Wild in Blue: Something Unseen
Many people have fantasies and curiosity about what is on the other side of the visible, that is, about the invisible. It is the curiosity about what is beyond the horizon, about what kind of world unfolds itself behind the closed door. Through the representation of the blue world on the other side of our visible world, the work of Koh Sangwoo leads us to the 'unseen' world we have not seen before.
Human figures in Koh Sangwoo's works are blue. We are used to saying of 'skin color'. Yet those figures of blue skin mingle well with other objects in the works to create cinema-like, dreamy scenes. Koh Sangwoo is an artist who 'reverses' colors. In other words, various colors including the blue in the photographs are produced by reversing them in the printing process. The blue skin and the red, yellow, and purple colors contrast with each other intensely in his works to make the blue color more intense and surreal. For us, who are only accustomed to the outward appearance seen through our eyes or through the screen, the artist shows images of reversed colors to drive us to look for something under the surface, something behind the appearance.
The works of Koh Sangwoo contain a variety of feminine sentiments and beauty. The women in his works have a subtle smile with their eyes half closed, as if they are dreaming. Butterflies and flowers surrounding them maximize love, dream, and aspiration. The woman, surrounded by flowers holding her hands together and shyly putting them close to her face with her eyes closed, seems to express the ecstasy of falling in love. The work depicting a woman, who shyly holds a bunch of red roses turning her hair backward, transpires the trembling and fluttering of love that has just begun, which makes the audience thrilled in spite of themselves. Meanwhile, in the image of the mother embracing the child, we feel the love and responsibility of the mother for her child. The artist explores the intrinsic story of the model in each of his work and transfers it again to his works to tell the audience the story and share the genuine feelings.
Koh Sangwoo's Boundaries of Senses series consists of self-portraits, in which he expressed his emotions in writing. Over the past few years, self-photographs have been a means for people from all walks of life to express themselves and reveal their individuality. By dividing his emotions into different areas and putting them in writing in his self-portraits, Koh expresses the invisible emotions to share with the audience so that they can have the experience of becoming one with the artist. With their reversed colors, Better Man and Walk With Me are inside-out expressions of the inner state and values of the artist lying deep in his heart. Koh did a double major in photography and performance art at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Perhaps this background explains why he carries out performance art in which he paints colors, writes texts on his face and poses for his self-portraits, and at the same time captures the moments with his photos, allowing him to recreate his self-portrait into a composite medium of art.
At first sight, the intensity of Koh Sangwoo's blue color catches the spectator's eyes and stimulates curiosity. The closer we look into the work, however, the more we feel the blue is neither intense nor cold. Rather, it comes to us as a magically warm color that takes us to the inner stories we have not seen yet.
高尚佑在其《Boundaries of Senses》自画像系列作品中，将艺术家自身体会到的情感充分地表现出来。近年来，自拍不仅深受年轻一代所喜爱，而且逐渐成为不同年龄层展现自我、表达个性的途径。高尚佑在自画像中将自己的感受用文字表现，与读者们分享自己的情感，使观赏作品的所有观众拥有一种身临其境、并与艺术家融为一体的感受。《Better Man》和《Walk with Me》通过色彩反转，将艺术家内心深处的心理状态和价值观充分体现出来。高尚佑在芝加哥艺术学院取得了摄影和表演艺术专业双学位。这样的学习经历，让艺术家成为在自己脸上涂色、写字、摆造型等表演的主体。同时，他还用相机捕捉了这些瞬间，将他本人的自画像重塑为一种复合艺术媒介。