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Art&Culture
Comfort in the midst of darknessSeung Wook Koh’s exhibition uses light to show the hope found in places of darkness.
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승인 2016.10.25  09:35:31
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▲ Candles from holy sites shining in places of darkness and grief Photo by Seung Wook Koh

Why is it that even just a little bit of light comforts us when we are surrounded by darkness? Photographer Seung Wook Koh attempts to answer this question through the photos in his exhibition at Art Space C in Jungang-ro.


As soon as I set foot into Koh’s photography exhibition I was transported into a world of peaceful silence. Elegantly displayed on white walls were printed images of different places around Korea - mostly Jeju - during twilight. In that soft darkness between the sun setting and the sky darkening there shines a warm light.


I felt drawn to his use of a solitary stone candle surrounded by the vastness of nature. Whether lying on the sand with ocean waves constantly lapping against its side, or sitting amongst the rocks and leaves of a dense forest, there was a loneliness to these images that spoke to me.

▲ Candles from holy sites shining in places of darkness and grief Photo by Koh Seung Wook


Further into the exhibit are more photos of different landscapes with a person holding a large candle in the middle of each scene. The motif is the same in each photo, but the story changes. There is a growing connection between human, light, and nature.


One of the best parts of visiting an intimate gallery like this one is being able to speak with the photographer himself, learning about his journey and inspiration.


Photographer Koh collected 99 melted candles from sacred places like temples and churches and reshaped them for his project. At different sites of massacres and death around Korea, he set up a candle and took pictures of it during sunset. Sometimes he would have a model hold up a candle while he painted a black backdrop behind them.

▲ Candles from holy sites shining in places of darkness and grief Photo by Koh Seung Wook


The results are hauntingly beautiful, and the contrast of darkness and light reveals a glimpse of Koh’s thoughts. There is a feeling of solitude when the candle is the only source of light in the darkness. Yet without this light, wouldn’t the forest, hills and ocean feel even more lonely and hopeless?


In places where Koh traveled, memories of death left behind heartache and deep pain. But now one can look at these same places from a new perspective. If one candle can repel some of the darkness, couldn’t a small source of light also bring some comfort in the midst of sorrow?


I hope these photos open our hearts and allow us to think about the beauty of light, no matter how humble it may seem at first sight.

Thai An-Kim의 다른기사 보기  
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