Seungwoo Baek has served for more than 30 years in Hyatt Hotels Corporation. While a dedicated Area Director of Finance in the industry, he is also enjoying his life as a photographer. He presented several remarkable solo exhibitions in Seoul and Paris. He was also the author of the book < Way to Work, Yaksudong >, < My Korea > and < My Seoul > published in 2013, 2016, and 2018, respectively. As an adjunct professor, he has also given lectures on financial subjects at Sejong University Graduate School and Dongguk University Graduate School for over 20 years. He has studied at six universities including Yonsei University and Wash. U etc. He received two Doctorate degrees in Economics and Management. In his free time, Seungwoo Baek serves as a palace volunteer guide for Seoul citizens and foreign visitors during the weekend.
Born in Seoul, Korea, photographer Baek Seung-woo has steadily shown his series works “The Windows” and “Korea” since his exhibition with objects in a hotel in 2007. After publishing a photo essay book in 2013, he published 'My Korea', which is an English photo essay collection, in 2016. The book was selected as '2016 Sejong Book of Korea’ by the Korea Publishing Culture Industry Promotion Agency and has been favorably commented both in domestic market and international Amazons.
In his previous work “The Windows Series”, Baek Seung-woo, who is known as the photographer of "window”, showed his awareness of own life crossing over the frames of physical view and visual aesthetics in his photos of a hotel. His ‘Windows’ throw the various images of life on foreground and background, and diverse images of a hotel through the windows of awareness, beyond a universal view.
Baek Seung-woo was much influenced by John Pfahl, which is both a conceptualistic photographer and artist of land. The former reinterprets the latter’s view newly "All photos begin and end with a window. As life is, there can’t be images without a window and can’t be reason without a window, either. A window is a mirror and vice versa. My ‘Pictured Windows’ is my mirror I encountered through windows. It is the illusion, perception, and my eternal sense of life I watched through windows. It is the mirror of a mind I have to care for forever and this the frame of my life.”
"From the window" Dialog box shows the gap of understanding and new understanding on the photographer’s own life. These days, a lot of windows are shown in photos and photos are created with many such photos. However, there are windows, unlike those, with special significance beyond universal meaning. Photographer Baek’s window is one of them. His windows are those in a hotel. To him, the widows of a hotel transgress such meaning as physical view and the frame of visible esthetics. Besides, view through his hotel windows leads to that of awareness beyond visual and universal view. A window is a mirror even to him and also a window. In addition, it is the foreground as well as background of life. To him, a hotel window is one for appreciation as well as the frame of meaning projecting in form of the structure of life.
It is a hotel that has windows of the world. Through the windows, meaning of life is much projected. It is a hotel widow that dig up the deep meaning of ‘I’ and the world even though it is a simple view. Baek Seung-woo's windows runs into John Pfahl’s windows in that respect. The former’s "From the window" Dialog box is the space for reality and illusion. He looks though, knows and turns back from his windows. He looks in, through, by, and from his windows. Therefore, it is the frame of awareness and re-awareness of self and other.
A hotel is located where view is great. People want to have a good view and get excited with a good view. They want to book a room with a nice view. The window of such a hotel is the landscape of desire and modernity at the same time. The window of the hotel is the illusion of reality and the reality of illusion at the same time. A hotel window is of profound darkness. No, the windows of every hotel must have deep dark. The deeper dark is, the deeper illusion is. The deeper dark is, the clearer the mirror of ego that reflects me is.
Todays, a hotel is where real world is constantly changing to world of fancy as Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Realization is the dichotomy of reality and illusion. A hotel window is the boundary and the gap of the dichotomy. Therefore, it is natural for one who puts, no, stakes his life on windows to recognize a window. The window that tells him who he is is ‘his’ face. It is why photographer Baek Seung-woo takes the photos of windows and thus why these photos exist.