We are living in a world pervaded by the magic feature of photographs. We are even experiencing photograph through our social habits. What the photographs, that is to say the technical pictures reveal are really strong and powerful. But we should not forget the role of the optical perception based on a linear perspective in the photograph process. Meaning that a subject lying on a two-dimensional surface finally leads to a four-dimensional perception. In the beginning of the 20th century, it is this very phenomenon that introduced the issue of the optical perception in modern paintings. We can also say that this issue in photographs actually refers to the perception of the hidden light after it was thrown by the photograph process.

The photographic image can both indicate and represent a real object thanks to the conscious memory and the process of association. It also enables to perceive the reality of the hidden light in the picture. The first phenomenon deals with “the photographic knowledge” of a real object whereas the second aims at getting free from the picture by destroying the photographic image. In other words, a “photographic image as a scene” destroys itself and aims at being a “photographic image as a place” which will then allow it to exist by itself. We can clearly distinguish the “scene” of a real object from its “place”. I think the same applies to the difference between the “scene” and the “place” in the photographic image. This point of view implies being able to feel this new photographic strength by privileging the “act of photographic perception” to the “act of photographic knowledge”. For me, this is the “plastician photograph” which is different from “news photographs” or “art photographs”. 

The photographic image belongs to “the present in the past from a temporal point of view”. Therefore, when we are looking at a photographic image, the present moment belongs to “the future of the past”. The magical power of the photograph comes from the illusion that the present of the past and the future of the past would be simultaneous. The indication and representation evoked by a photographic image are also the perception of a simultaneous knowledge resulting from both the conscience hidden memory and the association process. The mechanism of the photographic knowledge gives the impression that the photographic image is real whereas it is only virtual. So, when we are looking at a photograph, we are reading it. The only difference with the written language lies in the fact that the link between the conceptualization of the form and the subconscious is immediate. This illusion of time does not allow us to avoid the exclusion phenomenon of the “perception” and the “knowledge”. 

My plastician photographic work has the goal to rebuild a structure that could reveal the reality of the hidden light through a plastician approach of deconstruction: to cut, to weave, to flash a photograph. The photographic information and representation are transformed in the two-dimensional surface. Then they oppose against each other serving as a picture background: the transformed photographic image works as a new surface instead of disappearing. The optical illusion between the surface and the background of the photographic image can be an experience of perceiving the hidden light behind this photographic image. This message has a “symbolical feature”. The “photographic symbol” different from the “photographic knowledge” enables to think about the place of human beings in the world through the technical photographic image. So the mission of the plastician photograph is to seek for a new photographic strength overcoming the conflict and the exclusion between the “perception” and the “knowledge” by thinking about “perception” and “symbol”. 


CHONG Jae-Kyoo, 4th October 2010, Malakoff in France