Published by Hatje Cantz. Edited by Wonkyung Byun. Text by Jeong-hee Lee-Kalisch, Chiba Shigeo.
A contemporary master of landscape photography, the influential South Korean photographer Bae Bien-U (born 1950) received international acclaim for his last monograph, Sacred Wood. Windscape picks up where that volume left off, extending Bien-U's exploration of nature to the animating presence of the wind among forests and rivers. The gentle dynamism of Bien-U's black-and-white photographs is enhanced by their prolonged exposure, which endows them with the velvety ethereality of nineteenth-century photography (also conjuring the more recent work of Thomas Joshua Cooper). Trees and grass bend in the wind; cliffs and rocks are enveloped in sea spray and fog, and the horizon evaporates in the white-gray sky. The Korean ideogram for landscape is composed of the words "wind" and "scenery," connoting the idea of a quintessence permeating all living things, and the neologistic title of this volume refers to this term, and to Bien-U's philosophy of landscape.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Wonkyung Byun, Thomas Wagner.
With his meditative landscape photographs, which have an almost calligraphic quality, Seoul-based Bae Bien-U is one of Korea's best known artists, and has influenced a generation of photographers during his many years of teaching. He first rose to prominence in his country with his series--ongoing for the past two decades--depicting pine groves, which are plentiful, as the pine is Korea's national tree, representing longevity. Beginning with a selection of images taken near Gyeongju's Silla Dynasty burial mounds, this stunning large-format volume assembles images from the entire series, which were shot exclusively in natural light, both day and night. Natural effects like fog and filtered sunlight add to the expressionistic quality of the images, which recall Western Romanticism but reflect a characteristically Korean visual vocabulary. This volume is published concurrently with an exhibition at London's Phillips de Pury & Company.