Photographs by Bae, Bien-u. Texts by Wonkyung Byun, Thomas Wangner.
Hatje Cantz, 2008. 156 pp., 70 illustrations, 20 in color., 13¼x11".
Bae, Bien-U (*1950 in Yosu) is regarded as one ofKorea’s most important artists, a photographer who has influenced generations of students through his many years as a teacher. He became known in his native country for his meditative landscape photographs, which have an almost calligraphic quality. His most popular works to date are photographs of the famous pine forests near the shrine of the kings of the Silla dynasty at Gyeongju. Pine trees have singular symbolic importance in Korean culture.
Starting with this series of works, this large-format clothbound volume assembles the master’s photographs of pines and pine groves from over twenty-five years. A selection of the most impressive pictures is shown in which Bae, Bien-U approaches the spirit of the places and landscapes with a contemplative, Korean-influenced visual vocabulary that even fascinates eyes schooled by Western aesthetics.