Korean Artist Choi Byung-Kwan studied and learnt his craft in both Paris and Seoul.
Throughout his ongoing exploration of bamboo, Choi creates striking monochrome photographs of bamboo forests, within the very depths and blackness of their density and out towards the sparseness of the lighter, greyer outer edges of the forests. Each series is exquisitely printed from the blackest, darkest charcoal tones of his strikingly bold Bamboo Square and Panorama series, to the contrasting subtle elegance and gentle softness of his lighter Bamboo Grey series.
Choi’s latest addition to his Bamboo work is titled ‘Mother of Pearl’, where he places images from both his Grey and Black Bamboo series into antique Korean frames, which were originally intended for full-length dressing table mirrors. These frames are heavily adorned with asian mythology, waterfalls, woodland creatures, rapids and rocks, all depicted in rainbow mother-of-pearl scenes from top to bottom. Each frame containing within it a custom-made image from ‘Bamboo’, rendering each piece as entirely unique.
…‘Aesthetics of uprightness and emptiness. The place of bamboo in the minds of East Asian people goes far beyond our imagination. Because Bamboo grows tall and straight by emptying its body and creating voids within, so it has been praised as a representative of uprightness and emptiness. Especially, Korea, Japan and China all placed bamboo in the first rank of evergreens, even surpassing the pine tree, and gave bamboo the first place for its nobility of soul. Scholars believed that the scent of bamboo expresses a world of pure ideal, and thought they would enter a pure spiritual world when they went into a bamboo forest because of the scent of spirit represented by bamboo.’ (an extract from text by Jin Dongsun)
Choi Byung-Kwan has had solo exhibitions in New York, Berlin, Seoul, Paris and Shanghai and been included in shows in Beijing, Moscow, Houston and London.