Photography by Bohnchang Koo
Born into a prominent Korean family in 1953, Bohnchang Koo attended Yonsei University in Seoul, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Business, and began his life working in an office. Dissatisfied with this career, he moved to Hamburg, Germany, in 1980 to study design and photography.
In 1985, Koo returned to Korea, taking up careers as a teacher and photographer with exhibitions in Germany, Iceland, Australia, Japan, Korea, and the United States. He was a professor at the Kaywon School of Art and Design, the Chung Ang University, Institute of the Arts in Seoul, and holds a visiting professorship at London’s Saint Martin School. Koo currently teaches at Kyungil University in Korea.
One of Bohnchang Koo’s latest work series is “The Allure of Blue”, delicate photographs of porcelain pieces from the Joseon dynasty. Captivated by its charm, Koo began studying and photographing these traditional Korean ceramics fourteen years ago. After visiting sixteen museums throughout Korea, he compiled a body of work to highlight the simplistic beauty of Korea’s cultural heritage of that time.
Bohnchang Koo’s work can be found in several published collections which include the 2004 “Vessels for the Heart” and the 2006 “Deep Breath in Silence”, both published by Hangil Art, and “Hysteric Nine”published in 2003 by Nobuhiko Kitamura.
Bohnchang Koo’s works have been exhibited in over thirty solo exhibitions including: Seoul’s Samsung Rodin Gallery in 2001, the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts in 2002, Paris’ 2004 Camera Obscura Exhibition, Kukje Gallery, the Goeun Museum of Photography in Busan in 2007, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2010, among others. His work can be seen at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum, Paris’ Musee Guimet, Hamburg’s Museum of Art and Craft, Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and Reykjavik Museum of Photography in Iceland.
Note: The gallery images are from the March to April 2020 exhibition at the Choeunsook Gallery, a modern art and contemporary hand crafts exhibition space in Seoul, South Korea. The black and white images are from Bohnchang Koo’s photographic series “In the Beginning”, set in the landscape of modern Korea, which focuses on physical conflict and the frustration of things gained and things postponed.