Sindoh Cultural Space is proud to present <100% Comments>, a solo exhibition of the works of Seung Woo Back, one of the artists selected for the 8th SINAP (Sindoh Artist Support Program). Back majored in photography at Chung-Ang University, and completed his masters in fine art and theory at Middlesex University in London, U.K. The exhibition introduces a series of Back’s 100% Comments works, which he created by printing his own words on photos using a stenciling technique, thereby expressing his awareness of the reproductive character of the medium and the deformation of objectivity caused by assigning meaning to photos.
▲ #052, Digital Pigment print, 55x72cm
Back’s works recognize the characteristics and limits of photography as a medium by using and exposing its limits. In his works, Back maximizes the medium extensibility of photography by subverting or translocating the established photographic grammar using photographs collected at random, or as a medium which reflects the world. Back also introduces a new form and concept of photography by using the indeterminate nature of photography and arranging a way to escape from signifying it.
▲ #055, Digital Pigment print, 55x72cm
The series of <100% Comments> on display at the exhibition are continuations of works Back started last year when he printed his very personal narratives on his photos using stencils. Although photographs can easily be reproduced as they are, use of the stencil technique makes their reproduction impossible as the photos are changed, modified or damaged by the stenciling process. The displayed works, which consist of his own private photos stenciled with his personal comments, are distinct from the physical reproduction of photos, and the printing of his own words constitutes a new way of recognizing photos in an objective way, as well as signifying that blind faith in the photographic medium can be modified very easily.
▲ #065, Digital Pigment print, 55x72cm
▲ #087, Digital Pigment print, 55x72cm
The artist reveals the subtle boundaries between reality and unreality, imagination and actuality, and visible things and hidden things through a recombination of the semantic network by collecting rather than ‘capturing’ the image, and by fabricating the image floating on the surface of the photo. Back has received many favorable reviews for his consistent experiments to seek diverse meanings and expressions beyond the limits of photography.
▲ #018, Digital Pigment print, 55x72cm
▲ #002, Digital Pigment print, 55x72cm
He explores the boundary between reality and unreality through a photo of a sophisticated miniature city; reveals the irony of the reality hidden in the unrealistic landscape of North Korea, which resembles a huge film set; modifies the high-resolution photos distributed as propaganda by the North Korean regime; and collects personal snapshots and adds new interpretations to them. Through his works, he points out the falsity of the visual world through photographs, raises questions about what we believe to be actualities, and seeks to expose the hidden thing behind the truth as something fabricated and concealed.
“This work was created in such a way that the artist defines the meaning of 100 types of intrinsic human reactions. Most of the meanings in the work are ambiguous rather than precise. The process of applying acrylic paints to the photos defines the meaning of abstract photos. Back has used stencil printing to convey information and define the meaning in the past. In this process, he felt a sense of violence and discomfort in the forceful delivery of information; and focused on its similarity with printing a photo. This forceful action creates an ambiguous feeling” – From Back’s comments
▲ (Left) Artist Seung Woo Back & (Right) Sindoh Co., Ltd Chairman Suk Hyung Woo