Building with Tree-4

Myung Keun Koh2011

Korean Art Museum Association

Korean Art Museum Association
Seoul, South Korea

Koh uses two-dimensional photography to create holographic, three-dimensional constructions. His photo sculpture has a transparent surface that reflects the images of the world, and yet reveals the emptiness of its interior space. The overlapping planes create an illusion of indefinable depth and varying imagery, depending on the viewing angle. Building with Tree-4 mixes the imagery of a worn-out building in Taebaek City, Korea with that of a palm tree at the Copacabana seashore. Images captured in two different locations are combined to create a new visual space.

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  • Title: Building with Tree-4
  • Creator: Koh, Myung Keun
  • Date Created: 2011
  • Physical Dimensions: w430 x h900 x d430 cm
  • Type: Photography, Sculpture
  • Medium: Films, plastic
  • Critic's Note: Serenity Koh Myung Keun's photo-sculptures embrace the emptiness inside all things. Their transparent surfaces reflect images of the world, whether architecture, landscapes or the elements, while within there is nothing. This approach reflects a Buddhist-inspired awareness of the ephemeral, as Koh's art demonstrates how to pass through this mortal plane and into transcendence. The three elements of each work are the container, representing a void to be filled with actions and thoughts; symmetry, representing natural order and harmony; and transparency, representing absence, superceding time and the body. ... Koh’s imagery has at times incorporated architecture, sculpture and bodies, but in his new work he is focused on simple images of water, isolated trees, cloud-filled skies, and expansive landscapes. He uses what he calls “illusory images” to replicate the transparency evident in his materials and ideas within the image itself. The overlapping planes create an illusion of depth, so that the spaces of the work appear to go on infinitely. ... Koh is not a new media artist in the conventional sense—yet his work is enormously dependent on technological innovation. As the technology has improved to print digitally on transparencies in large-scale, Koh’s sculptures have grown from tabletop works to floor-based pieces now five feet or more across. Similarly, the sculptures’ shapes have become more complex, incorporating curved planes and multiple joined forms as his technical facility with the process of their making has increased. Plastic is a practical medium for this practice, being transparent and long-lasting, and at the same time it is a material that represents the industrialized world. Koh does not reject our world rather, he revels in the uncanny beauty to be found in disrepaired buildings and overgrown fields. ... Koh's sculptures can be viewed this way, his work offering stillness within the chaos of urban life. These secular, contemporary objects invite us to pause, resting our eyes and our minds on a vision of sublime transcendence.
  • Artist's Education: Pratt Institute. NY, USA. M.F.A., Sculpture.

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