Fifteen 40x100 inch urban South Korean landscapes made with a 110-year old 7x17 inch camera, to be exhibited in 2015-2016.
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As Featured On:
Coming Soon: GROOVE MAGAZINE 2014, [B]RACKET MAGAZINE 2014, 강연 100도씨 (Korea KBS TV)
KEIMYUNG BRIDGE Magazine, Spring + Summer 2013
원간사진 (Monthly Photo) Magazine, February 2012
Project Statement and Purpose:
Yesterday and Today for the Benefit of Tomorrow.
I'm seeking to pursue a large scale project using color negative film in my 110 year-old 7x17 inch ultra large format camera to photograph some of the most noteworthy landscapes and events in South Korea over the next few years. Some of those include (but not limited to): the 17th Asian Games being hosted in Incheon, South Korea in Summer 2014, the Korean World Series, and other images similar to the digital photomontage image I made in 2011 of a Korean market auction (scroll to Evolution to the 7x17 Project for more details). Because of the high resolution power of a 7x17 negative, I'm seeking to choose 15 of the greatest of these images to be enlarged up to 40x100 inches and exhibited in a gallery or museum, to be named, for 2015 or 2016.
Over the past 12 months, I have experimented with different large camera formats, tested different film emulsions, regained confidence processing my own films (after a return from shooting mostly digital), and pursued various large format projects. For example since January of 2013, I've restored several wooden large format cameras, experimented with black and white x-ray films and enlargements, and cooperated with Daegu city to document the urban landscape above the city's monorail with 8x10 color films.
However, 7x17 inch color film is impossible to purchase without a special order direct from Kodak Alaris because it is not a commercially available size. Kodak Alaris will cut the film to my specifications if I place a minimum order with them. With your help, my $20,000 USD goal will help to ensure Kodak's minimum $15,000 USD special order (import taxes and shipping included) and fund the distribution of rewards to my supporters.
A stretch goal of $35,000+ will help to fund the proper drum scanning, printing, framing of the15 final images that will be exhibited. Once the stretch goal is met, I plan to donate the images to one or several of South Korea's museums and galleries of art for future generations to enjoy.
The link below is a Korean TV documentary on my life and work:
Behind the scenes of The World Upside Down signature image and just one of the many reasons, why I shoot large format:
There are many options so that anyone that wishes to see this project be funded can receive a reward. For example: for smaller pledges a handmade bookmark, self-designed postcard, or calendar and for larger pledges, I'm including 7x17 inch black and white "contact" prints which will all be carefully be printed in the darkroom with final print in mind. One of the largest pledge rewards will be a 40x100 inch print drum scanned from the special order film run. Because I expect a 4-6 month wait from Kodak, I don't foresee being able to make any 7x17 color images until summer 2014. Those that wish to purchase a 40x100 inch print in advance will need to wait until at least December 2014. All other rewards are designed to be in the hands of the supporters before March 2013.
**As an incentive to choose rewards over $100, I'll be including a complementary 2014 Calendar to all $100+ pledges.
Worldwide shipping is included with all rewards.
$10+ Pledge: Bookmark
$25+ Pledge: Postcard
Choose from any of the following postcards. Add $10 for each additional postcard.
$50+ Pledge: 10 Rolls of Re-spooled Movie Film
Your choice of either 10 rolls of re-spooled Kodak Pan Separation (ISO 6) black and white movie film or my favorite Kodak Vision 3 200T (5213) color film. NOTICE: black and white films can be processed normally with regular black and white developers, but the color Vision 3 200T film must be processed specially as ECN-2 or self developed to ensure the REMJET backing is removed properly. DO NOT TAKE THE COLOR FILM TO A LAB. Please see the update page for more details.
$50+ Pledge: 2014 Calendar
Look forward to more updates to the 2014 desk calendar in the updates section.
$75+ Pledge: Limited Edition 5x7 Print as seen on Korea EBS TV
$200+ Pledge: Limited Edition 7x17 Print as seen on Korea EBS TV
$500+ Pledge: Digital Wall Print Enlargements (from a 4x5, 5x7, or 8x10 negative)
Evolution to the 7x17 Project:
For nearly two decades I had struggled to find a personal style with my art works that I could call my own. Finally in the summer of 2011, I realized what I wanted to do with my art works - large scale panoramic prints.
Here's an example of my favorite image of that period:
After composing many different scenes, I found my digital camera limited me from what I was seeking to do. After finding a large panoramic view that I wanted to photograph, I would then carefully expose around 30 or so images that would later piece together into a larger puzzle. The process was far from perfect and the post processing not only took forever to make a composite, but left me feeling unsatisfied and with many errors.
