Koo Bohnchang – contemporary photographer from Seoul, South Korea.
I saw his “Snow” series, and knew at once he was someone special. A few book titles can give you an idea of his style: Deep Breath in Silence, Revealed Personas, Vessels for the Heart, How to Capture the Touching Moment, Hysteric Nine, Vessel, Everyday Treasures…
Koo Bohnchang creates beautiful, quiet, very elegant photographs of simple subjects. Whatever it is – a room, a ceramic pot, a humble soap or a person – images are always very contemplative, meditative even. They are … very soft: soft light, soft focus, long exposure, shallow depth of field, often high key, and often printed on white washi. They are also very minimal, and often present one isolated object or figure, or as a group on a plain background. (Here you see a lot of boxes ticked for me personally, so you understand why I like Koo Bohnchang photography)
Nothing is too flashy about his work, and yet it creates a sense of being in a very sophisticated space full of beauty of different kind. Pure. Weightless. Lightened up from within. You know how I feel when looking at Koo Bohnchang images…? It’s as if I am suddenly alone in a quiet white room, filled with soft light, and there is a picture in front of me, and this picture and myself – we are having a dialogue. Nothing else exists, all gone, and there is just me, the image, and stream of consciousness with no need in verbal interpretation.
It’s a rare feeling, agree. There are just a few artists I know in front of whose images I feel like that. Well, they all happen to be Asian photographers. By staying close to their cultural roots, their quiet art reaches out to all of us around the globe with our longing for peace and beauty.
Koo Bohnchang’s “Slow Talk” will give you a better idea of this wonderful photographer, his personality and his work.
Note to myself : slow down, clean the desk, take a breath, next time in Seoul go see the exhibtion.