Korea Week: Seong Youn Koo
Seong Youn Koo is a Korean photographer renowned for her still life photography reorganizing her imagination with objects in our ordinary life. She received a B.A at Dongguk University, Department of Indian Philosophy, Seoul, Korea in 1994, and a B.F.A at the Seoul Institute of the Arts in photography in 1997. In 2000, she held her first individual exhibition and since then she has participated in numerous exhibitions such as Seoul National Museum of Art, Seoul Museum, Gyunggi Museum of Modern Art and many more. Her work has been collected by National Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Bank, Gyunggi Museum of Modern Art and many more private collectors.
So far I put noun titles to the series of my works. The nouns used as titles are the main objects in the work. Where trivial events around me become a story, where daily objects become clues for understanding other side of the story, my work begins.
The Butterfly series shows a conflict (change of value) that occurs when an image of things abstractly possessed by people get into my daily life. A butterfly in the food must have been treated as a bug whether it is pretty or not. It is dramatic and ironic in a moment that a beautiful butterfly in the garden lose its value in an instance.
In the series Glass, I had ideas in the various usages of glasses, in the ways of using physical and emotional wounds in their relations to others, and also in the ways of coping with them.
In the Sand series, after I soaked and made a mass of sand to a certain form, I photographed it and then I continued to make another forms with the dried and broken sand of mass. I made blooming, withering and blooming forms of flowers and swimming forms of fish using sand of transient image to express the transitory things and faint memories.
The Popcorn series, I tried to make popcorns be shown like blossoms in branches. I used the apricot painting style of traditional oriental painting. The serious apricot painting with Chinese Ink was drawn by classical scholars not by professional painters.
The Candy series derives its motif from the peony folk painting.
Peony is known as symbol of wealth and honor. Thus folding screens of peony have been set up in the wedding hall or banquet hall. Small painting of peony was hung on the wall of newly-married couple’s room. In the past they might prayed for prosperous things to this splendid flower painting. Now they seem to be very naive when they depended on not a strong and timeless object like gold or sun, but on the transient flowers, as even though they are very dazzling and beautiful in full bloom, they soon disappear without any trace.
Secular accomplishment, like momentary sweet but shortly melting candy in the end of the tongue, is actually futile. But I hope the wishes to be accomplished to the affirmation about the present that is spread in front of us, not to be the unavailing desire about unpossessed things.
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