Seon Ghi Bahk
Fiction of the Fabricated Image
Seon Ghi Bahk is known for his irresistibly light works of charcoal suspended by nylon threads placed just so as to take on a variety of forms, both representational and abstract. His recent work delves into the relationship between nature and civilized culture. The natural world as an immeasurable force that dictates the ways of the world with no regard for human whims is contrasted with the concept of culture as a constructed realm in which humans strive for convenience and comfort. Seon Ghi Bahk uses charcoal, a natural substance that is the ghost of trees that once stood around us, to replicate architectural forms that human beings design to shelter us in the present day. It is this marriage of the human-made civilized culture that is architecture with nature that the artist is asking us to contemplate, and more precisely, what that relationship says about us as a species. To disregard nature and see it as only a backdrop for brilliant civilizations built by humans is common in western culture, even if it is rarely cited so frankly. Seon Ghi Bahk reminds us that this way of thinking is not only foolish; it is fiction. Like his airy representations of columns are possible due only to an organic geological process, the development of human culture is inescapably impossible without nature.