Strengthening bonds through photography

SNAPSHOT: William Yang and Koo Bohnchang are documenting Clunes’ history and relationship with Korea. PICTURE: KATE HEALY
SNAPSHOT: William Yang and Koo Bohnchang are documenting Clunes’ history and relationship with Korea. PICTURE: KATE HEALY

CLUNES was visited by photographer royalty this week. 

Korean photographer Koo Bohnchang and Australian photographic documenter William Yang visited the town as part of a unique documentary that explores Clunes’ historical and contemporary relationship with Korea.

The photographers made their way to Clunes, the home of the Clunes Booktown Festival, and will spend the week documenting the town before travelling to Korea to capture Paju Bookcity.

As part of the new relationship between Clunes Booktown Festival and Paju Bookcity, the photographic series that will be created by the two artists is expected to strengthen the bond between the two countries.

But it is Clunes born photographer, George Rose, and his relationship with Korea that has both photographers excited about being a part the project.

Rose left Australia in 1904 and worked on a series of photographic streetscapes in Korea, capturing the early stages of the Japanese occupation.

Mr Bohnchang said he was excited to now share the history of Clunes with Korea as Rose had once shared of Korea with Australians.

“His images were unique and strong, for me it will be interesting to see where he lived and I’m very happy to introduce this to Korean people.”

The final works of the series will be mounted and shown for the first time at the Clunes Booktown Festival in May.

Cultural Partnerships Australia Catherine Croll said she hoped the photographic series generated conversation and allowed people to embrace history and draw parallels between the two countries of now and then.

“We're bringing a professional sets of eyes to re-examine Clunes in a different light,” she said.

“It’s a simple project to bring people together.”

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