Making visible the silence, the simplicity of nature and a sense of passing time. The photographs of Korean Byung-Hun Min, made between 1998 and 2020 throughout he world, take on the evanescence of a pencil sketch. With their subtle contrasts, their play of silky tones, they seem to show a fleeting instant between clarity and dissolution.
Min’s birds live in an ethereal space. They seem enveloped in a white veil, in a silvery light. The virtual monochromy of the image, the uniformity of the tones, oscillating between white and gray, the absence of perspectives and contrasts, the simplicity of the construction and the minimalism of the forms reproduce a reality that has become fantastical. The photographer’s painstaking work printing each negative allows him to reproduce not only what he saw, but also what he perceived. Min’s birds are an invitation to contemplation.
This publication is part of the Des oiseaux (On birds) collection celebrating, through the vision of different artists, their immense presence in a world where they are now vulnerable. Accompanying these photographs, the ornithologist Guilhem Lesaffre writes a special essay. For this title, Lesaffre focuses on the relationship between humans and birds from the first prehistorical representations to the domestication of certain species, the use of birds as weapons in the hunting world to the history of birdwatching. Titles in this collection include: Albarrán Cabrera, Graciela Iturbide, Leila Jeffreys, Michael Kenna, Yoshinori Mizutani, Bernard Plossu, Pentti Sammallahti, and Terri Weifenbach.