And the artist series rolls on. In July, I photographed artist Chong Gon Byun in his apartment and art studio. Both spaces are meticulously layered with books, sculptures and peculiar finds that he has accumulated from trips. The sheer depth and unique nature of his collection reveal decades of dedication and disciplined curation. As described by the Invisible Dog, Byun “gives found and discarded objects new meaning by using them to create sculptures and assemblages that explore the clash between post-industrial civilization and the present consumerist culture.” Many of the pieces have been modified in whimsical or quirky ways (check out poor Marilyn Monroe tied to the front of a vintage fan below). For a photographer, the shoot was both a dream and a curse; that is, while it is clearly an amazing space to capture, it is simply overwhelming.
> To see his work, come see Byun’s solo show, A LAYER OF THE #1L, from 9/17-11/06 at The Invisible Dog. I was thrilled to let him use my portrait of him for his promotional card.
Born in Korea, Byun has lived in Brooklyn for over 25 years. I asked him where he would move if he had the chance. He said it was just not possible. Can you imagine relocating every single object in his apartment? Besides a two foot pathway that runs from the front to the back of the apartment, every single square inch of space on the floor, wall and ceiling is completely filled. And he knows exactly where everything is.
Have a look at a few of the images from my shoot with Byun. Also, below my images, check out the video of his Brooklyn apartment. The video is produced and directed by Ben Wu and David Usui. Through carefully considered vignettes and intriguing pans, it beautifully captures a very complex space in a simple and elegant manner.
/// This video below is produced and directed by Ben Wu and David Usui of Lost & Found Films (lostfoundfilms.com).