Search by

I am very interested in the way people live. That is, not their unique way of life, but the kind of life we end up living as we go on living day after day. Of course the realities people face are different, and based on that, people will feel happy or sad. However, it’s also true that we all have one thing in common, and it’s that the fundamental joys and sorrows that we experience in our lives that leave us with a permanent scar. I am intrigued by that aspect of life. And I’d like to emphasize in that part of our life through symbolism.
In consideration, I feel pity and respect for long journeys of life that we all must face. In addition, we ourselves, our parents, and our offsprings subconsciously comprehend such fate and its cycles of life.
"My work revolves around the paradoxical double standard of human life, such as our worship of materialistic values in modern society, the feeling of alienation and loss one can’t help but feel in a big societal system, and the desire to cling on to life, despite everything else. In most of my works, I accept that image of the modern man, and try to portray the attachment he feels to that life. My work "series of PROCESS" symbolizes the realities of life, a yearning for an ideal that stems from that harsh reality, a longing for nature, and is based on my direct and indirect experiences and intuition."-Excerpt from the artist’s note
The life I really want nevertheless remains as an ideal. The hardships and happiness we feel in such a life ---- This is the life we are living, have to live, and will live. I feel a strong attachment to life in the process of delineating our portraits.
Against a natural background, people deviate from reality, representing freedom, adventure, and challenge symbolically through their bodies. The scenes in my work are constructed and directed, relying on my direct and indirect experience and the universality of an object that can be a symbol for something. The process of my work is as follows: A scene is envisaged first by drawing, and then places to become a background of the scene are searched for in diverse ways. I visit the places to check their conditions and for test photographs. If a place is decided upon as a site for photographing, I arrange time suitable for the scene, models and props. Like filming a movie, photography consists of the composition of places, figures, and lighting. The composition is a way to point out aspects of real daily life.
People play out their ideals and realities on a stage under lights. The stage I use to symbolize ideals is not an imaginary set but a real space in nature. Through this stage in nature I intend to show that the idea world we pine for is not an imaginary thing outside reality but an entity inside reality, and we exist here. This method expresses the relation between reality and an ideal.
Reality is in the present, and may be in visible or invisible. Can we approach the truth beyond reality without a serious consideration of what is visible in reality? I think the most effective way to access to the truth beyond reality is a serious consideration of visible reality.
By Sang-Taek Oh

Quick Page Up