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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Bohnchang Koo

Names:
Other: Bohn Chang Koo 
Other: Bohn-Chang Koo 
Dates:  1953 -
Born:  South Korea, Seoul
Active:  Korea
Website:  www.bckoo.com
 
  
Contemporary Korean photographer.

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Bohnchang Koo, one of Korea’s most influential photographers, was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1953. After receiving a degree in business administration, Koo initially worked for a multi-national corporation. He ultimately left that career to pursue his interest in art, and in 1985, he earned a degree in photography at Fach Hoch Schule in Hamburg, Germany. In the mid 1980s, Koo returned to Seoul where he began his professional photography career.
 
In the last two decades, Koo has exhibited his work extensively, including over 22 solo exhibitions in Asia, Europe, and the United States. Recent U.S. shows were at the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. His work is in major museum collections in Europe and Asia, and in the United States can be found in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
 
In his roles as photographer, educator, and exhibition planner, Koo has been instrumental in shaping and promoting contemporary Korean photography. For the FotoFest Biennial in 2000, in Houston, Texas, Koo and FotoFest organized the first major show of Korean photography in the United States. The show, Contemporary Korean Photographers, brought the work of Koo and his peers to the world-stage at this internationally renowned photographic festival.
 
Koo’s work has always dealt with impermanence, with the decay and disappearance of living things. In his recent work, Koo continues this long journey to capture the fleeting and the mortal. In these spare natural landscapes—the sea, pine needles on snow, dust on a wall, withered vines —the artist renders scenes of exquisite beauty while evoking the inexorable passage of time.
 
Art critic Hyunsook Kim writes that Koo, "photographs images of the fragile and the fleeting, never the immortal, of distance and solitude, never attachment or survival. An object gets old from use, remaining indifferent to artistic intention and control, attentive only to its own unerring interior progression, which leaves its disappearing traces long after the photo has been taken, thus moving its past into the future. And thus artist and spectator, who exist outside the photo and cannot enter it, must wander as strangers. From the initial choice of subject, loss is inevitable… Destiny‘s fleeting object, disappearance and sadness of life even before life ever was, returns to silence. In this fleeting is splendor, refinement and beauty."
 
[Courtesy of Gallery 339]
 
Education and teaching
 
2004 Guest Professor, Pentiment, Hamburg Summer School
1999-01 Professor of Photography, Kaywon College of Art and Design, Seoul
1999 Visiting Professor, Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design, London
1997 International Fellowship, Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, London
1986-98 Photography lecturer, Chung-Ang University, Seoul
1992 Guest Professor, Pentiment, Hamburg Summer School
1980-85 Diploma Fachhochschule (Photography), Hamburg
1971-75 Yonsei University (Business Administration), Seoul
 
Solo exhibitions
 
2006 Kukje Gallery, Seoul
2006 "Koo Bohnchang" Kahitsukan, Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyoto
2005 "Portraits of Time", White Room Gallery, LA
2005 "La beaute endormie" Langon, France
2004-05 "Masks", "White", Galerie Camera Obscura, Paris
2003 "Bohnchang Koo: Recent work," Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York
2003 "Masks," The Museum of Photography, Seoul
2003 "White," "In the Beginning," Picture Photo Space, Osaka
2002 "Fragile Tremors," San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, U.S.A. (curated by Carol McCusker)
2002 "Masterworks of Contemporary Korean Photography", Peabody Essex Museum, U.S.A. (curated by Clark Worswick)
2002 "In the Beginning", Shadai Gallery, Tokyo
2001 Prinz Gallery, Kyoto
2001 Base Gallery, Tokyo
2001 Samsung Rodin Gallery, Seoul
2001 Patricia Sweetow Gallery, San Francisco
2000 "White", Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York
2000 "Good-bye Paradise" Gallery Image, Aarhus, Denmark
1999 "Flow" Gallery Won, Seoul
1995 "In the Beginning", Gallery Ississ, Kyoto
1995 "Breath" Seomi Gallery, Seoul
1993 "Good-bye Paradise" Seomi Gallery, Seoul
1990 "The sea of Thought" Seomi Gallery, Seoul
1988 "Clandestine Pursuit in the Long Afternoon", Gallery Pusan, Pusan
1987 "A One Minute Monologue", Gallery Wide, Tokyo
1987 Photo Interform, Osaka
1985 "Twelve Deep Sighs" Hanmadang Gallery, Seoul
1984 Fotogenes, Hamburg, Germany
1983 Pine Hill Gallery, Seoul
 
