YONG MIN PARK                                       


Project Propsal

The Illusory Truth Effect, which is defined as the inclination to believe that something is true with repeated exposure, is a common thread that intertwines both photography and memory, blending elements of truth and fiction. In this project, I employ photography as a tool to visualize memory ambiguously, steering away from capturing absolute truth.

Photography, often perceived as a hyper-realistic medium, paradoxically allows for the manipulation of reality within and beyond the frame. Since its inception, photography has occupied a complex role, being a medium that can show the closest and farthest perception of reality.

Our relationship with photography has evolved over its history, influenced by the emergence of AI and our smartphone-driven culture. Despite acknowledging its limitations as an agent for documenting concrete evidence, photography continues to be a medium that is used to substantiate real-life claims.

Throughout history, humanity has utilized various tools to record memories and stories, often deviating from accurate depictions of events. Personally, I observe photography and AI traversing similar historical paths in recording. The advancement of documentation may not have improved the delivery of accurate information but has instead introduced different ways to distort the truth. This distortion may extend to our memories, as reliance on personal memories or recollections that often surpass the objective truth. One could argue that photographs do not replace memories but rather mimic them.

In this project, I delve into the essence of photography to address fundamental questions and amplify this "distortion" using various techniques. Key aspects of the project were executed without Photoshop or were constrained to methods achievable without it. This deliberate approach aims to demonstrate that from the beginning, photos like these have been far from absolute truth. The goal is to immerse viewers in constant confusion when encountering the work, poised on the border between truth and falsehood. Additionally, this project serves as a platform to showcase my emerging visual style and interests.

The project centers on historical themes, reflected in the design of five chapters illustrating the Earth's evolution. This project was initiated to liberate and study the medium from such constraints, engaging in the art of photography. The quotes below from the 2000 film Yi Yi, offers a framework for the viewers to engage with my project.

Quotes from the movie Yi Yi
(Ting-Ting) "Daddy, you can't see what I see and I can't see what you see. So how can I know what you see?"
(N.J.) "Good question. I never thought of that. That's why we need a camera. Do you want one to play with?"
(Ting-Ting) "Daddy, can we only know half of the truth?"
(N.J.) "What? I don't get it"
(Ting-Ting) "I can only see what's in front, not what's behind. So I can only know half of the truth, right?"