Biography

HWANG Gyutae (b. 1938) has been known as a pioneering figure in experimental photography since his debut in the 1960s. His diverse attempts, such as burning film, appropriation and synthesis, analog montage, and multiple exposures, have made him a notable figure. His interest in digital images, which began in the 1980s, led to various experiments with digital montages, collages, and compositions. From the 1990s onwards, he discovered 'pixel‘, the smallest units of images, within digital images. Fascinated by the geometric images and their infinite possibilities for visual play, he passionately continued his Pixel series up to the present.

 

However, HWANG Gyutae cannot be evaluated solely based on his pioneering experimental spirit and attempts. The true uniqueness of his work lies in the aesthetic desire and his cold yet warm gaze towards society reflected throughout his photography. The driving force behind his continuous technical experimentation and transformation over 60 years is undoubtedly his aesthetic desire to constantly seek new beauty through the photographic medium. His approach to indulging in beauty is serious and unrestricted by aesthetic norms, resembling a child's free and uninhibited play. This freedom allows him to experiment boldly and produce visual results that are always ahead of his time. Simultaneously, his work embodies his perspective on society, encompassing gloomy or critical views on issues such as environmental problems, technological disasters, and the end of humanity, or deeply emotional views on unspecified subjects and nature in daily life. Despite the numerous praises and accolades for his role as a pioneer in technical experimentation in photography, for HWANG Gyutae, photography ultimately serves as a tool to express subjective emotions rather than simply capturing and recording subjects.

 

HWANG Gyutae was born in 1938 in Chungnam, Yesan, and after graduating from the Department of Political Science at Dongguk University, he began his career as a photojournalist for The Kyunghyang Newspaper, eventually becoming a full-time artist. He independently studied photography and worked as a photographer from the late 1950s. Starting with his solo exhibition at the Korea Press Center (Seoul, Korea) in 1973, he has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Kumho Museum of Art (Seoul, Korea); Art Sonje Center (Seoul, Korea); MMCA, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul, Korea); SeMA, Seoul Museum of Art (Seoul, Korea); as well as in museums across Japan and US. His works are housed in a number of national and private institutions, such as MMCA, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul, Korea); Seoul Museum of Art (Seoul, Korea); Museum Hanmi (Seoul, Korea); and ARARIO MUSEUM (Seoul, Korea).

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