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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Artist
Bae Bien-U, Korean, born 1950
Title
Kyung ju
from the series Sonamu
Date
1985
Medium
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions
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
2000.647
Classification
Photographs
Provenance

The artist; purchased by MFAH, 2000.