A digital archive of Asian/Asian American contemporary art history

Bahc, Mo

Other Names: Bahc Yiso, Bahc Chulho, 박모, 박이소, 박철호


“During the 1980s, while he was still a graduate student in New York, Bahc seems to have experienced a profound awakening of self-awareness. Like an act of spiritual tonsure, this awareness allowed him to sever all ties and construct a new self. Apart from a couple of minor deviations, Bahc persevered through this process of introspective stoicism for the next 20 years until his sudden death. He was the activist philosopher in contemporary Korean art, crafting an extraordinary approach to life as an artist.
From the beginning of his artistic career, Bahc’s works reflect art as need, necessity, a. The “pathos” of Bahc’s life was not to reminisce from a distance, but rather to question the boundaries of in and out while consistently renewing his own self from within. On the other hand, most of his works display not only a genuine sincerity, but also a broad sense of humor.
With the passing of time, the next generation will remember Yiso Bahc as the “Artist of Noon,” an unforgettable episode in Korean contemporary art. Noon is a precarious moment when “one splits into two,” rather than when the sun simply embraces everything into one. Bahc’s works and writings indulge in this precarious moment, turning a corner just as a clock’s hand passes twelve. Noon creates “the shortest shadow.” This shadow is the essence of nuance, the “delicate disparities” created when life and death meet at an angle. These shadows were present in Bahc’s work as the diluted, hidden, imitated, softened, and dulled, and these formed the source of Yiso Bahc’s comedy as well as the nuance of his art.”

Excerpt from Lee, Young Chul. “Divine Comedy: A Retrospective of Bahc Yiso”. Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art: Seoul, 2006. 19-20

Gallery of Selected Works