Fine Art Photography Daily

Korea Week: Lim, Soo Sik

This week Guest Editor and photographer Hye-Ryoung Min shares the work of Korean photographers.
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Korean photographer and artist, Soo Sik Lim received his BFA and MFA  from Chung-Ang University.  He has had numerous solo exhibitions in Korea and his work has been included in many group exhibitions in Korea and Europe.

The project featured today,  Chaekgado(冊架圖), reflects Soo Sik Lim’s interest in books and explores how we collect, display, and appreciate books in our modern culture.Chaekgado010_Hand Stitch with Pigment Ink on Hanji_137cm°ø103cm_2008


“In all ages and countries, books have been an object of longing and desire; thus there are not few people who skip a meal in order to buy books while pleasure in building intellectual nourishment looking books of being collected more and more in bookcase.”

Written by Young-Joo Son  (The Museum of Photography, Seoul. Curator)

His last exhibition also began from the interest on books.  The photograph of representing a book, ‘Nonpossession’ of BeobJeong Buddhist priest, is still remained in my mind. Lim Soo Sik said, “Meeting with a bookcase of being full with books make me get a lump in my throat.  Colorful books are well ordered by his way, which causes strong desire for possessing them.”

 Chaekgado(冊架圖) is another portrait in its owner.Chaekgado039_Hand Stitch with Pigment Ink on Hanji_130cm°ø222cm_2013The work of Lim Soo Sik reconstructs the Chaekgado(冊架圖)*, which is one of folk paintings in pictures of Choseon period(1392-1910), as photograph.

His work for the Chaekgado(冊架圖) begin with photographing bookcases of various people. Bookcases look like same. However, books in bookcases are tremendously different depending on tastes and jobs of owners. Moreover, in a bookcase, books, writing materials and ornaments which are put by taste of owner imply various story and flexibility, which provides excellent visual elements.Chaekgado045_Hand Stitch with Pigment Ink on Hanji_104cm°ø88cm_2010 For the artist, the most attractive part of the Chaekgado(冊架圖) is a peculiar perspective.  In fact, the image of traditional painting of bookcase is hard to be represented as the image of photo sight.  Therefore, artist deconstructs and reconstructs the image. If he wants to treat only perspective, he could solve the problem of perspective by taking pictures partly and using digital technologies.  However, he chooses to sew pieces of photos and represents the Chaekgado(冊架圖) as patchwork.  Like patchwork which is made by sewing pieces, like bookcase which is filled with each book, the work of Lim Soo Sik is individually valued as only one in the world which includes absolute time.Chaekgado048_Hand Stitch with Pigment Ink on Hanji_146cm°ø86cm_2013 If culture is defined as complexity of inner mental activity such as knowledge, art, religion, ethics, laws and custom, the Chaekgado(冊架圖) of Lim Soo Sik is sufficiently cultural.  Like each book is made by deconstruction and construction, culture has also formed by sewing pieces of arts and life together for a long time, and it is sometimes formed as the shape of specific book.

 Therefore, we read contemporary culture through photographs of Lim Soo Sik.

 * Chaekgado(冊架圖) of Choseon period is a folk painting which was widely in fashion in late 18th century.  It reflects life style of Choseon period which pursued to study hard and studying was ideal life.  It shows objects related to leisure of gentlemen including writing materials in square bookcase as reverse perspective.  If we watch carefully current popular historical TV drama, rooms of a king and gentries are filled with the Chaekgado (冊架圖).Chaekgado061_Hand Stitch with Pigment Ink on Hanji_145cm°ø197cm_2010Chaekgado105_Hand Stitch with Pigment Ink on Hanji_60cm°ø43cm_2011

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