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For more than twenty years, Bae Bien-U has photographed sonamu, the pine groves planted as royal memorials on the hills around Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla kingdom (A.D. 668–935). His tall, narrow prints mirror the vertical thrust of the trees, whose gnarled and sensuous trunks retain limbs only at the upper reaches. For Bae, the trees embody the qualities he associates with the Korean people: solemnity, perseverance through turbulence, and spirituality.
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Bae Bien-U, Korean, born 1950
Kyung jufrom the series Sonamu
- Gelatin silver print
- Image: 71 5/8 × 34 3/8 in. (181.9 × 87.4 cm) Frame: 78 1/4 × 40 1/8 × 1 3/8 in. (198.8 × 101.9 × 3.5 cm)
- Credit Line
Museum purchase funded by Photo Forum 2000
- Current Location
- Not on view
- Accession Number
The artist; purchased by MFAH, 2000.