Here’s the full No Sleep article in the Wall Street Journal today…

 

I’m thrilled to announce that an exclusive No Sleep print is available on the amazing site collect.give.

“collect.give (“collect dot give”) was founded in December 2009 as a place to collect contemporary photography and donate to worthy causes at the same time. The photographers featured on collect.give have pledged to donate 100% of the profits from their print sales to worthwhile causes they support.”

All the proceeds of this sale will go to support the ALS Association, an organization leading the fight to treat and cure Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Please consider purchasing a print and supporting this worthwhile cause!

I’m pleased to announce the publication of my first monograph!

NO SLEEP: Hee Jin Kang
Introduction by Jonathan Ames
Published by Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg
Hardcover
96 pages
60 color ills.
x 10¾ inches

No Sleep is a series of photographs of abandoned mattresses found around New York City. I’m interested in how these beds, although mute, allude to all the things we do on them – sleep, dream, have sex. Dumped onto the streets, the mattresses are impermanent memorials to the city’s many private stories.

To purchase:
Available now on amazon.com.

You can also find No Sleep at your local bookstores. If not, please ask them to stock it!

Info regarding book launch and signings to come…

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“Most of us are good when we’re sleeping. And yet our beds, which hold us in our most vulnerable and innocent moments (even a violent sociopath probably looks gentle while sleeping), can be so easily tossed aside and forgotten, no longer needed.” 
– Jonathan Ames
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augenblicke

07/25/2011

German online photography magazine Augenblicke recently published a selection of No Sleep images. Go here to view!

efe24

07/25/2011

EFE24, a photography publishing project based in Madrid recently included some of my Kissable series in their second volume Sujeto.  Here’s the link to the issue, most useful if you read Spanish. Buy yourself a copy, it’s beautifully printed.

matratzenlager

04/19/2011

A major German daily, Der Tagesspiegel, wrote a feature on mattresses and published some of my photos. I finally managed to scan the page above – click it to enlarge.

And finally, here are a few short videos of the press and the technicians in action. These guys really know what they’re doing.

A view of the entire press. I like the technician’s flair:

Another technician working his magic on the “DJ” station:

Here’s the cover being printed – so fast and so noisy:

And lo, the printing is done. Now these form prints need to be bound into books! No Sleep – May release in Europe, September in the States. Woo hoo!

No Sleep catalog page on Kehrer site

After my exciting week in Heidelberg, I took a break in Paris with F.  Here I am with my set of form prints:

Danke and Merci!

The Production

The cacophony of all the presses running at once is impressive, doubly amplified by the high ceilings. I loved the smell of ink. The place was huge, factory-like, much bigger than it looks here:

Here’s a close-up of one of the presses. A single false move and you’d quickly get eaten by one of these things:

The calibration and viewing area was like a DJ station. Here’s the touch screen monitor where the technician makes incremental adjustments to the cyan, magenta, yellow and black levels. That’s the test print from earlier in the week:

The technician lines up the newly-printed form prints (the actual pages of the book!) to this motherboard thing where each level below corresponds to a strip of the sheet above. I dunno, it was like magic. I would say, this one needs a little more magenta, this one a little more yellow and after some quick-fingered tapping and adjusting, and some hundred sheets later (in like 2 seconds), there it was corrected:

One of the printing screens:

The paper loaded and ready for printing. I chose Galaxie Keramik paper, in case you were interested:

Here we are: the printing technician, Jürgen the color expert, and me comparing the form prints to my reference prints:

By the way, we would check, adjust and recheck, reprint and recheck again each form print of about four images as it came out of the machine and then go into a separate (quiet) conference room for about half an hour while the entire set was being printed (1200 sheets or so I guess). Then we would get buzzed back into the printing room for the next form print. We did this twelve times that day! It was a long day.

Here’s Marijke, my Kehrer designer, looking up inquisitively at the misting system humidifying the space:

Afternoon shift change and another technician pulls a form print out of the press for viewing:

A pallet of final form prints. That’s a lot of paper:

Look ma, I’m making a book!

Printing the cover:

To be continued…

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to Heidelberg, Germany to meet with my publisher Kehrer Verlag and to oversee the production of my upcoming monograph No Sleep.

After an uneventful red-eye flight – I fell asleep about halfway through The King’s Speech (I know, confronted with a choice between Colin Firth and sleep, I thought I’d choose Colin Firth too) – I trained it directly from Frankfurt airport to Kehrer headquarters in Heidelberg, met the team and immediately began poring over the test print of about 30 images that was waiting for me.

That first morning is a blur – thankfully I was in the capable hands of my designer Marijke and Kehrer’s color expert Jürgen. We compared the photographs one-by-one on the test print to a batch of small reference prints I had mailed in the week before and made some minor and some not-so-minor changes to the images in Photoshop. Unsolicited advice: if you ever do a book, make sure your reference prints are really more or less how you want the final images to look. After several hours of eye-straining corrections, it helps to have that constant. We also made small adjustments to the book and cover layouts in Indesign and then I was off to my hotel for some rest!

Heidelberg is a seriously picturesque town, easy to get around in, pleasantly walkable, small yet cosmopolitan. Here’s a view of the river Nektar, with the castle in the distance on the right:

Lots of civilized picnicking and wine drinking along the river bank:

A typical alleyway in the Old Town:

And of course, the famous Castle:

(that’s a very big dog, about the size of a pony, running around in the foreground)

I enjoyed my downtime there immensely: took long rambling walks on Philosophers’ Way, ate delicious ice creams (who knew ice cream was so popular in Germany?), and basked in the sunshine.

Soon enough, it was off to the press!

To be continued…

Photo story on DIS Magazine, take a look. Short text by Sarah Raymont.