Fire of Beginning, & Other Works
by JongHyun An
Fire of Beginning
When the sun looks like the moon, where everything remains scorched black, Someone is wandering searching for the fire in the half dazed daylight.
The world was begotten of the ash.
In the spring of 2017, I had read an article of a wildfire that broke out around Kangneung area, which was impossible to be put out for days. It made leap to consciousness in me an astounding fact that the fire could not be extinguished such a long time in the modern world, rather than the fact that it broke out.
It is said that among the fires we human beings can use, nuclear fire is the most powerful. But the fire that breaks out from a nuke melting down can not expire even though we try to extinguish it. The tech that we cannot control can be led into dangerous situation at any time. So I felt it fortunate that the fire finally died out at last.
The reason I went to the scene of the fire is that I thought I could find an insight about fire by doing photographic works. Ironically I felt a force of life from the trees remaining standing black when I saw them under the bright sunlight. And I realized I’d had the same feeling when I saw a factory that was burnt black. The visual shock that as if I were now looking at an old relic, not a scene of fire made the scene reconstructed like a spiritual temple in my mind.
The image of nuclear fire felt like unrealistic was led to the fire that Moses had countered in the Bible. Moses witnessed that the fire on a tree was not burning it. The mystic fire took a form of fire but burned nothing.
My works began from the universal conception of fire, adding the personal experience. The idea that life was born from the ash can either be a sinister prophecy for the future or a description about the story of the past. The action for fire searching has continued from the past, is being done at present, and will continue in the future. The desire for a whole new fire is passing through the past, present and future.
As a result, I tried to find that the border line between the realistic situation and a virtual world can be reflected on the process of aesthetic subjectivity and objectivity and, at the same time, to propose a different point of view based on an aesthetic process by building visual works.
JohgHyun An lives and works in Seoul, Korea
To view more of JohgHyun An's work, please visit his website.