BEAUTIFUL BOOKS • Hatje Cantz : Surfaces & Structures - Bae, Bien-U's pinewoods and Ola Kolehmainen's pulsating architectural facades
For over 25 years, Korean born Bae, BIEN-U has photographed the old pinewood surrounding the shrine of kings of the Shilla Dynasty, located close to Gyeongju. Bae, BIEN-U (*1950) is considered the most important photo artist from Korea, and has influenced many generations of students during his long running teaching activity. Now, a beautiful picture book, featuring his meditative black & white photographs, has been published by HATJE CANTZ.
The impressive pictures, taken from the “Sonamu” series make up a crucial part of his complete works. The artist’s enduring passion and fascination emanates from Korean culture, which allocates a vivid symbolic power to the pine, not only in photography but also in literature and other forms of art. The pine is worshipped by the Koreans, treated with respect and regarded as an ambassador, who accompanies the soul into the realm of the dead.
Bae, BIEN-U sees the pine woods as an intersection between heaven and earth. In his unique way, he succeeds in depicting his vision by capturing the drama and magic of this mystic place, as well as the trees' sensitive life force, presenting them as a still, intense form of meditation. The artist explains, “For the Korean people, pines are foundations for their soul”.
Bae, BIEN-U was born in 1950 in Yeosu, South Korea and ranks amongst the leading contemporary photographers of his country. He studied graphic design and autonomously educated himself, inspired by the works of Edward Weston and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, in the art of photography. Since 1981, he has been teaching as a professor of photography at the Seoul Institute of Arts.
The Stockeregg Gallery in Zurich will present the “Bae, BIEN-U – Sacred Wood” exhibition until 20 June 2009.
Ola Kolehmainen’s pieces are incredibly minimalist and depict details from architectural facades. Their strict principles of arrangement, the sequence of repetitive basic grids or symmetric composition, also provides the structure for his photographs. The minimalist strictness is often broken up by trees or houses that reflect this. His work is produced using the so-called Diasec technique, where the environment is both reflected on the surface of and within the picture.
The new book presents several new and previously unpublished pictures. Ola Kohlemainen (*1964 in Helsinki) is a successful member of the Helsinki School and primarily sees his work as art objects, not as photographs of actual objects.
His work can be admired at the Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki (see photo of installation attached) until the end of April. And from 29 May until 29 August 09 at the National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen.
Ola Kolehmainen - A Building Is Not a Building
2009. 132 pages, 88 colour illustrations
34,20 x 28,70 cm
Bae, Bien-U - Sacred Wood
2009. 120 pages, 71 illustrations, 12 of which are in colour
35,70 x 29,20 cm