My Sea: The Sea I Dreamt
Project info

The Sea I Dreamt...

Burying all my pain, hatred and sorrow,
Sinking my yearning and regret,
Sailing my hope and dream,
I glance at the sea.

The sea, for me, carries memories of my personal
experience and history.

At the age of fifteen, I, for the first time, saw the sea.

On one August afternoon,
under the scorching sun,
everything suddenly appeared as I came out a pine forest.
As if I were able to embrace its entirety.

The sea that I saw possessed me with a feeling of awe.

A vague place where the sky and the sea touch one another,
It was filled with insolvable mysteries
As a strip of Möbius having its eternal continuity.

The sea that I saw at the age of fifteen,
is still the dream in the film of memory deep in my heart.

- Han Sungpil

Han Sungpil has been looking at the sea since he was fifteen. As a matter of fact that was when he first saw the sea, as told in his poem, “The Sea I dreamt”. Earth’s water has so many untold stories, which may be why so many contemporary photographic artists throughout the years have turned to the sea for their messages. Thomas Joshua Cooper, Lynn Davis or Jean Gaumy have since the 1980’s through the 1990’s emphasized the power and diverse forms which water can reveal.
More recently though it has been a younger generation of image-makers whose color imagery tends to reveal the ethereal softness, uncertainties and diversities of the water’s hue.
Long exposures which create dusky or dreamy atmospheres maybe a key style element for Han Sungpil, but his sea can startle the viewer each time as one looks closer. The vagueness of the meeting place of sea to earth is “filled with insolvable mysteries”: A tanker floating at a far distance could be in the clouds, Buoys and sea swimmers become a fluttering flame on the water, flanked by a stream of yellow pearls.

Celina Lunsford, 2005
/ Director, Fotografie Forum International,
Frankfurt am Mine, Germany