Microbial Rainbows from Seung-Hwan Oh

Seung-Hwan Oh is a Seoul-born artist with a New York film and photography background.

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When looking at these pieces, I was compelled by the array of colours. How cool do they look? All rainbows, blurry with burnt, crispy edges.


"The visual result of the symbiosis between film matter and organic matter is the conceptual origin of this body of work." – Seung-Hwan Oh

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This collection focuses on microbial growth on film, which has given Seung a platform to explore the impermanence of matter as well as the material limitations of photography.

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"The process involves the cultivation of emulsion consuming microbes on a visual environment created through portraits and a physical environment composed of developed film immersed in water. As the microbes consume light-sensitive chemical over the course of months or years, the silver halides destabilize, obfuscating the legibility of foreground, background, and scale. This creates an aesthetic of entangled creation and destruction that inevitably is ephemeral, and results in complete disintegration of the film so that it can only be delicately digitized before it is consumed." – Seung-Hwan Oh

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The works are remarkable, and you can find more here. Godspeed, Seung.