Ju Myeong-deok

Korean Photographer, Ju Myeong-deok

한국 사진작가 주명덕 (朱明德)

Since Mr. Ju was a middle and high school student, he liked mountain and went hiking. The school he attended was below Mt. Inwang, so he joined a climbing club and enjoyed climbing with friends. At that time, a young and famous Korean photographer came to his climbing club and tried to take a picture of a mountain.

Korean Photographer, Ju Myeong-deok

There weren’t any photography clubs in each university, so he gathered students from each university to create a photography club, and he was a teacher teaching photography there. So Mr. Ju went to a coffee shop to meet him, and he saw a girl who was a member of a photography club and he fell in love with her. He asked the teacher to introduce the girl but he said “no” instead the teacher invited him to join the photo club. So he joined the club and started taking pictures naturally.

He went into the photography club and started taking pictures. He started the exhibition 3 years after that. That’s the ‘mixed names’ of Holt’s orphanage. At that time, his sister volunteered with high school juniors, where was an orphanage called “Holt”. He went there with his sister, but he felt a lot when he saw the mixed-race children. Through his sister, he got permission from Ms. Holt and started taking pictures. Then he did an exhibition with those pictures and those pictures are used for newspapers, including the Dong-A Ilbo and Chosun Ilbo, featured articles on his exhibition. That led him to think he had talent in photography.

@주명덕 사진작가

At that time, it has been about 130 years since the photo came into Korea, his exhibition was recorded the first photography exhibition in our history in South Korea. In the meantime, other seniors tried to take pictures that looked good, rather than taking meaningful photographs of the society.

In 1947, there was a group called Magnum that specializes in documentary photography and the masters of the documentary photography were all there. In the early days of taking pictures, he wondered how he could resemble those photographers. The photographer who had the greatest influence on him was a Japanese artist named Hiroshi Hamaya (1914-1999), who was an early Magnum member. The reason why he respected him was he tried to show “Japan” in the photography, and there was a photo album called “Ura Nippon (裏日本)” which was very popular. Looking at it, he also decided that he should pursue the spirit of Korea, and since then, he always wished how good it would be if he could take pictures like Hiroshi Hamaya.




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