“Graceful, noble, and beautiful.” Jin Dong-sun
The place of bamboo in the minds of East Asian people goes far beyond our imagination. Because Bamboo grows tall and straight by emptying its body and creating voids within, so it has been praised as a representative of uprightness and emptiness.
Bamboo grows high and fast. When grown, they form a forest that murmurs gently in the wind. They create a calm and quite atmosphere in wind, rain, snow, or dew. They proudly show off their green color during all four seasons, but not brilliantly.
Brightness and darkness fill his garden of bamboo scent. Light and shadow in his bamboo forest are always revealing and concealing. Revealing shows the form, while concealing becomes an icon. They endlessly fill and flow.
Only a person who is in a bamboo forest knows that inside it is both dark but bright. The light in the bamboo forest pierces the bamboo, penetrates the gaps, in gleams and flashes. The light is straight and soft, appearing for a moment and disappearing.
The black becomes a gray like the ink of a brush stroke, and the gray becomes black like the black backdrop. They each become the other’s light and shade and so become the forest.
His bamboos are thick and robust. The bamboos have a reality that we can see and touch. They are also the bamboo of pure Impression. In western art, we would call this minimalism. Reality is the physical world of joints and texture. But impression is also a property of the matter that lets us see the interior and exterior nature of the object. His bamboo shows the antagonism between the physical reality and the impression, so we are inevitably drawn in and immersed in the images.
Choi Byungkwan’s bamboos are a place of annihilation and silence. Annihilation and silence have long been his aesthetics. In his photos, darkness is the deep silence of extinction, and brightness is his personal branch of quietness. He expresses naturalism of existence with long, slow breaths. He is every inch a naturalist photographer. Naturalism is the aesthetic that drives the interior rhythm of life and natural order. Moreover, it is a philosophy that, flowing gently, slowly, quietly, and clearly turns back the spiritual rhythm and natural order. Graceful nature in a deep bamboo forest, and deeply engraved spirit and soul. [Extracts : Head of Modern Photograph Research Center : Jin Dong-sun]