I am standing on the ambiguous boundary between prints and photographs
Photographers take pictures and store them in jpg. or tif. Photographers print out them on the photographic paper then we call them photographs. The form of existence becomes a photograph. All conventional photographs was done as above mentioned. I also make objects in the computer and store them in tif. whose advantage has more outstanding resolution than jpg. Jpg. and/or tif. can print out objects on nearly all kinds of printing materials(sheetings). By the way if photographers take pictures and print out on the canvas cloth, are they not photographs? Also if printmakers print out objects on the photographic paper, are they photographs? However until this state it is uncertain whether they are photographs or print art works. Now matters printed are in the state of judgement reservation in both prints and photographs samely. They are standing on the ambiguous boundary between prints and photographs until here. If so, by what means can we discriminate whether these are prints or those are photographs. Thus, judgement criteria become necessary to distinguish prints from photographs. This is an address, i.e. the indicator of the prints.

Giving a few examples, I will explain it.
After printing out my work, 'Mourning Becoming Barcodes' on the photographic paper, I wrote down thoroughly edition number, title, production year, artist's signature on it. Is this a print or a photograph? Of course, this is a print. Also images are printed out on the tempered glass. But until here it is a judgement reservation. Let's look into how a printmaker copes with it and how a photographer copes with it. While If he is a photographer and has an intention to render an address, he may render his signature and title or his signature and edition number as much, without giving an address completely, in fact their addressing being very loose, having no obligation to keep it and I did not find even a photographer who gave an address fully at all from my visiting photography exhibitions for 50 years to date, in printmaking, print makers should enter an address which is one way for an artist to verify that his works belong to him on his works with a pencil signature conventionally from early 20th century worldwide established. Usually the final signature is done with a pencil. Because preservation and identification is easy due to the carbon content of the pencil. If so, the first condition and discrimination ability justifying whether these are prints or not is not a manner, printing material, 3d., 2d. but an address. This is an indicator of prints. If photographers write an edition number, a title, a production year and their signatures-necessary-manner, size, sheetings, constructive number of panels -additional- on his works perfectly, then they give up making photographs and are subject to make prints.

As I am a printmaker only sticking to printmaking, I will create prints and have to render an address with having consciousness that I am always a printmaker.




Soon-Mann Zhang's Computography: Images that refer to reality and metamorphose reality

Kho, hung-Hwan, an art critic

Soon-Mann Zhang began to make print art works using computer from 1990's(mainly concentrated on etching before). I think he has been applying himself to making computographs for about 30 years to date. There is a saying, "Ten years is an epoch." He dedicated himself to only one field for being never short period of time. Thus when considering it is 30 years ago that he began computographs, he is a precursor of computography. Under the circumstances of that period it was in the middle of 1980's that the theory of post modernism was introduced into Korea and consecutively it was in the early of 1990's that the problem of species diversity came to the surface. When considering them in detail it was at that time that the logic of deviation encompassing a deviation from the boundary(脫境界), a deviation from genre(脫 genre), a deviation from the form(脫形式), mixing, fusion(now if we are taking it, it is a fusion and convergence ) and boundary discourse like interdisciplinary research was overspread. Since then computer prints in the field of printmaking and digital prints in the field of photography began to emerge as objects of discussion. And since then digital prints seem to be situated as an irreversible trend. On the other hand discussion on computer print in the field of printmaking seems to be still ongoing. It might be taken that woodcut and copperplate by computer laser-cut are credited for extended conception of prints. It's latitude of acceptance is more extended and flexible than before but it might be right that we regard that we stay at the stage(e.g. mixed media) which computer process is still partly accepted and applied. It looks like that the inertia of control system works behind it. The inertia of control system has it's obstinate side and the chance to break the inertia is the concept of creative idea. The chance that we did not experience before and the chance that we did not expect being mediated it brings about paradigm conversion. In one view, computer prints in the field of printmaking and Soon-Mann Zhang's computography may be considered as the chance of creative idea. In fact Soon-Mann Zhang made the coinage of computography by himself in order that he may name his own print art works made by using computer programme. When the complete making process of Soon-Mann Zhang's own print art works are thoroughly intervened by computer he call it computography. And it is safe to say that we understand them as computer print in the concept that is more generally in common use too.

