I was a veteran TV commercial director with 18 years of experience. I always created a 15 second advertisement with top models in a wonderful background. In the frame was a marvelous world that I created. At least, until I picked up this camera in my hand now. Now that I have realized everything was an empty shell and fabrication. I really wanted to create something that I could call my own. Okay! Let’s get out of the frame. There was no script or staged character. Just raw. My objects could be found somewhere not that far, and I could naturally capture them. I decided to call that place “The Stage.”
The Stage might appear to be just screen fences constructed for the safety of workers and aesthetic purposes. At the same time, it can be seen as some kind of a veil (screen) of time that would later on unexpectedly emerge from the separation of time—its tendency to cover and conceal (isolation and concealment). This makes us confront that fact that it is the veil of time in the world of reality (the present), symbol (the past) and imagination (the future) that exists in between the front and the back. In other words, the screen fences often founded at a construction site become The Stage beyond the idea of safety and aesthetic, through which we experience feelings of strolling in time. In addition, we can think about what has been lost, constructed, and completed through the division of time which is epitomized by the front and backside of the screens. I am casually inviting you to this place. And that place, for you, might just be a street, construction site or haughty wall as you know. You will be vacantly standing in front of the stage. Neither a dramatic view nor a story will occur. Instead, they will project things they have seen onto the untidy screen. It does not force you to do something, nor does it give you something to look at. You will, nevertheless, be looking into the screen, walking around it, and trying to project something onto it. The stage will juxtapose you with things with which you do not seem to have a connection, as if to suggest doing meditation facing a wall. If you are standing in front of this screen right now, then you already stepped up to the stage, which I set for you, without knowing.
koNa (b.1974) was born in Seoul, Korea and studied film design at the Hongik Graduate School of Film and Media. In 1998, he entered a TV advertisement production and has been working as a director since then. In 2010, the artist began to work with photography in earnest. Having a foot in both camps—directing and photographing—he has been constantly making art. The project koNa, the artist, is currently working on, will begin with the theme of a stage then expand into the theme of an actor then audiences as a series of work. The subject will be ordinary things around us and the story will begin with the idea of I and express a message that expands into the idea of US then the world. koNa has earned a strong reputation through numerous exhibitions at home and abroad, and he has earned awards in various photography competitions. His recent awards include: the Spotlight Award Winner for the Black & White Magazine (2017), MAP for the Korean Art Village Photography Contest supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (2016), and The Best Portfolio of the Month for the Korean Photography Art Magazine (2016). He also had exhibitions, including The Side at the Seventy Four Gallery in Seoul (2017), Illumination at the 3rd Suwon International Photo Festival (2016), The Side at the 2016 SCAF Art Fair (Gallery Michelle/Korean Art Association), Love Letter from Wuzhen at the Moon Gallery in Busan (2016), Photo Ludens at the Samtan Art Mine Museum in Jeongseon (2016), and The Twist at the Suwon International Photo Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and the DPPA gallery in Seoul (2016).