at a glance
Warmth and Purple, photographs by Jo Wan, on display at the FCC Angkor through January 31.
See an online preview of Jo Wan’s “Warmth and Purple.”
For an artist, finding inspiration can be the most difficult task. That’s why renowned Korean photographer Jo Wan’s year in Cambodia was an important one. It was the time she spent here during 2002 and 2003 that led to “Warmth and Purple” — the newest photography exhibition at the FCC Angkor.
“I was fascinated by Cambodia’s images, especially traditional dance,” said Jo Wan.
Fittingly, one of the most frequent subjects pictured in “Warmth” is the Cambodian apsara dancer. Depicted in varying stages of rehearsal, performance and repose, the young women of Jo Wan’s work often appear alone, as if adrift in a mysterious world. At times vividly colorful, at others elegant in black-and-white, Jo Wan’s work portrays the dancer as both delicate and determined.
Uncluttered compositions and clever use of color and contrast add to the often surreal moods of Jo Wan’s photographs. Subjects are often in the distance, shrouded in mist or swathed in an aura of vibrant, luxuriant tones.
Seldom is the frame devoted to more than a single protagonist, as if to beckon the viewer into a private encounter.
In one photo, a girl in a bright pink sun dress daydreams against the background of ancient temple stones. In another, the tightly cropped face of an inquisitive young man peers out of the frame, as if toward an uncertain future. The world of Jo Wan is peopled by loners and monks and its scenes play out on murky, misty streets.
Recently recognized for excellence with a second prize in the Korean Airlines Travel Photography Awards, Jo Wan has been featured in publications by Asiana Airlines, Hyundai Company and has been a monthly contributor to Imagepress Magazine.
“Warmth and Purple” is on display at the FCC Angkor until January 31, 2007.