Zen Foto Gallery is pleased to present “Clandestine Pursuit in the Long Afternoon,” a solo exhibition of works by Koo Bohnchang from October 25 to November 22. First with the gallery, this exhibition commemorates the photobook publication of Koo’s black and white film street photography from 1985 to 1990, taken upon his return to Seoul from his studies in Germany.

While the Summer Olympics was soon to be taken place in Seoul in 1988, Koo witnessed the political turmoil and social unrest that his country was going through. In order to express his feelings of alienation towards the chaotic and abrupt transformation in the Korean society, he decided to capture the fragments of turbulent times with his outsider’s gaze. After 30 years, “Clandestine Pursuit in the Long Afternoon” is finally compiled into a book. Along with the publication, Zen Foto Gallery will present 25 vintage works printed by Koo Bohnchang.

On October 25 from 4:30pm to 5:30pm, Koo Bohnchang will have a talk session with Japanese photojournalist Shisei Kuwabara, who has been photographing South Korea for more than 50 years. They will discuss the situation of the Korean society during the 1980s and Koo will also speak about his personal reflection on the situation at that time.

The Year 1985
It had only been six years of studying abroad,
but Seoul seemed no longer familiar to me.
The endless flood of vehicles and people, the noise.
A vortex of images flitting across my retina.
Construction, patriotism, falsehood, and vanity.
From dawn until the last neon light switched off,
This city was like the heavily breathing surface of a vast ocean.

I was in a strange city
to find something
unknown to myself.
I was wandering.

--- Koo Bohnchang

Artist Profile

Koo Bohnchang

Koo Bohnchang currently lives and works in Seoul, Korea. He attended Yonsei University majoring in Business Administration and later obtained his doctoral degree in photography in Hamburg, Germany. He is currently the chair professor at Kyungil University, Department of Photography and Motion Picture.

Koo’s works have been exhibited in over 40 solo exhibitions including Camera Obscura, Paris, Kukje Gallery, Seoul and Kahitsukan Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (2010) and his works are in numerous public collections including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Fine art, Houston; Musée Guimet, Paris; British Museum, London; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul.

Currently he is having a major solo exhibition at the Museum of Photography, Seoul until January 11, 2020.

Publications & Prints