Big Eye

The Painting Created with Condensed Photographs Taken in Various Times and Spaces


Beginning with the realistic representation of photography, my artmaking shifted to painterly photography that was reminiscent of fine art painting.  Inspired by the development of digital imaging and technique, I have been into digital photography, from which the Big Eye Project has evolved.
 Photographs taken for the Big Eye Project are not works per se and have no typical indexical meaning.  Once a theme is defined, photographs are taken as source images for the post-production, which involves digital reworking and redesigning. The Big Eye Project departs from the concept of traditional photography as realistic representational art and is a new genre that goes beyond the conventional artistic distinction between photography and painting.  It is ‘the painting created with condensed photographs.’  Subject matters related to a theme are photographed, the selected photos are condensed and blended with other images taken in different times and spaces through a computer graphic program, and finally a work with photographic materiality and pictorial elements is created.


 The work made with such process reflects my painterly sense from my educational background in painting, the art director’s knowhow from my career in advertisement inclining toward the well-defined and organized art genre, and my point of view as a digital photographer. The works in the Big Eye Project, as main images showing a specific theme are overlapped and condensed with sub-images, may give the impression that several themes coexist.  Also, they may show both the photographic texture and the painterly feel.  And they may trigger an imagination about time-space narratives.  The condensed images in a work can be analyzed one by one, or the pictorial-puzzle-like images can be read as a story.  The works have less of such usual impressive photo quality, but more of watercolor or oriental painting feel.  At the same time, they can give an unusual impression, as the materiality of photographs adds a new kind of visual texture.


 The Big Eye Project series was first introduced in 2014, dealing with diverse themes about Korea including its land, division, history, culture, and the like.  In 2015, urban identities, which summed up in the remark, “Cities have as many stories as their age, so it takes only three footsteps to come across the spirits of the past there,” came out as the Big Eye Project: City. 


In the Big Eye Project: Ground Zero, this year, 2016, the human nature that has the double facedness of destruction and reconstruction was examined at the 911 Terrorist Attacks and atomic bomb dropping sites.  Fusing philosophical reasoning into the work, like the conceptual art, the project proved to be a new venture.

 Another series is in progress, the Big Eye: Music.  The project that fuses music with visual arts seeks a different kind of artwork that flows freely across boundaries of photography, painting, and music, forming a new insight into arts. I am planning on a new series, the Big Eye: Water.  The project is for delivering the message about the importance of water for human survival, hoping my work to make a small contribution to humanity.