Koh Sang Woo got born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to United States in 1994. Today he lives and works in New York City. Koh Sang Woo is a pioneer of blue photography. Koh’s process begins with thoroughly familiarizing himself with his models through contact with them over a long period of time, researching them, and spending sufficient time together with them. He then creates vivid images of these human figures, involving impromptu performance, painting, and photographic techniques with the use of object in a carefully arranged space. The images created by this process are finally completed as works of photography by reversing the colors and taking a negative of the exposure.
The images and colors of Koh Sang Woo’s works look very strange but are beautiful and mysterious. Such output is the result of many years of experience accumulated in an analogue way; it is not achieved easily by a digitalized process. Negative exposures not only reverse color and light but our viewpoints and our way of thinking, as well as and the nature of subjects.
While maintaining a contemplative attitude toward social conflict arising from differences in desire, sex, race, and culture, Koh intends to comment on these fundamental issues through the use of visual language. It is difficult to define Koh Sang Woo as a photographer. His work involves all genres of art, and is completed through videos and performance, not to mention photography. Koh’s explosive energy and creativity are too dynamic to be able to narrowly define his work within any one specific genre.
He got inspired by Jackson Pollack, William de Kooning and Andy Warhol who all push the boundaries of their time and translate their views in different ways.