Seung Hwan Oh

asian art, photography, Seung Hwan Oh

Seung Hwan Oh Art for Sale

Seung Hwan Oh works and live in Seoul, where he was born and raised until moving to New York where he studied film and photography at Hunter College. His work and practice stems from his interest and approach towards other disciplinary thoughts and ideas, from philosophy to sciences. His most recent work, was inspired by the notion of the first advent of vision in life on earth, and his most current work focuses on implementing microbial growth on film as a means to explore the impermanence of matter as well as the material limitations of photography.

Text by Boraam Han & Seung-Hwan Oh

The visual result of the symbiosis between film matter and organic matter is the conceptual origin of this body of work.

This project is about the superimposition of a moment in microbial growth upon a moment in the life of a person through the projection of one spatial-temporal reality onto another. This captures the evanescence of film photography, the transiency of life, and the continual entangled creative and destructive processes; a millisecond of an expression, an instance of an autonomous geometric evisceration of film, an exploitation of chemical materiality, a vestige composed of millions of pixels, and a complete obliteration into intangible atoms that dissipate into something else.

The process involves the cultivation of chemical consuming microbes on a visual environment created through portraits and a physical environment composed of developed film immersed in water. As the microbes consume the emulsion over the course of months, the silver halides destabilize, obfuscating the legibility of foreground, background, and scale. This creates an aesthetic of entangled creation and destruction that inevitably is ephemeral, and results in complete disintegration of the film so that it can only be delicately digitized before it is consumed.