Group exhibitions
 
2005 "Stilled", Gallery 339, Philadelphia, U.S.A.
2004 "Alchemy of Daily Life," National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
2004 "Water", FotoFest 2004, Houston, U.S.A.
2003 "Facing Korea," Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam
2003 "East of Eden," 14 Wharf Road, London
2003 "Four Contemporary Korean Photographers," Galerie Gana-Beaubourg, Paris
2002 "Two Korean Photographers" Photo-Eye Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
2002 "Now, What is Photo?" Gana Art Center, Seoul
2002 "Korean Contemporary Photography" The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Sendai mediatheque, Japan
2002 "Photographie Contemporaine Coreenne" La Galerie Photo, Montpellier, France
2002 "Gaggles, Flocks and Coveys, Further Exaltations and Murders: A Bird Show," Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York
2002 "Floating" Art Center Silkeborg Bad, Denmark
2002 "Everyman: A Search for the Male Form" Camerawork, San Francisco
2002 "Three-Persons Show" Kumho Museum, Seoul
2002 Asia Photo Biennale-Living in a City" Gallery La Mer, Seoul
2001 "Awakening" Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney
2001 "Photo Festival" Gana Art Center, Seoul
2000 "Standing on the Threshold of Time" Odense Foto Triennale, Odense, Denmark
2000 "Moonlight Becomes You - A Thousand and One Nights of Peace on Earth", The Center for Photography, Woodstock, New York
2000 "Contemporary Korean Photographers," FotoFest 2000, Houston
1999 "Phenomena" The Friends of Photography, Ansel Adams Center, San Francisco
1999 "Fragments of Document and Memory," 3rd Tokyo International Photo-Biennale, Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo
1998 "Landscape and Man," Ostasiatiska Museum, Stockholm
1998 "Alienation and Assimilation," Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago
1998 "Poetics of Time," Korean Contemporary Art, Ho-Am Museum of Art, Seoul
1998 "Body and Photography," Hanlim Art Museum, Daejun
1997 Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, London
1996 Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seoul
1996 A.O.I. Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1996 National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
1996 Kumho Art Museum, Seoul
1996 "SIAF," COEX Center, Seoul
1995 "Art at Home," Seomi Gallery, Seoul
1995 Gwangju Museum of Modern Art, Gwangju, Korea
1995 Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Gyeongju, Korea
1995 "Body or Gender," Gallery Nun, Seoul
1994 Pima Community College Art Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
1994 Ursula Blickle Prize, Kraichtal, Germany
1994 "Horizon of Korean Photography," Gong Pyung Art Center, Seoul
1993 Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
1992 "Oh, Korea!" Jahamun Museum of Art, Seoul
1992 "A Group of Young Artists," National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
1991 Total Museum, Seoul
1990 Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
1990 "Mixed Media," Kumho Art Museum, Seoul
1990 Taipei Sunny-Gate Gallery, Taiwan
1988 "The New Wave of Photography". Walkerhill Art Center, Seoul
 
Awards
 
2003 Gangwon Documentary Prize, Korea
2000 Lee Myoungdong Prize, Korea
 
Collections
 
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
Municipal Museum of Art, Daejeon, Korea
Samsung Museum of Art, Korea
Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
The Museum of Photography, Seoul
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Henry Buhl Collection, New York
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Art and Craft, Hamburg
Shadai Gallery, Tokyo
Kahitsukan, Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyoto
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
Reykjavik Museum of Photography, Iceland  
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
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