- 고명근 갤러리
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Koh, Myung Keun - Skin Carved out of Stone
Koh, Myung Keun takes photographs of sculpture. By taking photographs, he converts a 3-dimensional object captured from a specific point in space into a 2-dimensional image. The image of the object is then reproduced as a photo sculpture or printed as a photograph.
In the “Stone body” series, Koh, Myung Keun utilizes statues of the human body in Western classicism, a theme which has been suggested for a long time in art history as a perfect and ideal criterion. These marble statues are very familiar and ideal to the artist, who majored in sculpture. He fully appreciates them, touching and enjoying the beauty of their bodies by way of photography.
The sculpture images he photographed are not only a perfect representation of the human body but also partially destroyed and injured fragments of the ancient world. With them, one can appreciate the most graceful final touch, delicate connections, exact molding techniques that are not simply mechanical, and the deftness with which white marble is carved into a flat surface or gentle curve, or a sharp protrusion. All of the sculpture images have human-like skin, produced by the carving and shaving of white marble. They are very sensitive objects, featuring a body and face carved out of stone, which reminds us of the phantom of an actual human body. The artist approaches the surface of the ancient stone objects from diverse perspectives while taking pictures of their parts.
Koh, Myung Keun photographed sculpture images up close. The details are so fascinating and realistic that our eyes cannot distinguish them from stone and/or the flesh or skin of real human beings. From all directions, he took numerous pictures of many sculpture images, standing in front of his subjects for two or three hours, and then printing on transparent plastic films or c-prints. Partial cutting and close-ups instantly negate the boundary between stone and real skin. Photography becomes a phantom technique and immediately dazzles the eyes and senses of the audience. However, it is also submitted that Koh, Myung Keun’s photography is nothing but a form of deception since it is contrasted with the skin of the broken and crushed sculpture. In this manner, he photographs various regions of the sculpture images and their details. You will, first of all, experience the smooth and homogeneous feel of the materials, characterized by the strange gaps and traces caused by the folding, bending and pressing of the body or by the audience’s eyes that are closely drawn to the body/stone. The characteristics draw out the sense of touch from the audience. Moreover, the gaze of the artist that gropes secretly over all the parts of the sculpture images is considerably sensual.
Photography is not employed to record the whole but rather parts of the sculptures in Koh, Myung Keun’s work. The details sometimes integrate the entire sculpture or play delicate variations on the meaning, while forming fine gaps in the whole sculpture. They sometimes draw excessive attention from their audience and degrade the messages that the whole sculpture tries to communicate. This is intended to demonstrate their destructive power to overthrow the sculpture itself or to implicitly communicate the innate messages of the whole sculpture. The details have the power to revive the sculpture and/or lead us into the sculpture, so that non-present images may be moved upwards to the sight of the audience. Photography is heartily used to evoke visual pleasure.
Yeong-taek Park (Art critic and professor at Kyonggi University)
* 고명근님에 의해서 게시물 이동되었습니다 (2008-06-24 11:54)