(From Song Tan and Seoul, South Korea © Jack Hubbell 1981-1983) – Flickr
Jack: To have something in common with Eric Kim. What? Perhaps you think it Photography, but no. Further back than that. Further away than that. Off to a nation called Korea. Whilst Eric’s connection lies with ancestry, mine deals with birth. And by that I mean birth of vision.
There was a time in my twenties when the US military chose to send me to South Korea. Before this moment, I obsessed with landscapes and nudes. That whole f64 Group vision. But it was shortly after my arrival in Korea that the notion of both documentary and street photographer was born to me.
To have stepped into a library at this exact same time, and upon shelf found both William Klein and Daido Moriyama. There in an instant, my mind was either corrupted or clarified. You may argue your point of view, but I somehow feel I came out for the better. And there on the silver print, not composition as oil on canvas but rather, that of a splash of Kanji ink on paper. The brutality of the blacks dominating white. To see the world not in tonal scale but as calligraphy and there find joy in it.
The best critique of my artistic vision I ever received was when my mother said, “You know, you could make Disneyland look depressing.” Oh how I wish I had the chance, but I imagine they’d stop me at the gate.
And finally, something I do not have in common with Eric Kim. He has the amazing ability to smile while he is photographing. I do not.
Photographs by Jack Hubbell
BYSTANDER OF OUR WORLD
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