Bohnchang Koo: Slow Talk

Bohnchang Koo: Slow Talk

Thursday, November 21, 2013Saturday, January 25, 2014

Madrid, Spain

Official opening attended by the artist: 21 November 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Ivorypress c/ Comandante Zorita 48 (Madrid)
Exhibition dates: 21 November 2013 to 25 January 2014

On 21 November the exhibition Slow Talk, by South Korean artist Bohnchang Koo, will open at Ivorypress. The exhibition—the first individual show of this photographer in Spain—will be composed of twenty-eight images in which his camera captures serene and fragile moments in which the invisible presence of life is revealed.

The selection comprises pieces from six of his most representative series, where white is predominant. This is the case with Portraits of Time, created in 1998. In this series, Koo creates compositions that eliminate the spatial context and do not focus on particular objects but rather on the textures and sensations of a blank wall. 'The works shown in this exhibition are the result of an accumulation of personal journeys through the careful observation of nature and myself', explains the artist. 'The notable void and emptiness in the images deliver susceptibilities of the mind’s eye to viewers'.

The exhibition will also include work from his series White and Pencil of Nature, which depict white walls and snow covered ground subtly marked by vegetation. The show, which will be open at Ivorypress until 25 January 2014, performs more recent works from the series Vessel; white porcelain objects captured by a large-format camera and long exposure times in order to reproduce their shape in a delicate and austere way.

Another of Koo’s lines of work is the series Ocean, from which three photographs will be on show as part of this solo exhibition. The calm, dark ocean captured by his camera eludes traditional representations since, for the author, his work as photographer ‘is more than just depicting the beauty of a scenic view. It requires time and effort to deliver messages and to portray life—to move the heart’.

Finally, the most recent series included in the exhibition is Interiors. Empty spaces and white drawers reproduced in large-format images that evoke a poetic feeling of emptiness that is ever present in Koo’s work. Buddhist scriptures say ‘form is emptiness; matter is void; all is vanity’. In this sense, for the artist, 'the concept of void is nothingness manifested, therefore, it allows an expanse of the ability to visualise something while accommodating numerous solutions'.

Bohnchang Koo (Seoul, South Korea, 1953) earned his diploma in photography at Fachhochschule, Hamburg, Germany in 1985. He is currently the director of the Geonhi Art Foundation and professor of video and photography at Kyungil University. He has been the director of the Daegu Biennial of Photography and has taught at different schools and universities in the United Kingdom.

His work has been recognised in South Korea with the Gangwon Documentary Prize and the Lee Myoungdong Prize, and his art is part of the collections of institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA), Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; Reykjavik Museum of Photography; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon; Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) and Fondation Herzog, Basel.