I had an exhibition in one of the art districts of Seoul last week and although I sold only three photographs I received a lot of positive comments on the photos. I would have been more disappointed by the low sales if I hadn’t been told beforehand that not much gets sold at exhibitions until you become more well known. This was my first solo exhibition.
Having the show was an up and down experience. On some days quite a few people came in, looked at the photos, asked lots of questions, and offered compliments. On other days there were hardly any people at all despite the hundreds milling about in the street below. One memorable visitor burst through the door and with head thrust forward and a very serious look on his face walked around the gallery and took in all twenty-eight photos in about fifteen seconds. He grabbed a pamphlet and disappeared out the door again. Quite funny.
The exhibition cost me (my wife, rather) a small fortune. We won’t get that money back unless there’s a miracle when I do the show again here in Gangneung. I’m not sure I want to do another exhibition in Seoul because of the cost but, on the other hand, people who have seen my first exhibition might come to a second one and there will be new people who come as well. That’s how one gains ‘followers’, to use an Internet term. My photo teacher, who is quite well known in Korea, says that you don’t make any money from photography until you’ve had at least three exhibitions and a couple of books. Getting to that point is the hard part . . . .
Despite the high cost and the inconvenience of being in Seoul for a week, the experience was a good one. I met other photographers, professors of photography, and people who just like photography. Some people just came in, looked around, and then went out without a word but others took the time to say how much they liked the photographs or ask how I had made them. One woman came by herself one day and said she liked the photos. The next day she came again with several friends because she liked the photos so much. That was a real compliment.
I will be doing the exhibition again from January ninth here in Gangneung. The gallery here is bigger than the one in Seoul so I am adding seven more photos.