), and captures its energy through his compact camera. Raw-Teen-Star ? the unfiltered youth between reality and ideal ? lies at the core of LESS’s oeuvre. There seems to exist an irreconcilable gap between the celebrities who appear in the artist’s fashion shoots, and the reality of youth he captures in small rural towns. However, they are not so different from one another. The title of the exhibition, Rawteenstar, was inspired from “Highteen Star,” a popular term used to label young, “idol” celebrities in Korea during the 1980s and 1990s.

LESS works with many of the young celebrities today for various fashion magazines. During the process, the artist attempts to look beyond the perfect setting of the studio and the polished facade demanded by the media, and instead tries to discover the energy and vitality that pierces through when his subjects are liberated from the pressures of public attention. His camera captures the moments of youthful vitality that lives in all of us, but perhaps has been long forgotten.

LESS also presents landscapes of rural Korea that appear frozen in time. In abandoned small towns visited by chance, the artist discovers a different kind of vitality. The youths he encounters in small towns are somewhat different from the polished celebrities in the city. The images of empty streets, the young man in his boxing gloves punching away at the sandbag, the high school soccer player,
the young woman carelessly lying down on the beach, all emanate youthful energy of their own, shining bright as if they are their own celebrities.
They are completely carefree from their surroundings and does not try to prove anything, creating a landscape of energy far different from those of the celebrities in big cities. The portraits of youth gazing into the camera while standing in front of a K-pop concert stadium deliver unexpected yet striking vitality despite their anonymity.
It is impossible to know where their youthfulness and vitality come from or where they are headed.
The artist simply reflects their energy onto the viewers as is.
There is no objective or statement made.
The artist simply encourages the viewers to engage with the image on their own terms, somewhere and anywhere between them. The everyday, yet private moments captured in the photographs could be the viewer’s own reality, past or the future. The subjects of the photographs may appear carefree and nonchalant, but these records of life embody their youth, vitality and spirit of the times.
Free from order or meaning, the images in Rawteenstar serve as testaments to the freedom of life that is all their own.

At the same time, the photographs confront the viewer and ask? “what are you looking at?”

Sun Mi Lee
Curator, Alternative Space Loop