Dreaming in the accumulated time


The frames of my photos are the storage of times.

I began to work on pin-hole photos as I made a pin-hole camera in 2000.

I was fascinated by the rough images which seemed to be drawn with a blunt pencil, and the fossil-like images accumulated with the layers of images and lights that I newly found while I was taking pictures through a pin hole, for a long time.


Putting on the aesthetic break


Although we are paying attention to the possibility of ‘Digital’ that is manipulated by endless non-spatial and non-time based numeric data, which is becoming a conversation topic of this era, we are becoming the slaves who are moving like a machine being worn out by life, rather than having an abundant one.

I wanted to put on the aesthetic break in the era of destructive speed where everything goes transgressively fast.


What is it like to express the distances of time?


I have tried to materialize the distances of time in flowers, the object of my work ‘Dreaming Flowers’ series, which I began in 2008, including ‘Dreaming Flowers’ series II 2011, ‘Scent of time’ series in 2013, and ‘Fade out’ series in 2016. By capturing the moments of blooming and drying flowers which are disappearing in 7~14 days, I tried to express the beauty of time that shows the abundant layers of aging colors and forms.


I have tried to express the abyss of time which makes us feel the beauty, ugliness, sadness and loneliness, and the uncertainty of our disappearing life, while feeling the real vitality and laws of nature in the appearances of the flowers which becomes extinct as time passes by, rather than their splendid survival power.

Dreaming flowers II / 2011

Hye-Jeong Kang (Image Review)



Flowers are one of the most beloved subject matters among the artists from the East and the West. Distinctively, a flower in a still-life painting has often been described as symbolically to function as a pure ornament or imply religious amity. Ever since the Renaissance when the attention regarding the nature was drawn in terms of humanities and science, a flower became the object of exploration about the innate characteristics and beauty it holds. Generally, there are two varying perspectives in approaching the flowers. The one is a scientific approach aspiring to depict the appearance, color and texture of flowers in an accurate and lifelike fashion. The other is the naturalist’s approach intended to explore the inner nature that is innate to a flower. If the former is an approach that is a formal, patternized and botanical towards a flower, the latter stems from the process of sensory recognition of a flower’s vitality and sensual beauty. In this case, the flower either implies the organic harmony of the birth and growth of all the nature, and their changes, or symbolizes the beauty and transience of all the sensitive life existing in the natural world; which reminds of the old expression “no red-hot flower can sustain ten days (花無十日紅: loosely translated as beauty is often short-lived).”


<Dreaming flowers> Series by Ji-Yeong Seo well depicts the spiritual vitality of flowers via dynamic lines, colors and vivid sculptural textures. Started from 2008, the still-life flowers enable viewers to perceive the allegorical implications of flowers – the innate nature of flowers as the symbolic language and the universal order in it. The artist has avoided depicting a flower like the one in a vase or an ornamental one in a bouquet, but strived to shape the momentary life of a flower that fully blooms, and then, withers away. The pinhole camera was exposed for at least five up to 20 days to record the daily scenes the bouquet goes through and turned them into imageries via the technique that leverages facts. All the beginnings of her works exist in time and the long-time exposure is the most common method to recognize the target object. Therefore, the image recreated by photos symbolically display the transience of life through the layers of long time where the past becomes the present and the future becomes the present. In other words, the associated reactions by images recreated by an array of photos can be referred to as the ‘portrait’ of ours. As every life has its fate, obedience to the predestined life is to go with the ways of nature. Some said a human is born with the aggregate amount of hours. and he/she is bestowed to spend through the entire life. Every human is born, grows and is supposed to follow the given path of their destiny according to their wheel of fortune at one point. Here, the time is some kind of an object of essence hidden in the area that we cannot perceive with our naked eyes. In this note, Seo’s <Dreaming flowers> Series visualizes the existence of this invisible being through photographic images based on the condensed flows of sustaining time.


Distinctively, her latest <Dreaming flowers 2> Series is remarkable in its classical yet contemporary composition, colors and the beauty of austere moderation. Notably, the new objects such as insects, butterflies and birds, which could not be seen in her previous works, appear near her flowers. Typically, flowers, mirrors (a convex mirror reflected on the surface of a glass vase), critters like insects and butterflies symbolize vanitas or mémento-mori. Flowers provide the transient beauty, and then, soon shrivel, which makes them the object that signifies the transience of life, momentary discontinuance, and any type of futility and ephemeralities. Also, insects and butterflies are born as a caterpillar, which makes them a symbol of a human entangled in greed, futility or sin, or the resurrection. These objects stir up a sense of self-examination in a philosophical way about time, life and death from artists. Yesterday cannot be the same as tomorrow. Everything is futile towards the force majeure of time. Seo desired to express the beauty and life of a flower and the principles of the nature through the aesthetic distance of the pinhole camera. In her other works <Tulip> (2010) and <Risian> (2010), viewers can feel the motions of time that pass through the petals with the breezy winds making petals head lower, cause crispy sounds or make withered flowers fall off. She managed to demonstrate the thoughts of changes in objects and impermanence of life by meticulously recreating the even the littlest details of flowers blooming, wilting, falling off and scattering away.


