Yiso Bahc

b. 1957, born in Busan, Korea and dead in Seoul, Korea, 2004.

Agreed as one of the most important artists in the Korean art of the 1990s, Bahc is gaining even more attention and reputation from the international art world after his death. After his education in Korea, he studied at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn and stayed in NY from 1981 to 1993. Taking his active roles as an artist, organizer, theorist, and art critic, then he called himself Mo(Korean expression for anonymity) Bahc. His early paintings and installations of the NY period show he was most concerned with the issue of twofold identity- an artist and a minority. He even founded an alternative space, ‘Minor Injury’, to turn his ideas into reality. Upon coming to Korea, he was introduced as an artist-theorist of postmodernism, but soon recognized as a serious conceptual artist to be invited by Havana Biennale(1994), Gwangju Biennale(1997), City and Image(1998), Yokohama Triennale(2001) and Venice Biennale(2003). He retained a critical distance from the rapid modernization and westernization of Korea. But, his attention was more drawn to the general concept of ‘civilization’ and its myths of ‘progress’ and ‘growth’, than to specific political agenda. He struggled to keep the creative mind and freedom of an individual to the end. His last two posthumous pieces, We are happy and Fallayavada were realized based on the artist’s notes and drawings. The commissioner and all participants of Korean pavilion present the work of Yiso Bahc, not only to pay homage to him, but also to commemorate him as a symbolic figure who embodies the mind, spirit and attitude of the age.

- Yiso Bahc, World Chair, 2001, mixed media

- Yiso Bahc, Your Bright Future, mixed media, dimensions variable, installation view at 2002 Hermes Misoolsang,

- Gallery HYUNDAI, Seoul

- Yiso Bahc, The Sky of San Antonio, video installation, mixed media, dimensions variable, exhibition view at ArtPace,

- San Antonio, Texas