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Youngsuk Suh

Youngsuk Suh presents a series of large-scale, color photographs from the second phase of his Wildfires project. Youngsuk initially began this project in 2008 as a response to the more than one thousand California wildfires started by a series of lightning strikes in early June of that year. His new series of photographic prints presents images of “controlled burns” conducted by local fire management authorities throughout California. This practice of controlling fire with fire is rooted in the diversification of fire management policies of recent years. The traditional notion of fire as a destructive physical force that needs to be fought, has given way as a result of diverse studies that have uncovered the complex role of fire in the ecosystem. Youngsuk’s photographs of these prescribed or controlled burns explore the notion of fire as a complex human measure, in works that are menacing yet elegant. Youngsuk teaches photography at University of California, Davis and received The James Irvine Foundation-funded fellowship at Kala.