For all intents and purposes, we tend to believe a camera should describe the target object in a rational and analytical way and record the materialistic being in a realistic fashion. That is because of its propensity for disclosing the innate nature of the object by exposing its hidden part. Her other work <Babylon> (2010) shows a bunch of flowers scattered in a glass vase with half-full water. In its surroundings, a stuffed butterfly and flower patterns look as if the artificial flowers are fixed on a screen, and they visually seem protruded outside the screen. The beauty of live flowers is locked in the weight of time. Meanwhile, the bogus (flowers) have been baptized by the light to show off their shadows confidently. It makes it difficult to discern which is truly genuine. The layered times offer deep and diverse color effects, while the endless and dynamic lines manifest the sensual beauty of life in a sensory way. <Ppoppi> (2011) Moreover, the still-life designs and patterns drawn on the background are the tool to imply the beauty and life of flowers in a contrasting way. <Lilly>, <Lisianthus>, <Selim Purple Yellowy> (2010) These works blurs the boundaries between the genuine and the bogus, the foreground and the background, and the realities and fiction to cause a sense of poetic fantasy. The flower inside the vase signifies the tubular way of life, but it’s a real. In the same way, insects and butterflies imply the ‘wandering soul’ or ‘hidden desire’ that explores the honey of a flower, but here, it’s just a stuffed objet that has lost its life. As such, the artist desired to put a spotlight on the irony coming from the genuine and the bogus, subsistence and absence, and existence and non-existence, and yet another resemblance to emphasize the life and existentiality of flowers. Recreating them in photographs, in the end, is to create the new illumination between the boundaries of realities and fiction.


The aesthetic issue that is facing the contemporary artists is how much earnest and careful they should be to transform the object in real life. They seem to regard the realistic nature of photos as something associated with the narrow-minded academism, and to believe the denial of reality is the most contemporary form of art. The most suitable medium to satisfy such crave is, without a doubt, the digital system. For the last decade, Seo has been consistent in her works where she uses only the pinhole camera – not with any mechanical aids but a beautiful one itself. To her, the mechanical beauty of this primitive form of a camera has been “challenging her to put an aesthetic brake in the era of destructive speeds.” As her confession shows, it is the important aesthetic tool that can express the distance in time and aesthetic perspectives in the most realistic way.

To conclusion, her aesthetic sensitivity is exposed by translating and suggesting the reality through the ironical relations between the medium called a pinhole camera and the time. What differentiates her still photos from still-life paintings is that she recreated the existence and life of flowers in a direct way, reinforcing the symbolical allegory. Through <Dreaming flowers 2>, she manifests her own aesthetic talents and propensity in the most sensory way.

The Water of  Chaos / 2008



The ice piece which comes to be put in some day table will be put in and will bite and many kinds to see thought. The truth which asks from ordinary is a grateful existence. The water was coming to decide, scandal was used and with advancement of the human civilization which dawns together variety termination, how much did not pass and not to be thought that the possibility the water shortage situation happening is. By the way to Mars will be to have the true water? Time of hundred million cowardices passes and will mean that the true water disappears? Water… Was anxious.


60~70% of our bodies is the water. Is an origin of the life which asks.

The start which asks also the end from natural orgin is repeating a circulation without from within the organism and that flows and does not rest. Even in this moment from the ocean with sky, from sky at the land, from the land asks with the ocean and is going round.

Is a purification which asks and a symbol of purity, is a foundation of space manifestation, amorphously symbolizes the basic material. Also meaning which the water gives with a feminine sincerity symbol as weight of the existence feeling rises to be deep is various. The optical microscope leads and the scandal image of work the within is expressed variously like this, is expressed does. According to the timely development which has the dependency where the water level of the waterdrop which falls to the slide is sensitive to one initial condition the chaos where the order is immanent in chaos inside occurred. To Chinese classic the end of chaos being start of order, the phrase which hints comes out.

This chaos does, the separation egg which shines clearly being same, the cosmic space which comes to seem with the planets being same, does, the surface of one Mars which tries to find a scandal trace being same, does.


Connectedness of science and the thought where the great sorrow is interesting adapts from where and a flood sometimes and with the image which the life which flows softly will bite, accomplishes the river with the calamity which inundates a time and with the scandal image which threatens a life, puts across evolves and goes, the possibility of trying to express with the scandal image which is fortune power being, confronts sees.


常像 Plus (The Image of Mundane Scenes) / 2005


City is fantasy space.

Anhydrous with the many commercial signs, is a material which burns the space [ni] where burns makes a noise and, the city image the fantasies which govern the human being and combines from numerous way and symbolic inside appears. I have the privilege which sees the side which possibly from space and that place of ordinary of like this city is operated the fantasy city image comes to hide character i do.


The images which are collected from that moment different what the low of meaning will come to operate, as one sign the silence which is hiding in the within ceremony depths will split and calling to be used with the means for is coming. It with the by-product of the city which has become the fragment, with features of the people, emphasizes a pattern, a rhythm and a repetition and with his images joins in and under playing boil.


City variously, the world of the goods which is arranged and the world of consuming, with busy ordinary is funny, sweetish between weariness and greed, obstinately, like riddle the secret which is hiding being in the desire which stimulates and the inside, with being busy, under reappearing boil with between of emptiness.

This was the reappearance method which is description in it's own way and the respectively frames with similarity of similarity and meaning of form, size and color of thing under expressing should have boiled three frames with one image.

Like this week will boil a help in the time expansion which leads the trade name complement or a symbolic older action of the images which had become the neighboring Royal favor fragment of three frames.