A parallel Worlds

Monday January 19 2015 / Art & Design

For his exhibit entitled Fiction of the Fabricated Image, Korean artist Seon Ghi Bahk has cleverly repurposed small pieces of charcoal into remarkable suspended installations that explore the often-complicated yet interdependent relationship between natural and man-made environments.

While the hundreds of palm-sized pieces of burnt wood in Bahk’s artwork are of the natural world, the shapes that they form – after he suspends them from the venue ceiling using nylon thread – smack of a human-made environment: pillars, columns, stairs, arches and pagodas.

“Since I spent my childhood out in nature, I wanted to embrace natural things in my work,” says the Seoul-based artist. “I was born and raised in a remote rural village – there were only four households in it. My parents would be away tending crops, my brothers and sisters away at school and I would spend time alone.

“Everything I saw around me were the same mountains, the wind, and trees and I think these became the basis of my artwork. It was difficult to express wind or mountains in my art, so I chose trees as an alternative, and the charcoal derives from that.”

Bahk first used stones as his material for the installations. But the supporting structure and installation became excessively large and overwhelmed the stones, so the artist replaced stones with charcoal.

The charred wood quickly became Bahk’s preferred medium. 

To achieve his dangling 3D masterpieces, the 45-year-old artist fits individual pieces of charcoal with nylon-thread and then hangs them at varying lengths from the ceiling.

“I had lived in a remote village, but I worked in Seoul, and actually wanted to explore the mutual relationship between nature and man,” he says. “For this I incorporated [into my charcoal artwork] architectural elements such as pillars, staircases or arches.”

He adds: “I try to emphasise the material in the poetic shapes of my charcoal installations – whereas with my sculptural work I emphasize shapes so that material properties become unnoticeable and the work becomes painterly.”

Watch this video below in which Seon Ghi Bahk talks about the differences between his suspended charcoal installations and his sculptural work.

A sort of three-dimensional pointillism, the suspended charcoal installations have a light, airy effect and appear as if they are structures in the process of being formed, or disintegrating.

Some of the architectural themes in Bahk’s Fiction of the Fabricated Image are no doubt inspired by his time spent at the Accademia di Belle Arti Brera in Milan where the Korean trained as a sculptor.

His reconstructed columns and archways look as if they have been plucked from ancient Roman times. 

For more information about Seon-Ghi Bahk, please visit: http://www.koreanartistproject.com.

Suggested by
Virginie Meylan

Monday January 5 2015 / Science & Technology - Art & Design

Moscow-based photographer Alexey Kljatov has garnered a well-justified reputation for his superb macro-photography of snowflakes. 

Kljatov’s photographic work reveals amazing, subtle details in the tiny flakes of crystalline ice that we rarely get to appreciate.

You might think that such cool shots – pun intended – involve an ultra-sophisticated, expensive set-up – but you would be surprised at the relative simplicity and low cost of Kljatov’s camera kit.

Monday December 22 2014 / Science & Technology - Art & Design - A Little Levity

Here’s something I bet many of you would like to find under your tree this Christmas: Anki DRIVE.

Described as “part toy, part video game, all out battle-racing action,” Anki DRIVE is an extreme car race that has taken the virtual gaming world and brought it to real life. Well, almost. This Scalextric set on steroids contains artificially intelligent muscle cars that not only steer themselves around a large, oval racetrack, but have built-in weapons capabilities to throw enemies off-course. And it can all play out on your living room floor. 

Monday December 8 2014 / Science & Technology - A Little Levity

The Belgian village of Châtillon is a pretty unassuming place. A stone’s throw from the border with France and Luxembourg, it forms part of the sleepy commune of Saint-Léger which boasts a modest population of 3,500 people.

Paris, New York or London it ain’t, but Châtillon has nevertheless attracted a fair few tourists over the past decades, curious to see and take photos of an eerie phenomenon on the outskirts of town.

For over half a century, until just a few years ago, the forest surrounding Châtillon was the home to what can only be described as a ‘car graveyard’. 

Monday November 24 2014 / Science & Technology - Art & Design

In 1999, the world met computer programmer, Thomas A. Anderson, better known as his alter ego, bad-to-the-bone hacker Neo, in the movie, The Matrix.

The special effects in this film were (and pretty much still are) incredible, the most memorable involving Neo dodging a bullet, his body’s reaction to the speeding projectile is captured in the round by dozens of cameras, giving the audience a 360° view of the incredible action sequence.

Since the film’s debut, this multiple-angle photography, better known as “bullet time,” has been embraced by companies like German-born Twinkind, who have used the technology to develop their own 360° scanning systems. Pairing it with 3D printing, Twinkind creates incredibly real, miniaturized statuettes of…you!

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