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    Sale 2631

    Asian Contemporary Sale (Day Sale)

    1 December 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 996


    Price Realised  


    (Born in 1955)
    TR037; TR038; TR039 & TR040
    four gelatin silver prints
    122 x 98 cm. (48 x 38 1/2 in.) x 4 pieces
    edition 1/3 (4)

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    Compare to colorful visual arts where catchy colors help the art works stand out, in black-and-white photographs the ability to stand out depends only on its ability to communicate rather than on its appealing visual presentation. Indeed, Min Byung Hun's beautiful black and white photography doesn't attract the viewer with its play of colors. Min has given attention to lighting, composition, perspective and the communication with the object while in shot. At a single glance, the work of Min's leaves dreamy haziness and attractive ambiguousnes,since the landscape does not appear in clarity of its shape. However, if the viewer looks the photo closely and carefully, he/she will meet with the object's dazzling existence. Hence, Min's works consider the viewer to prepare some time and effort to understand his picturesque photos.

    Min has been using straight photography to represent the nature, celebrated the beauty of grey tone and detail that is found only in photographs. He borrows the eye from the camera itself to express the object more subtle, in the notion of human's eye cannot catch every moment of the nature.

    In the series of Snow Land, in SL047 (Lot 997) and SL111 (Lot 998), everything looks vague. Min tried to seize natural occurrences in the forest after snowing. Even the objects are only a blur in photo, he believes that an existence itself is already clear enough, thus he does not need any extra application for that. In SL111, the tranquil empty space in white hues fills up the entire space, instills the viewer with solitude and meditative space. Min also uses blank space as much as he wants to carry the beauty of the space; focusing out a perspective as in SL047, the artist let the viewer to hold a moment to contemplate the nature while appreciating hiswork.

    Every piece of Min's photos have been developed and printed by his own hand in the darkroom. He blocks an illuminant and depends only on hazy grey tones to take control of the descriptive image he wants, directs the lens to the subject to merge in together. Photos are likely shown to the viewer as a painting rather than a photo in some way. In TR037; TR 038; TR039; TR 040 (Lot 996), the whole scenes are fulfilled with tree branches and leaves; yet, the tone and the texture of the subjects have a feeling of brush strokes or a pencil drawing because of its delicate application of lights and details. Vaguely dissapearing the subject with spreading shadows also alike the eastern painting's spreading manner. If Min was focused on using intuition and contemplation in Snow Land series, in the series of Trees and Flowers, he was more concentrated on the observation of the nature, by fading the close up the lucid figure, by means of deleting the distance between nature and the artist himself.

    Min employs the ordinary objects but significant things around us such as the nature to recapture the beauty of it in his lens. In a reciprocal interation, the viewer also erase the distance in between the nature and tries to find out what lies beyond the artist's blurred and shadowy images.


    CAIS Gallery, Min Byung-Hun Trees and Flowers, Seoul, Korea, 2008, p. 39. (illustrated)


    Seoul, Korea, CAIS Gallery, Min Byung-Hun - Trees and Flowers, April 15 - May 14, 2008.