Seon Ghi Bahk and his Suspended Charcoal Installations
Korean artist Seon Ghi Bahk recreates man-made structures by repurposing natural resources, charcoal in particular, and suspending them with transparent nylon thread. Bahk’s series of sculptural works are composed across a three-dimensional space, giving the illusion of a floating solid figure. Bahk’s hanging sculptures present manufactured objects made of nature’s raw materials. Many of the pieces fall under the headline An Aggregate or Existence, which is appropriate considering the construction and subject matter. The contemporary artist’s collection of charcoal installations are designed to reflect upon and criticize the relationship between man and nature. There is an architectural and furniture-inspired theme present in many of the sculptures that echo man-made constructs.Bahk’s precision is absolute, meticulously hanging large groups of charcoal at specific heights to collectively echo architectural and building elements, such as stairs, columns, shelves and planters. Using translucent nylon thread to hang individual pieces gives each installation a floating quality, further separating them from their everyday inspiration.
In an interview with the Korean Art Museum’s Korean Artist Project, Bahk explains how he came to use charcoal in his installation work. “I first used stones as materials for the installations…but the supporting structure and installation became unnecessarily large and overwhelmed the stones so I replaced the stones with charcoal. Since I spent my childhood out in nature, I wanted to embrace natural things in my work.