Seung-Hwan Oh is truly dedicated to his photo project, “Impermanence.” To produce his unique portraits, the photographer covers the positive film in light-sensitive emulsion-consuming microbes before immersing them in water. Over the course of months or years the silver halides destabilize and the resulting mold obscures the portraits. For Seung-Hwan, “this creates an aesthetic of entangled creation and destruction that inevitably is ephemeral.”
Seung-Hwan has been working on Impermanence for four years but only has 15 final images to show for his hard work. He is highly selective, and there is a very low probability the mold grows in the way in which he would like. He uses only one out of every 500 pictures he takes.
Impermanence began in 2010 when Seung-Hwan learned about how fungus threatens to destroy historical film archives. For him, he uses the reaction to “. . . deliver the idea of impermanence of matter applying this natural disaster into my work.” Impermanence is an ongoing project, and can be viewed in full on his site.