Henri Loyrette / Former President-Director, Louvre Museum, Paris
There are times in our lives when serendipity accelerates events and the exceptional can occur. In September last year I sat next to the acclaimed designer Guy Oliver, who was the guest of a mutual friend, at a lunch in Malaysia. He told me about an artist who had created a grand experiment, taking one million photographs in two years. What is more remarkable than this unprecedented feat is that the photographs were taken, and continue to be taken, from a single window.
The photographer Ahae (a name which means ‘child’ in ancient Korean) has faithfully captured his vision of a landscape carefully preserved and protected for the last two decades. He invites us to see the extraordinary in the apparently ordinary. A change in light or a change in the weather can make an object appear quite different. The same water surface can resemble rock or a pool of mercury, the silhouette of a bird caught in the sunlight like a delicate drawing.
If you look very carefully at these images you will recognise the shape of a tree or the personality of a bird, each intimately known by the artist through the changing seasons, every minute of every day – the world in a grain of sand if you will – but something that demonstrates the beauty and diversity of our world if only we take the time to stop and look. Technology is something that should not be overlooked here – some of the images you will see were only made possible by the very latest advances in photography – allowing pictures to be reproduced on a grand scale such as the impressive light boxes which are 5 metres high by 10 metres wide.
There are infinite possibilities to the world of Ahae and it is my sincere hope that you will enjoy this exhibition of his work exceptionally hosted by the Louvre.