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The Architecture for, and of, Photography

Time Thursday 2 May, 2019 at 13:30 - 15:00
Place The Theatre, Umeå School of Architecture

When planted in the right soil of creativity, a seed of inspiration can grow into an inspirational work of art. Yes, an “inspirational work of art,” as the outcome of a creative effort based on inspiration can become yet a new inspiration for new creative efforts, just like how an apple seed can become the mother of many more apples. For instance, it was Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman, various Ukiyo-e works and Aristophanes’ Lysistrata which respectively inspired the Laura Mvula song of the same name, the entire career of Vincent van Gogh and Mai Zetterling’s The Girls.

We hope this event featuring a globally acclaimed visual artist will demonstrate how architecture has inspired his photography, and more importantly, how his work may return the favor by hopefully inspiring the architects of our future. Over the past 15 years, various works of architecture, from a more than 1300 years-old Korean pagoda to a few World War II coal mines in the Arctic and many others in between, have been the subject matter of Han Sungpil. His camera has been focused on not only the aesthetic representation of the buildings, but also in what environmental, historic and cultural contexts they are embedded. By doing so, his works gives its viewers the opportunity to ponder on how architects were motivated to build each building in their respective contexts, and how well, or not well, the buildings fit into them. One may take a step even further, by exercising their insight into how the dialectic between the buildings and their people have deconstructed the past and constructed the future, thus bring us to where we are today.

About the speaker: Han Sungpil is a visual artist who strives to understand diverse cultures by exploring their nature and interpreting seemingly mundane cultural traces which have been sources of his inspiration. He often includes a sense of humor in a subtle manner incorporating sublime elements of beauty as well. In the end, his works invite viewers to arrays of philosophical questions of how to design an ideal synthesis for the post-contemporary; he wishes his work will inspire its appreciators to ask the same, in a time of the surreal real, in the state of a real surreal.

Umeå School of Architecture (UMA) will document this event through photography and/or video recording for external communication of the event. If you visit the event and do not want to be seen in such material, please contact UMA. For more information about how we handle personal data, see 

Event type: Lecture