Lingering in Time: Koo Bohnchang’s Photography (1990-2021)

8 September - 6 November 2022
Three Shadows Photography Art Centre is proud to present “Lingering in Time: Koo Bohnchang’s Photography (1990-2021).” The exhibition is noted Korean photographer Koo Bohnchang’s first solo show in China. Starting with In the Beginning, the exhibition presents thirteen important series created over the last thirty years, including Mask, Breath, Vessel, and Gold.
Koo Bohnchang has long been active in the South Korean contemporary photography scene as a photographer and curator. His transition from a business administration degree to a photography practice was quite natural. After he quit his job at a large corporation, he traveled to Germany to study. There, the restraint, sensitivity, and refinement that had been buried deep within him from a young age found its match in photography. After deviating from his family’s expectations and immersing himself in the uncertainty of an artistic career, Koo’s early work was imbued with the struggle and suffering of every decision when it was made—the longing for touch and the emptiness of looking back.
The 1990s were a turning point in his life and work. After his father’s breath and spirit slowly left him, Koo’s gaze turned to spaces of absence, and his thinking shifted away from the pursuit of weighty individual meaning and toward insignificant yet eternal presences. In his later work, he has explored the uncertainty of fate in our lives and how living and non-living things decay and fade away. Burning photo paper and masks from traditional ceremonies have become mediums between the earthly and spiritual realms. Koo Bohnchang is a collector of vestiges of time. He places dissolving bars of soap, ancient porcelain, and dust on walls into voids without color, light, or shadow; they linger in the labyrinth of the vanishing and the eternal.
This exhibition is supported by South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the Korean Arts Management Service, and the Fund for Korean Art Abroad. The Jinsha Site Museum in Chengdu has also provided licensing support.