HWANG Gyutae(b.1938) ’s interest in digital images in the 1980s led to new frontiers, such as digital montage, collage, and compositing. Through an extended cycle of experimentation, he found ‘pixels’ – the base unit of images in the form of dots, in the digital images. Drawn to the infinite possibility and visual potential of these geometric images, he launched his series.


HWANG’s series lacks, or falls short of the basic process of “recording” in photography, and instead harbors “choice” and “magnification.” In other words, his works move away from the traditional process of capturing an object and making it appear on the sensitive film strip, and instead focus on discovering a wide variety of pixels in different forms and colors as they appear in the process of choosing and magnifying images and monitors. That already exists for disparate reasons, ultimately visualizing and materializing them through a range of methods. In this process, the products arising from the original image multiply. It does not matter whether these processes are shown in the photographs or not. His total directional work, which he describes as “chosen pixels rather than made products,” must be understood in the larger context of “image” studies rather than seen through the narrow lens of conventional “art” or formal history.


HWANG Gyutae was born in Choongnam, Yesan and graduated Dongguk University as a political science major, worked as a photographer for Kyunghyang Newspaper from 1984 to 1992. He became a full-time artist in the late 1950s. His first solo exhibition took place at the Seoul Press Center in 1973, and from then on, he featured his work in seventeen solo and group exhibitions at venues including Kumho Art Museum, Art Sonje Center, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul Museum of Art, Japan, and the U.S. His works are housed at a number of national and private institutions, such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Museum of Photography, Seoul.