Taiwanese photographer Si Chi Ko’s works are studies in contrasts-almost, we might say, visual oxymorons, even the fabled “conjunction of opposites.” They are both different and commanding, sere yet sensuous, earthy and supernal.
From this remarkable sensibility, Si Chi Ko derives photos that witness the drama of man against nature, and, concomitantly, and more aesthetically, the continual play of the abstract versus the figurative, the formal against the representational. Born in Taiwan in 1929, Ko is today Taiwan’s foremost photographer, as well as being internationally recognized. This latter should come as no surprise, for it is an international itinerary Ko has pursued, from early days working with Japanese masters at the Tokyo College of Photography, through a long stay living and working in New York, with later ventures to, and artistic adventures in, southern Europe, North Africa, and the Chinese mainland.
So goes Ko’s achievement – the presentation to the viewer of a sense of quiet discovery, discovery of nature and human nature and the sometimes very thin line distinguishing them. Opposites, after all, attract – in Si Chi Ko’s hands, they are melded together in one epic, lyrical union.