Jongsung Paul Choe
NYU Steinhardt Visiting Scholar/Artist

Unconscious Bias

April 5 ~ May 28, 2012 / Virtual Exhibition

34 Stuyvesant St (Corner of 3rd Ave and 9th St) New York, New York / 212-998-5700

Paul Choe is a direct neutral photographer accepting what is in front of him without manipulation. This means nature which in this case is a large isolated mangrove preserve in India and Bangladesh called the Sundarbans (beautiful) forest has been photographed by Paul and revisited several times. The images made....

What is in front of him shows up. The choice of the trees, light and water, the complexity or emptiness, age, the effect of climate change and intrusion...The colors of brown, green and yellow predominate so the density to an empty landscape is paramount....

Paul has titled the work "Unconscious Bias" to indicate his life parallels this place; changed in time, not fitting in, and ravaged by life. The neutral aspect of his method and choice of subject is Paul/Sundarbans. Paul photographs in direct passive acceptance. This might have to do with his Korean heritage where teachings have one's life intersect always with natural forces.... 

Paul studied here at NYU with a MA in Studio Art. He might be appreciative of Western based art and beliefs he found here but his predominant commitment is Eastern in engaging with the other completely. No distance. No overwhelming. No fight. Just an interchange. (G. Pryor
            Jongsung Paul Choe looks at himself in the...

Jongsung Paul Choe looks at himself in the center of invisible environmental changes. He stands in the continuity of cultural margin. The Mangrove  trees are  a depressing object and they could be a kind of reflective image to him (at this age). Although he took pictures of the Bangladesh Sundarbans, he might be engraving a seal of the depressing portrait of his age which is secondary from the symbolic images. (Hoon Jung)
        “I wanted to express the aesthetic...

“I wanted to express the aesthetic discourse and the worrisome images of such reality.” - from the work notes of Jongsung Paul Choe in 2010.
This beautiful and mysterious forest is now struggling to adapt to environmental changes. Rising sea levels caused by global warming are encroaching upon the nearby islands and the shore of the forest, reducing the size of Sundarbans. This situation, for the photographer, was a reminder of his own past where he strived to adapt to a new life as a stranger. (Hyewon Shin)
 Civilization accompanied with industrial developments...
Civilization accompanied with industrial developments changes and destroys nature. The photographer is now on-the-scene site and makes observations of the nature. He awakes us from the relationship between nature and human through his work ‘Forest’ of Sundarbans. But his photographs are more than a complaint or formal accusation in their roles. Although the works stand for irreversible deformation of nature, ironically some images are extraordinarily beautiful. We feel that way because we see the scenes through media of photographs. Speaking concretely criticism coexists with irony. (Youngheouk Jung)


Photographs by Jongsung Paul Choe,

Gerald Pryor is Associate Professor New York University. Head of Photography / NYU Department of Art and Art Professions; Visual Advisor. NYU in Shanghai Studio Art; Visiting Artist, NYU in Venice and NYU in Berlin. Involved in photography, video and performance.  
Youngheouk Jung is Publisher of Kangnam People Magazine in Korea. He was previously Associate Professor of  Kyungju University and Director of Jeoju Photo Festival.
Hoon Jung is Assistant Professor of Keimyung University in Korea. He was previously Curator of Seoul Photo Triennale and Director of Art Gwangju.
Hyewon Shin is independent curator and writer. She was previously Curator of World Water Forum.

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