Yiso Bahc

Yiso Bahc

Exhibition: Sep 7 – Oct 15, 2000

Yiso Bahc’s project at Artpace continues the artist’s interest in space and dislocation. In the gallery, Bahc removed a large portion of the newly built wall and placed it on the floor, leaving its rough details—wooden beams and drywall—intact. Bahc then projects live video images from cameras installed on ArtPace’s roof onto the floor-bound wall or “screen.” Multiple projectors create an inverted collage of San Antonio’s horizon and the seemingly endless Texas sky. Bahc deftly shifts perspective so viewers seem to look out as they actually peer down and remain inside.

A second piece presents a more imaginary landscape. Updating the icon of a message in a bottle, the artist has launched into the Gulf of Mexico a bottle containing a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking device. The GPS, sealed within a modest, plastic bottle, transmits a signal of its precise location as it floats in the sea. Bahc charts a route of an unpredictable, aimless journey by marking the gallery’s wall. The viewer imagines an experience “at sea” and without bearings. The piece is both finite and endless: when the battery in the device dies, the bottle will disappear from our mapping knowledge but not from the earth. With the drifting bottle, Bahc seems to question the limits of our knowledge about existence, future, and fate.

In both pieces, real-time and surveillance are placed in the context of nature, creating a poetic meditation. With the projected sky, the viewer searches, waits for action to appear. Conversely, with the bottle floating in the sea, the sculpture is the action; although it is powerless in its direction, dependent on the current to chart its course. Quiet and open-ended, Bahc’s work reflects on ideas of passage—the flow of time and crossings of boundaries.


Yiso Bahc

Seoul, South Korea

Yiso Bahc (1957-2004) was born in Busan, Korea, and lived and worked in Seoul. He held a B.F.A. in painting from Hong-ik University in Seoul, and an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute, New York. Also known as MoBahc, his work is exhibited throughout Asia and the Americas, including solo shows at the Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul (1995) and the Bronx Museum, New York (1990). His work was included in the 1998 Taipei Biennial, the 1997 Kwang-ju Biennial and the 1994 Havana Biennial. His work was also included in the exhibition Defrost at the Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art in 1998. In 2001 he participated in the Yokohama Triennial.
Through architectural installation and sculpture, Yiso Bahc was interested in quietly disturbing our perceptions and judgements. With subtle imagery and spatial manipulation, his work questions the complexities of culture and nature, public and private, virtual and real.

See More


Sun Yung Kim

Seoul, Korea