shamans, brocade, knives

Ahn Sehong (安世鴻) has a show in Place M and M2, Honmu (魂巫 魂を呼び寄せる躍動), that’s worth seeing. These are black and white images of shamanistic practices in South Korea. The ladies are dressed very elaborately and are doing rather alarming things with knives, pig heads and so forth. As I’m chronically incapable of taking religious rituals seriously I shan’t attempt any explanation here; but whatever’s going on, it allows some dramatic photographs. (The show is not for small children or the squeamish.) Not all the photographs are too obviously dramatic, and the rather oddly shaped Place M is used effectively.

Certainly this very different from the demure material in many other small shows. A friend and I took a quick look at four shows last night before staying longer at this one than at all the others together.

Honmu is showing from 12:00 till 19:00 until 27 October. You can buy a well printed booklet of works in the show, and also another of works in a show last year — Haemu, 海巫 — of rituals for the sea. Ahn has embarked on a long-term project of photographing shamanism in South Korea and Japan, and is also doing other worthwhile work, with tentative plans for further exhibitions.

Exhibition notice / stylized map / Ahn’s website / Ahn’s blog


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