Speaking of which, in fact, it is real that there are the professional terms of computer graphics more fixed than computography and the abbreviation of c.g. derived from it is widely in common use in the field of movie and animated cartoon. Thus Soon-Mann Zhang's works seen on the basis of terminology at least encompass computer graphics and computer print, print art works and animation in view of genre and perhaps even photography in one and can be regarded also as circumstances of his going and coming the boundaries among them, embracing them in one, being mixed, multiplied and complicated works. The computer exceeding human capacity and repeating evolution even now can treat all this. As we know the computer is a memory unit and a data processing unit(as if we take it just in the sense of function a human is same as a computer). The computer computes instead of human brain and embodies a shape instead of human hands according to image value input. When we see the computer graphics embodied thus they give neutral, neutral in value, mechanical, dry impression, therefore it does not reach yet the level that it replaces the human emotions and substitutes real feeling of flesh and bloodstream. In view of form it has corresponding sides to a sense of order geometrically constructed and it is commensurate with a reason than a sensitivity in view of personality. It is real that sensibility area such as life power which flesh and blood flow, indiscriminate stream of spirit, vitalism, the eruption of pathos and chaotic dynamism still remains as an untapped territory. Perhaps even this area shall be conquered shortly. And thus it leads to where a computer shall replace even emotion and sensibility following a head and hands as a drawing tool at the end. A media critic Herbert Marshall McLuhan has already mentioned machine will replace a head , hands and emotion in this view point(Particularly the discrimination of cold media and warm media related to transmission of feeling is well known widely.).

In McLuhan's opinion machines are what human's functions are extended and human's abilities are expanded. Here Soon-Mann Zhang welcomes thus extended functions and expanded abilities in as only himself's tool. In Soon-Mann Zhnag' opinion that expression territory for print art works must be expanded as well, it is seen that peculiarities for print's genre and concepts too must be redefined corresponding to it accordingly. Thus Soon-Mann Zhang's print artworks made by using computer have precursor's aspect and have a chance that they can trigger to redefine the concept of prints. Thus Soon-Mann Zhang works with daily life objects and signs like apples, cola bottles, milk cartons, tooth pastes, bar codes and buildings etc. Even though peculiar materials are cited as examples, in fact considering infinite functions and capacity of the computer, all materials are able to be used and finally it does not need to give peculiar meaning to the materials itself that Soon-Mann Zhang chose. As they are daily life materials they are easily perceived by people and also this might be why they are materials that cause a sense of closeness. Here apples is a chance that he was moved by Paul Cézanne's apples which arose a revolution in art history.(Therefore Soon-Mann Zhang also wants to become a chance of another revolution as a medium for apples.) It could be added that bar codes are the icons of cultivation.

Thus these images represented(?) by computer are familiar and strange. It is intimate that he handles materials which everyone can know, nevertheless the images reinterpreted(or reconstituted) in the language of computer's own is unfamiliar. Computer's own language ? On further acquaintance in fact it is a mere equation and an arithmetic. I forementioned that the computer's own language system(so it is a code) is commensurate with reason rather than emotion. And traditionally(especially in ancient Greece) it has been known that mathematics(so it is equation and arithmetic) is a language system of reason. The house(structure) of it's language system is geometry. Finally computer's language system could be regarded as a case that reason which encompasses mathematics and geometry, universe and order corresponding to two cosmoses is a tool realized itself. Hereby it could be regarded as at least Soon-Mann Zhang expresses as a medium of computer his desire to build a sanctum constructed in his own sense of order in his inner mind. More aggressively speaking also it could be taken as he expresses a utopia(also corresponding to Friedrich Nietzsche's Apollonian impulse) that he wants to substitute the world with a house of geometry id est a sanctum constructed in a sense of order.

