People / Critic

Silent space as a cosmic revolution: the gaze of Bae Namhan

posted 22 April 2019

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Bae Namhan. ⓒBae Namhan


The world presented by Bae Namhan is a virtual one that mixes the past and the present, and the oriental and the occidental. Although it is not referred to as media art, it presents a story far beyond that dimension. Numerous images on the big screen are elements that have been mobilized to create new frameworks from the original. He uses a photocopier to create countless reiterations of the same image, then puts them together into a singular panel. Bae's works have always been the fetus and the cosmonaut. The fetus is an icon of the primordial existence predating civilization, while the cosmonaut is an icon of our future existence empowered by the advancement of science. On the axes of those two key concepts, Bae Namhan draws in images selected from magazines, newspapers, and books, synthesizing them. This type of collage is his main means of creation. The collage is a commonly used malerisch expression, prominently utilized by Cubists and Picasso to Dadaists and surrealists. Perhaps Bae Namhan chose this common collage technique as a commentary on the present events surrounding him. And what is that exactly?