Photographs by Bae Bien-U.
Hatje Cantz, 2013. 144 pp., 62 color illustrations, 12x9¾".
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.
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