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Koo Bohnchang
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Entry Fee: Free

The first solo exhibition of South Korea’s leading photographer Koo Bohnchang here in Australia, and will be an opportunity to experience the unique beauty of Korean baekja (white porcelain) through 39 photographs that feel like intimate portraits as the ceramics appear as if they have been given new life through Koo’s lens.

Koo, fascinated by the subtlety of baekja, began to capture the white porcelain on camera in 2004 by traveling around major museums around the world. The artist, who is well known to express the white porcelain’s most white porcelaneous colour and energy in photographs, describes his works as “Rich, as if the white porcelain’s warmth and energy were permeated, and contains a soul like a person would in a portrait.”

His journey to reinterpret the mysterious purity of dal hang-ari (moon jar) and the various forms of baekja scattered around the world have taken him to many reputed institutions which include the Musée Guimet in Paris, the Koryo Museum of Art in Kyoto, the British Museum in London, and the National Museum of Korea.

Baekja, which Queen Elizabeth II praised during her visit to Korea in 1999 as the “most beautiful porcelain in the world”, was the defining nature of the craft during the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910). Royal and noble families preferred pure white surfaces and humble shapes compared to extravagant patterns and decorations. In particular, dal hang-ari (moon jar) which is considered to best represent the essence of Joseon white porcelain, is regarded as one of the greatest embodiments of Korean beauty and spirit through its pure white hue and round formations.

Koo Bohnchang captures still and fragile moments, attempting to reveal the unseen breath of life. Since completing his studies in Germany in 1985, Koo has established an international reputation as a photographic artist. His works have been featured in over 30 solo exhibitions including Samsung Rodin Gallery, Seoul (2001), Peabody Essex Museum, Massachussetts (2002), Camera Obscura, Paris (2004), Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Kahitsukan Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan (2006), GoEun Museum of Photography, Busan (2007), and Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (2010). He was a professor at Kaywon School of Art and Design, Chung Ang University, Seoul Institute of the Arts and a visiting professor in London Saint Martin School. 

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Entry Fee: Free
© Rob Johnston

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