Han-Mi Museum of Photography – Italian Nostalgia

The Museum of Photography, Seoul (Han-Mi Museum of Photography) is the first museum of photography in Korea, opened in 2002. Celebrating the 130th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Italy, Han-Mi Museum of Photography and the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul present ‘Italian Nostalgia’, a group exhibition by three contemporary Italian photographers.

The exhibition is a collaborative project to introduce the works of three Italian photographers born in the 1960s corresponding to the Korean generation of digital transition. During the era of 1990s, Korean artists began to sense the overall change in society and responded to the gap between the new reality and vanishing and erased objects with the images blending analogue with digital. The exhibition has developed from the curiosity about the work of Italian photographers in the same generation.

The three photographers are Cesare Di Liborio (1960~ ), Massimiliano Camellini (1964~), and Luca Gilli (1965~ ). Incidentally all of them are originated in Reggio Emilia, where is also the origin of Luigi Ghirri (1943~1992), a famous Italian photographer regarded as a pioneer and master of Italian contemporary photography.Veleia, Gelatin silver print, 40×40 cm, 1998 ⓒ Cesare Di Liborio

In the photo: Veleia, Gelatin silver print, 40×40 cm, 1998 ⓒ Cesare Di Liborio

Cesare Di Liborio who was born in Reggio Emilia of northern Italy. The artist moved to Basilicagoiano in 1989 where he lives ever since. He started to take photographs in 1980s. An amateur photographer became a professional when Di Liborio met with Vasco Ascolini (1937~ ) in 1993. Ever since, he has presented various photographic series through solo and group exhibitions held across the world. Heracles’s Pole series of this exhibition has been displayed at Musée Reattu in 2000 as part of the ‘Arles Photo Festival’.

Massimiliano Camellini, born in Venice, is a current resident of Reggio Emilia where he works as photographer. He has concentrated on personal studies in photography centering on reportage which he has been interested in since the 1990s. Starting from 2001, his work includes Beyond the Cages series where he explored the universal theme of ‘human nature and dreams’, extending to The Flyers (2004), Duel (2006), New Arenas (2009), Laboratory Obsession (2010), and his most recent series 6 p.m., the working time is over (2012) that will be shown in this exhibition. His professional inspirations come from interactions with artists and photography curators including Vasco Ascolini as well as Charles-Henri Favrod, Jean Arrouye, Enrica Viganò, Georges Vercheval, Mara Granzotto, Lòrànd Hegyi, and Manuela De Leonardis. From 2013 he has been working as the Italian branch director of The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) (Bath, UK)

Leumann 9, Collegno, Digital print, 100×100 cm, 2011 ⓒ Massimiliano Camellini

In the photo: Leumann 9, Collegno, Digital print, 100×100 cm, 2011 ⓒ Massimiliano Camellini

Luca Gilli is from the province of Reggio Emilia in northern Italy where he has lived all his life and work as photographer. Having specialized in natural science in college, Gilli has worked for several years as a wild environment consultant while he continued to pursue photography, until 1998 when he established a private graphic design studio and publishing house. He has mostly focused on nature but in Blank series of 2011 he photographed ‘an anonymous space’ in which he scrutinized in depth how the conception on light and space are related to each other and what new potential can be found in photography. Quentin Bajac, current Chief Curator of photography of MoMA, New York, introduced just about this new conception. In this exhibition he will exhibit this Blank series along with his other works. Gilli has held solo and group exhibitions in various public museums and art galleries in Italy and other international locations. This year, he has also received ‘BNL group BNP Paribas award’ given to prestigious artists in ‘Milan Image Art Fair’.

Blank, Pigment print, 87×58cm, 2011 ⓒ Luca Gilli

In the photo: Blank, Pigment print, 87×58cm, 2011 ⓒ Luca Gilli

Although the three artists have different photographic methods and expressions, interestingly they all coincide in the theme of ‘space’ to explore the traces and memories contained within. Camellini’s ‘space’ is a textile factory in Torino which is now about to be shut down, while Gilli turns to an abandoned factory or empty building that belongs to no one. In a slightly different context, the ‘space’ chosen by Di Liborio is a structure that has lost its past glory and left only with traces. Images of the three artists on the memory of the space and its traces reveal how this generation of Italy far away from Korea who has simultaneously experienced the past and the new can also be tied together with the sentiment of ‘nostalgia’ that is more passionate and intense than any other generation has gone through.
Artists bio:

Cesare Di Liborio (1960~ ) ■ Collection
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
The J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, US
Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), Paris, France
Musée Reattu, Arles, France Musée de la photographie à Charleroi, Charleroi, Belgium Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône, France
Fototeca della Biblioteca Panizzi, Reggio Emilia, Italy
École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France
Kunstbibliothek Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France
Musée d’art et d’archéologie, Aurillac, France
Galerie du Château d’eau, Toulouse, France
Centro di Ricerca e Archiviazione della Fotografia, Italy
Fondo Italo Zannier, Fondazione di Venezia, Venice, Italy

Massimiliano Camellini (1964~) ■ Collection
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA
Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Museo di Storia della Fotografia Fratelli Alinari, Florence, Italy
Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, Cinisello Balsamo, Italy
Galerie Municipale du Chateau d’Eau, Toulouse, France
Musée Français de la Photographie, Biévres, France
Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, Germany

Luca Gilli (1965~ ) ■ Collection
Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), Paris, France Kunstbibliothek Berlin, Berlin, Germany Musée de la photographie à Charleroi, Charleroi, Belgium
Fototeca della Biblioteca Panizzi, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, France
Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Thessaloniki, Greece
Musée Réattu / Musée des beaux-arts de la Ville d’Arles, Arles, France
École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France
Centro di Ricerca e Archiviazione della Fotografia, Lestans, Italy
Fototeca dell’Archivio di Stato di Parma, Parma, Italy
Collezione Italo Zannier, Venice, Italy

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About the Author /

Youngyee Kim is an editorial board member of the magazine Gulmaru Korea, promoting Korean culture and heritage expressed in various forms in art, architecture, crafts, and performances. She is also a founding member of Art Smart Seoul and a member of the French Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where her specialty is introducing young, talented Korean artists to the international community.

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