Akif Hakan’s sensual photographs are capturing more than just erotica or glamour. Hakan, who is a Turkish-American photographer, carefully designs his characters and scenes, influenced by fashion, cinema, the history of photography and experimental portraits of Man Ray. His goal is to go beyond the charted territories and free himself from the traditional photographic rules so that he can combine various techniques and create a different kind of storytelling. His glamour shots as well as the artistic nudes have a strong cinematic feel, almost as if they were freeze frames from a movie screening…….
Obsession with Idolization
Hwang uses high saturation and intensity of colors to stress out the artificiality of his subject. He subjects his models to subtle deformities in order to bring out the specific features without the emotion that should follow. The faces look blank, silly and empty. Their eyes are wide open, hairlines are over realistically painted, and everything is done with the intention of showing how adoring the celebrity idols in our society leads to emptiness. Pink faces under the blue light shine with delusion and it is this misconception that should lead the viewer to the conclusion that modern society is obsessed with the shallow idolization of famous faces. That is the main reason he paints anonymous, ordinary people.
Dissapearnce of Noble Values
Myung Hwang plays with widespread human ignorance and mocks the modern desire for identification with famous people. There are standardizes rules of attractiveness and defined parameters of body image appeal, and everything that does not fit into the picture becomes irrelevant and repugnant. Behind the false imagery disappears the world of noble values, where people become so self-obsessed and self-involved that they forget what really makes us human. Hwang’s advance method transcends the Korean school rules of painting. Caucasian men are painted with pink skin and the variations in tones underlines the uniformity of the society
Standardizes Rules of Beauty
The artist does not aim to humiliate or mock. His work is deeply political, and the message he is sending should make the audience reevaluate their beliefs, not put them to shame. In standardized contemporary society, everyone tries to stand out, but when his models are caught in random, ordinary poses and highlighted with intense coloring, it becomes truly visible that we are all the same. We all have dull facial expressions and that is perfectly fine. To be comfortable in our own skin should be something of great importance for us. The artist states out that after all attempts to fit in, our genuine appeal is being left out, alone, on the cemetery of beauty, and we should aim to bring it back out front, where it belongs.
Myung Hwang lives and works in France.