Sara Yun, the vision
To place yourself behind a camera, or to place the camera in front of your eye, closing the other eye, and to concentrate on observing the reality through the visor makes the photographer feel protected. Sara Yun tells us about it when she talks about how she faced her work on Behind the mask, with which she ended up finalist at the Competition Discovering Photoespaña in 2011. As a matter of fact, the act also works as a mask for the one taking the picture, like when children cover their eyes pretending not to be seen and make you look for them. Something similar must happen with photographers too, maybe that’s their goal, being looked for and found by someone else’s gaze.
When a photographer talks about his goals as an artist he usually includes on his list of good intentions several that most times don’t match the actual power of his pictures. Yun, however, only intents to “contribute a little bit” to get some stories to come into the light, she’s convinced of “the power of the visuals to change people’s awareness” but she also knows about the ability of relative agitation the photography can have in a world flooded by meaningless and abundant images.
It has been a while since most of the big, and not so big, media platforms stopped paying attention to the well thought images, worked on, with certain communicative intention, even artistic images; to focus on those images of great media impact and that everybody should publish and comment on, or the anecdotal galleries of meaningless events, sometimes not even news worthy, or found in an universal archive and which only use is to let Google Analytics know you’ve published some pictures.
Luckily, there is other kind of media, which existence and continuity has been allowed by the Net, that’s able to conjugate the journalistic and/or artistic strictness on texts and images with the original vision of the author. In spite of her youth, Sara Yun has already contributed with some of them, such as Periodismo Humano, Piel de foto o F8 Magazine.
Also luckily there still remain some spaces that dedicate certain days of their calendar to exhibit those other visions of reality, the visions of their authors. Sara Yun just opened her last work, Rust, at the Gran Canaria Espacio Digital, after being displayed at the Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA) as part of the program of the XIII International Bienal of Photography of Tenerife.
Rust is the work of several years accompanying those four sailors on the ship that became their prison and refuge. That passing of time and how it “marks the physic and soul of the sailors” needed a vision compromised to its characters and, like she did with Behind the mask, Yun chooses that compromise and chooses the color because “the topic is hard enough”. Funny enough this might have the opposite effect and her reports, which remind us of the “colorful”, restrained and direct style, as well as familiar, of those by Alex Webb or Martin Parr; make us feel closer to the characters. It might also be because the situations, spaces and colors are also known to us, familiar. We also need someone else to show us what’s before our eyes and we cannot see. Because reality is multiple and complex. We can see this part and be blind to a different one, and because, to many of us, what can be seen most of the times is what is shown by those who don’t know how to show or tell, those who call reality their little window on their computer.
Yun’s photographic work show other visions, or in fact, ways of looking, observing, thinking and trying to understand. One of them, intimate, that seems to calmly look into the minimal image, almost abstract sometimes, and that remind us of those pictures full of mystery by Bernard Plossu or Bruce Cratsley. Pictures that, according to her words “I don’t take too seriously”, and for which she prefers the black and white, light to the limit, although “there are those who tell me my pictures are dark ad that somehow seems to bother them I find beauty in darkness. It’s my way of finding the light”.
Luckily, there are others who offer an alternative, those other visions which, like Sara Yun’s, go out to the streets, into the houses or find shelter within themselves in order to contribute “a little bit”, to find the light to widen our own vision.
“This is the map of my itinerary and it is here where I’ll sketch with images my trajectory”. Sara Yun.
Music by Sol Rezza.