In Blue Daylight
In Blue Daylight is my largest and longest-lived series of works, spanning the years from about 1991 to 2008, when I used up my last sheet of Technical Pan, my film of choice that Kodak had discontinued several years earlier.
A significant block of these works were created while I was Artist-In-Residence at Yosemite National Park in 1997 and 1998 in a program supported by Yosemite Renaissance. They record my acts of interacting with the landscape: of looking, exploring, and recording my presence within it. Yosemite is a land of enormous vistas weighted with the history of photography in the American West. While it’s difficult to ignore those big views, I was also interested in the commonplace textures of a more typical tourist experience. In the Yosemite works and in the rest of this ongoing series, my subject matter sometimes explores locations documented by the earliest photographers. Other times it touches on a world they would have had a hard time imagining.
On the technical side, to intensify my dialog with photography’s first practitioners, the works in this series employ extreme blue filtration and extended exposures to emulate the response of the wet collodion plates used by the survey photographers. At the same time, I am using modern films and equipment, and the prints now come through digital output, using color profiles I derived from vintage color-shifted albumen prints from 1860s and 1870s Western expeditions. While my working method has some built-in easy ironies and interesting contradictions, my main interests remain in the power of photography to create documents that are both of this day and timeless, a power that can describe with clarity but also create images rich with ambiguity.
Images 15 x 18¾ inches on paper 17 x 22 inches. Editions of 20.
These images copyright 1991-2008 by James SOE NYUN. All rights reserved.
Hetch-Hetchy Reservoir from O’Shaughnessy Dam, Yosemite National Park, 1997
Portico, Yellowstone Lake Hotel, Yellowstone National Park, 2008
Phone Booth, Wawona Tunnel, Yosemite National Park, 1997
Under Stoneman Bridge, Yosemite National Park, 1998
Tennis Court, Awahnee Hotel, Yosemite National Park, 1997
Salvaged Fixtures, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, 1997
Controlled Burn 1, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, 1997
Abandoned Roadbed over Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, 1997
Salvaged Picnic Tables, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, 1997
Landscape Through Culvert under Eagle Mountain Railway, 1999
Drive-In Screen, Oceanside, California, 2000
Tourists at Font’s Point, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, 1999
Inferno Cone and Trail, Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, 2008
Viewpoint 1, Shoshone Falls, Idaho, 2008
Palms 1, Desert Center, California, 2001
Palms 2, Desert Center, California, 2001
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, San Diego, California, 2000
Café on Stern, USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, San Diego, California, 2000
The images and music on this website copyright 1992-2022 by James SOE NYUN. All rights reserved.