Chung Heeseung and Je Baak: Group Show at HADA Contemporary Gallery

© Je Baak

© Je Baak

As photography has often been quoted for its instantaneity capturing the frozen moment of reality, Chung Heeseung questions its unstable identity as a medium by acknowledging its limits to representation. Diverse objects of unconventional state displayed at the centre of the vacant surrounding of natural light provide sense of placid solemnity. Still-life (2009 – 2012) is a body of independent works in which the artist explores the elements of chance and spontaneity within her practice on the contrary to other series that are often exceedingly prudent construction of the initial conceptual framework. Nonetheless, it continues to narrate key aspects of her practice such as photographic presentation of liminality and duration as shown in other series as Reading. If Reading focused on capturing the physical remnants of the subtle emotional and psychological changes generated by the instability of the actors during their reading, Still-Life is the extension of this investigation as she photographs the unidentifiable state of the objects amid continuous transformative state in being. Her interest lies on the quality of latency in liminal state of being capturing the photographic image of ‘duration’ where there in no distinction between sleeping and awaking, floating and falling, and surface and inner space.

Je Baak’s artistic practice pivots around the deconstruction of illusions such as subject of value in reality which humans are engaged in blindfolded. Encompassing diverse medias, he efforts to visually encapsulate the concept such as ‘selflessness’ and ‘emptiness’ from Buddhist philosophy through continuous process of inquisition. In A Towel (2008) and His Silence 1, 2, 3 (2010), he challenges the function and the meaning of the language and its limitation in relation to the understanding of self and the world. In His Silence, he assiduously deconstructs the language of Barack Obama, Dalai Lama and Slavoj Zizek that is unequivocal means to transfer and communicate ideas as politics, religion and philosophy to disillusion the purpose, the value and the weightiness of the meaning that we endow to words. By deleting contextualised words, he reverts each interview into a long silence exclusively with breaths, painstaking thoughts, and pauses in between to suggest possibilities of communication beyond words freeing ourselves from linguistic limitations. In A Towel (2008) Baak serenely displays his childhood photographs in several sequences examining the relationship between objects, language and self. By deleting himself from the images of his past and displaying the remainder, he comments on the identity that exists through the relationship of possession. As seen in His Silence, the artist aims to detach and transcend from the attachment - the illusion of the meaning and the relationship visualised through language - achieving the selfless state of being.

Chung Heeseung (b.1974) received BA and MA in photography at London College of Communication, London. She has exhibited extensively in Korea and UK such as ArtSonje Center Seoul, Songeun Art Space, Doosan Gallery Seoul and New York, National Museum of Singapore, Espacio Menosuno Madrid, South Hill Park Bracknell among others. She was awarded with 2012 Daum Art Prize Korea, 2011 Songeun Art Award Korea, 2008 Critical Mass Top 50 by Photolucida USA and shortlisted for Photo Espana 2008 Descubrimientos PHE Spain and Nikon Discovery Awards 2007 UK.

Je Baak (b.1978) received MA in Communication Art & Design at Royal College of Art London and BFA in Visual Communication from Seoul National University. He exhibited internationally such as National Museum of Contemporary Art Seoul, Saatchi Gallery London, Busan Museum of Art, British Film Institute London, Asia House London, Arti et Amicitae Amsterdam, Gallery Hyundai Seoul, Gallery Jungmiso Seoul among others. He was awarded with The Grand Prize by Joongang Fine Arts Prize 2010, Chris Ganrham Memorial Award by Royal College of Art 2010 and shortlisted for Mangroup Photography Awards.

Venue: HADA Contemporary, 21 Vyner Street, London E2 9DG

Open: 6th June - 28th July 2013

For more information please visit:

© Chung Heeseung

© Chung Heeseung

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