Seung-Hwan Oh and “willful destruction”

Occasionally I come across images that remind me of the theme of the upcoming Spring 2015 issue: Killing Ground. Seung-Hwan Oh’s film photography, a collaboration with microbes that eat away at his film portraits over months, even years. The result seems to be a willful act of destruction, the film itself as killing ground. It’s disturbing because it forecasts our own impermanence as humans on this earth, our ideas and dreams, and their material products. But on the other hand, as a collaboration with the “other,” it’s also an art that promotes the life of an entity that lives on a different scale, with needs and ends that seem contrary to our human projects (although apparently not in Oh’s case). Oh’s work reminds us that those entities, are in some ways part of us, and “bigger” than us.

Seung-Hwan Oh
Impermanence Untitled, 2014

For more images and information on Seung-Hwan Oh, see