Image above: © Sangbin IM , Sea 1, 2015 / courtesy of RYAN LEE GALLERY
Combining multiple images into one, Sangbin IM reveals an exquisite interplay of intriguing compositions, saturated colors and refined symbolism in his new show, Sangbim IM: Collection, an aggregation of the extensive photographic archives collected by the artist for over a decade.
Image above: © Ashley Comer, portrait of the artist during the opening
Fusing painting, photography and digital craftsmanship, Sangbin IM creates captivating chronicles, addressing new ideas of space that we encounter in our daily lives. While photographing people and places at different times gives him a unique perspective, he explores the concept of photo composite images by recomposing the architecture and landscape from hundreds of individual photos, bringing to life aesthetically balanced scenarios.
Image above: © Sangbin IM, People-Man & Woman, 2015 / courtesy of RYAN LEE GALLERY
“Even though my major has always been painting, my interest in the digital language goes back to my military days from winter 1996 through spring 1999. Before the military, I did not know much about computers. I did not even know how to save a digital file. However, in the military, I suddenly became very good at using computers, simply because I had to,” recalls the photographer. “One of my jobs was to draw an electronic map for military action. When I drew an electronic line, minutes later or days later, soldiers actually followed the line! Digital came first and analog followed. The perception of signal play preceded the imagination of the impact of actual physicality out there somewhere. This relationship between the virtual and the real fascinated me and finally made me seek ways to incorporate digital language into my traditional art making after finishing my military service.”
Image above: © Sangbin IM, Maisan, 2015 / courtesy of RYAN LEE GALLERY
Sangbin IM received his MFA in painting and printmaking at Yale University as a Fulbright scholar and currently teaches at Sungshin University in Seoul. His work has been the subject of notable group exhibitions, including the Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea; Royal Academy of Arts, London, England; Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea; Museo Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn, Alabama. His work is also included in major public collections, including the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea; the Centro Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Álava, Spain; and the Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea. Sangbin IM lives and works in New York, NY and Seoul, Korea.
Image above: © Beinecke Library, Yale University 1, 2015 / courtesy of RYAN LEE GALLERY
The show runs through February, 20 at Ryan Lee Gallery.
Text by Kelly Korzun