Wednesday, August 7, 2013

While You Were Sleeping: My Rock Star Adventures in Korea

Two weeks ago I flew halfway across the world to attend my first Dancers Among Us solo exhibition in Asia, and it blew my mind. The Savina Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul staged a flawless exhibit - three floors featuring 66 large-scale prints and two video rooms. Opening night was a lavish VIP affair, and I entertained the guests with a quick shoot featuring Korea National Ballet superstar ballerina Joo Won Kim and her partner, Jeong-yun Lee of National Dance Company of Korea.

Video of Opening Night

The media attention on Dancers Among Us surprised everyone. There have been over forty radio, television and magazine features in the Korean press thus far, and many more still to come. If you have time on your hands, you can see some of my favorite articles here: Korean Media.

TBS Radio
DongA Media
The Korea Times

I took a break from my rock star reception to photograph an actual rock star, Yoon Do Hyun, lead singer for YB, Korea's most popular band. Gathering the fans was the easy part - the crowd kept growing by the minute. We were finally stopped by security for causing a public disturbance.

My Korean publishers, Sigongsa, have done a phenomenal job promoting Dancers Among Us. When I entered Korea's largest bookstore, Kyobo Bookstore Gwanghwamun, I would have been excited just to see the book face out. I had no idea there would be a glowing neon shrine. I photographed four dancers from Seoul Ballet Theatre: Younghyo Ma, Miri Lee, Minguen Song and Junghyun Lee, while a huge crowd stood behind a rope line to observe.  

I hooked up again with Joo Won Kim, this time with a new partner, Jong Suk Park of Pennsylvania Ballet. We spent the day together (along with a production team, a stylist, makeup artists, hair designers, two trailers, and a van) to shoot a ten-page feature for the September issue of Noblesse Magazine.  

My final event was Seoul Dance Project, sponsored by Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture. I gave a talk and signed books before being welcomed with a three-story dance in my honor, ending on a rooftop garden. It was a perfect finale to a glorious week.

Thank you, Seoul. I've had my Beatles moment!