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(B. 1978)
Hug; & What light dreams when the sun is in love
Hug: signed, numbered and dated 'Koh Sang Woo; 1/3; 2008' in English (on the reverse)
What Light Dreams When The Sun is in Love: signed, numbered and dated 'Koh Sang Woo; 1/5; 2009' in English (on the reverse)
two archival digital prints on diasec
175.5 x 122 cm. (69 x 48 in.); 163 x 111 cm. (64 1/8 x 43 3/4 in.)
edition 1/3 & 1/5
Executed in 2008 & 2009 (2)
Gallery Sun Contemporary, Koh Sang Woo, exh. cat., Seoul, Korea, 2009 (illustrated, pp. 10 & 17).
Seoul, Korea, Gallery Sun Contemporary, Koh Sang Woo, 6-28 February, 2009.

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Lot Essay

Knowing that audiences are forced to see the optical fact that photography conventionally projects, Koh Sang Woo paints a visual poem of love to extract the deeply embedded internal emotion on to the exterior, deliberately exploiting photograph's capacity to realize a truth or reality to deliver a sentiment that is difficult to grasp by creating a tangible portrayal through successive processes of paint, performance and photography owing to his hopelessly romantic wish to conserve its existence and for the viewer to reconsider the true meaning and value of love.

The stunning contrast of aquatic blue-green, brash yellow and blistering orange seeps through the documented scenes of two couples in loving embrace, staging an overall painterly ambiance with brusque strokes of neon purple and yellow that signify their ethereal existence. Here, we find Koh's artistic method in literally extroverting their introverted consciousness to the surface of their skin through inversion of color negatives by suavely toying with the visual and conceptual paradox of positive and negative, inside and outside. Drawing a richly metaphoric scene with crisp contours of mesmerizing butterflies in What Light Dreams When The Sun is in Love (Lot 1540), Koh concentrates on building an environment of a fantasy with dreamy motifs of nature and human in compositional and colorful harmony; Hug (Lot 1540) exudes a more expressive charm through the power of color and abstraction with its subtle arrangement in focusing on the body of two becoming one with vivid smudges of pulsating colors that unifies them in affection; his shrewd awareness of the color theory and the textural conversion of negative photography, Koh is able to use 'negative images because I am inverting myself, I invert the color of image and I also invert male and female, as well as Eastern and Western culture, I am inverting reality and fantasy too.'

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