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Sung-Hyun Yoo


Exhibition views

May 30 - 1st July 2017

Opening : May 29, 6 p.m.

Photographer Sung-Hyun Yoo's Time Lapse exhibit features nine photographs of Buddhist temple ruins in South Korea. Taken during two trips in 2016 and 2017, these photographs capture, under cover of a search for the timeless, a little-known portrait of South Korea.


Born in 1976 in Seoul, Sung-Hyun Yoo has lived and worked in Paris for nine years. The exploration of these ruins, forgotten and difficult to access, in his native country, thus appears as a quest for origins. It is not only a question of going back in time, but of evoking the discontinuities between present, past and future. This ascent backwards, as if in search of the "first principle" in metaphysics, symbolized by the ascent of the mountains where the ruins are found, is part of a search on oneself and in the quest for what is, by taking support on what is no more. Sung-Hyun Yoo's work thus conjures up the idea of a “beyond” of living memory, where we no longer go, as suggested by the photographic out-of-scope, and opens up new images of thoughts. of contemporary Korea.


Timelessness as a mark of absence

The sepia tint of the photographs, inspired by the daguerreotype, situates the landscapes and the fragments in an unreal temporality. Then follow a series of flash images. This staging of a backward-looking imagination questions the viewer on the value of the land that we are given to see. These photographed fragments, harmless, clandestine, sometimes shapeless, are thus transformed, by the superposition of temporal strata, into mysterious treasures of a contained richness. These vestiges of a fictitious and hazy past represent the deep void left by the division of Korea, in everyone, and far beyond its borders. Sung-Hyun Yoo's photographs explore the forsaken past of South Korea, which although very traditional, has turned to the most technological modernity, as if not to look back. They question our own relationship to what makes sense when photography becomes retrospective fiction.


Overcome divisions to rebuild

In the midst of the tumult of contemporary Korea, Sung-Hyun Yoo climbs the mountains and opens us to an aesthetic of serenity. This process of disengagement can be understood above all in a context of divisions: that of the expatriate artist, that of a country split in two. This aesthetic reveals a wish for the future of Korea, that of bringing out a serene and extended anticipation of consciousness in contact with the energy of stones. Look at your past, accept it, rebuild yourself.

© Sung-Hyun Yoo, 2016-2017

Temples Corée

Sung-Hyun Yoo's stay in South Korea in 2017 took place as part of the Master of International Creation (Master in Arts and Vision - MAVI) of UFR04, Arts and Sciences of Art, of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University. This master allows students to go abroad, for one semester, to develop an artistic creation project. Find all the projects on the MAVI website.

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