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 Chungnam, Yesan and graduated from Dongguk University with a degree in Political Science. From 1984 to 1992, he worked as a photographer for The Kyunghyang Shinmun, a major daily newspaper published in South Korea. He became a full-time artist in the late 1950s and had his first solo exhibition at the Korea Press Center (Seoul, Korea) in 1973. Since then, he has held numerous solo and group exhibitions in Design Gallery Moiso (Seoul, Korea); Korean museums including Kumho Museum of Art (Seoul, Korea); Art Sonje Center (Seoul, Korea); MMCA, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul, Korea); and SeMA, Seoul Museum of Art (Seoul, Korea) as well as in museums across Japan and USA. His works are housed in a number of national and private institutions, such as MMCA, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul, Korea) and The Museum of Photography Seoul (Seoul, Korea).