Bae Joon Sung Q&A


Korean artist Bae Joon Sung’s photo-collages transform magically before your eyes – now you see a nude model, now she’s in full costume. That’s because they’re not simple photos, but lenticular photos, a special kind of printing which allows an illusion or depth and movement, images moving about depending on your viewing angle. Like those touristy ‘wiggle’ pictures of Mona Lisa winking, or the Eiffel Tower from day to night, Bae’s (much classier) images play with the viewer’s gaze. Eunice Tsang talks to Bae Joon Sung about how he came to use this fascinating medium, and what it gives to his photo-collages.

What is the meaning behind the title The Costume of a Painter?

The title The Costume of The Painter signifies the seminal concepts in regards to the perception of images. A story naturally unfolds when a viewer sees a painting. A new and nuanced meaning of the pictorial form manifests itself in the process of interpretation. The meaning derived through the eyes of each individual is different, hence giving the painting another ‘costume’, which is akin to how I gave the original image another meaning.

What is the process of making your lenticular works?

I had worked on vinyl and the idea of lenticular works was subsequently processed. 

I use a copy of a famous painting, or any existing images on vinyl and then the additional layer which is my own textual-analyzed image. It can be a compacted background of another lenticular work later. I paint and develop new layers on the copies according to the vision in my mind. The juxtaposition of different visual elements creates an entirely new composition.

What fascinates you about museums and do you have a favourite?

A museum is like a miscellaneous gift set where art from different eras and space are collected and exhibited together. They are interconnected and different at once. This dynamic interaction has strongly inspired my work. Most museums that I have been to were fascinating… especially the ones in Belgium and Russia.

What is the appeal of 'the classical' to you?

‘The classical’ gives me the opportunity to reinterpret it in a new light and becomes the starting point for me to convey my ideals.

How do you see harmony and collision?

Even though they may seem like opposing notions, harmony and collision are not independent by itself. They are related and mutually necessary, since collision is a prelude to the harmony in my work.

What do you want viewers to get from your works?

I derive new ideas from seeing an image and elaborate on the original by superimposing my own reflection and aesthetics. I hope the audience will continue the dialogue with my works in a similar fashion by adding in their own layer of interpretation. 

Bae Joon Sung Until Thu Nov 26, Mon-Sat 11am-8pm, Sun and public holidays 11.30am-5.30pm. Opera Gallery, 52 Wyndham St, Central,


Add your comment