“One Life” is the latest publication by Seoul-based Korean artist Ahn Jun, consisting of 88 photographs taken between 2013 and 2018 in Seoul, Japan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland and other regions of the world. In the photographs, Ahn captures apple suspended in mid-air, using a high shutter-speed. During the editing process, Ahn selected images which suggest the apples simply float in air, as if revolting against both gravity and fate itself, and thereby tries to expose the transcendence of moments from which all context had been stripped. With her photographs, Ahn gives shape to a peculiar metaphor of her view on life and death (life as process towards death) which had developed in her following the death of her grandfather.
The photobook was designed by Yoshihisa Tanaka, art director of the Tokyo Art Book Fair and Takeo Paper Show. Paper with a slight yellow tint surround Ahn’s images, in order to express subtly the change of a paper’s color over time. The design of the book follows the artist’s view on the world, accentuating the “memento mori” stance towards life expressed in her images which—while fantasy—penetrate deep into reality.
“How do I visualize life and death and place it before the reader? An understanding of life does not help soothe our inherent fear; but this in turn is what lends moments born as an interplay of chance and inevitability their special beauty.”
— Ahn Jun
The book is concluded by a statement from the artist herself as well as an essay by Total Museum of Contemporary Art curator Nathalie Boseul Shin (both in English).
The special limited edition (100 copies) version consists of a cloth-covered box, the standard edition photobook, and an original print. The print is mounted in a clothed slipcase which resembles the photobook’s cover design. The special edition box is numbered and signed on the inside.