The above image was very popular and continues to receive lots of praise. However at it's full size, flaws and oddities are very evident (cut heads, double scenes, unmatched lines, etc.)
being overly frustrated with the process flaws, I made a decision that would
radically change my work style. Upon examining the crisp, gigantic two-meter long prints
by photographer Gregeory Crewdson (an 8x10 large-format film photographer),
I realized my digital composite faults and frustrations could be resolved by using large
film and a wide angle lens to expose only one image verses stitching together over 30 digitally exposed images.
Since late-2012, I have been experimenting with smaller (4x5 and 5x7 inches) large format negatives and am very pleased with the detail and control I get with large format film photography up to around 30x40 inch prints.
Experimenting with different films and formats continued.
Early in the spring of 2013, I photographed 55 of my students with 8x10 inch hospital x-ray film. It was an inexpensive way to make gorgeous, large black and white wall-size images. Using the flat bed scanner I have, I was able to scan and enlarge to the maximum size our printers at school can print: 40x50 inches. The prints were out of this world! Combining 1800s basic camera functions with today's film advancements, scanning, and printing technology had me convinced that the latest consumer digital technology is still very shy of hitting the mark for large wall-size prints. As an artist, my final objective is gallery and museum walls - but beyond that, the image making process from getting under the cloth, seeing "the world upside down," processing the images in the darkroom, contact printing them, scanning the negative, and making massive digital enlargements really helped to refuel my passion and energy for image making.
I found the 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10 formats to be relatively too square compared to the beautiful 2:5 panoramic ratio of the 2011 Garak Market digital composite image that my heart has been set on. For about a third of the cost of a new DSLR zoom lens, I was able to get my hands on a beautiful mahogany wood camera from 1903 that fit that ratio.
At the turn of the 20th century, the 7x17 inch camera was used for photographing banquets and large groups. During those simpler times, enlargements were not common so the negative was as large as the final print would be - we call these contact prints. This image size is nearly twice the size of the 8x10 negative that was used to make the student portraits and has the wide view I like for my landscape work. One wide view with no distortion, one image, and nearly double the image resolution of an 8x10 film negative.
This is where I need your help.
With your help I'll be able to purchase color film for my 7x17 camera that would otherwise be impossible for me to do on my own. By offering rewards of some of my existing photographic work, I'll be able to share the other passion in my life - the beautiful country of South Korea. Ever since I first fell in love with Korean culture through a Korean church in Savannah, Georgia in 1997, I have always wanted to educate others about this fine, exotic culture and people in a positive light.
Please stay tuned for more details about each of the rewards via updates!
"Sweeter Vermouth", "Easy Lemon", and "Porch Swing Days - faster" by Kevin MacLeod (music used in the video) is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
All of the rewards are designed to be in the supporters hands before March 2014, except the 40x100 inch prints which are dependent on the 7x17 inch Kodak Alaris special order. I estimate the film to arrive to me in South Korea by summer of 2014. During summer vacation, I'll expose my first color 7x17 images and the first portfolio of images should be ready by December 2014.
I foresee no other serious risks or challenges involved with this project that will cause production delays. Funding for this project will end on Sunday, December 15th at 11:59 PM (Korean Standard Time). Rewards like the postcard, 2014 calendar, and bookmarks are all being designed to be completed before the project ends and will ready to be in the mail to supporters on December 16th (as early as 12 hours after the project ends), and hopefully to their doors by New Years, if not Christmas. Korean's say "bal-bali" or "hurry, hurry!". I'm aiming for 100% satisfaction in speed and quality.
Winter vacation, which lasts from late-December to March 1st in South Korea, will be used to scan and print larger prints to be delivered to supporters before the Spring 2014 semester begins on March 3rd.
To be honest, the following information is just an estimate. Film prices could change between now and when I am able to make the film purchase in January 2014. At the moment 8x10 inch Kodak Ektar 100 and Portra 160 are around $150 for a box of 10 sheets. 7x17 inch film is almost double the size of 8x10, so I estimate a box of 10 sheets of 7x17 to be somewhere around $300. Therefore, I estimate between 380-420 sheets of 7x17 inch film to be made with this order. This amount of film should last me for a while. Being ever mindful about film costs means every shot counts. On a good day, I'll expose around 8 sheets of 4x5 inch film, 4 of 5x7, or maybe 2 of 8x10.