Here the problem is whether we can consider images reinterpreted in computer's own language is representational or not, therefore how relation between computer(and computer operated images) and reality can be set up To conclude, a computer does not represent reality. Despite look-a-like to sensual reality which a computer shows, striking resemblance, verisimilitude, they are not the images of reality as it is, not the images that represented reality. Like-a-look to reality that appears outwardly is but a incidental phenomenon. And Buddhism said people should not believe phenomena. Phenomena are just illusions that people's minds bring about. Isn't just a meaning that even if a computer lures people with sensual images as such being a hologram(in view of analogue version it is a castle built on sands) thrown in the air, in fact inverting Buddhistic messages not to be lured by those images(therefore phenomena), therefore it could connote Buddha's paradoxes ? In fact, a computer can create all images in the world, both already existed images and yet no existing images. It might be good that it is a luring machine and a tool. Can we think it is a too immoderate jump of imaginative power if a Buddha is in the luring machine ? If so what is it? If a computer doesn't represent a reality, if so what is a computer? A computer doesn't represent a reality but refer to a reality. A computer just brings and uses things such as in a reality. In other words a sensual reality only stays at a chance that it opens the door for letting a computer commence drawing it's own images. Once a computer passes a door of the chance, thus after a reality is seized by a computer in any form, a reality in put at the beginning by a computer own self-contained language system changes it's form, contents and meanings arbitrarily, voluntarily. It is a morphosis. Just as a pupa broke out of the chrysalis and become a butterfly and a snake sheds a skin, it metamorphoses a sensual reality unrestrictedly. Therefore a computer is a machine and a tool that metamorphoses sensual reality. At least following only the logic, according to what image value is given, how image value is given and what tool is used, metamorphosis is endless.

Here Soon-Mann Zhang gives and applies the traditional system of thought(思想體系) and the system of iconography(圖像體系) like Five Modes of Action(五行) and Five Directions(五方), the Book of Changes(周易) and the Science of Changes(易學) as an image value. As we know, those systems of thoughts are the system of iconography at the same time, therefore, it is also the system of symbol. It is defined that there are symbolic colors and symbolic numbers. Thus it means that peculiar color and peculiar number can specify a certain meaning. In that way Soon-Mann Zhang projected and invested a picture of the world that the Orient has dreamt of in orient people's head, therefore, a utopia and perhaps his system of thoughts, therefore, a sanctum constructed in inner sense of order into his own computer prints(and comptography). Even though they are not clear because flamboyant images obscure the view, if we look closely , we can see well. If we are not lured by sensual images, we are able to read the hidden meanings behind them.

Thus Soon-Mann Zhang, being based on reality and representation of reality as a medium of computer prints, therefore, from the establishing relationship beginning from reality in any case, being based on endless metamorphosis between virtual reality and reality, therefore, from the beginning, proceeding to establishment of relationship started from presupposing the virtual reality, in the meantime indicates beforehand changed manner of image existence. So perhaps in fact it may not be an important problem whether artist's works are print art works or another seed different from prints. I think that his view of the world which artist's works unfold, his artistic identities which the visions like no other's has, in fact, they might be the crucial problems and his works already fully foreshadows the possibility.


profile about Spider Z

1987-1991 Majored in Printmaking at the Institute of Fine Arts and Design Education, Hong-ik University, Seoul

Solo Exhibitions:
2020 Invitational Exhibition, Hoon Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2020 Invitational Exhibition, Gallery Artcelsi, Seoul, Korea
2015 The Vergil America 10th Anniversary Commemorative Invitational Exhibition, Wee Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.A.
2015 The Vergil America 10th Anniversary Commemorative Invitational Exhibition, Park Avenue Gallery, L.A., U.S.A.
2014 A Brief Introduction to Computography in Printmaking, Gana Art Space, Seoul, Korea
2012 Art Edition 2012, Coex B Hall, 159, Samsung 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea
2010 2010 Contemporary Artists Invited Exhibition, Yi Hyung Art Center, Seoul, Korea
2010 Standing on ambiguous boundary between print and photography, Gallery Hwan Seoul, Korea
2009 Contemporary Korean Painting Artists Invited Exhibition, Modern Jun Gallery, New York, U.S.A.

Art fair:
2019 Art Busan, Bexco, Busan, Korea
2012 The 9th Ansan International Art Fair(AIAF), Ansan Arts Center, Ansan, Korea
2011 The 8th Ansan International Art Fair(AIAF), Ansan Arts Center, Ansan, Korea
2010 The 7th Ansan International Art Fair(AIAF), Ansan Arts Center, Ansan, Korea

Group Exhibitions:
2019 Indépendants Piccadilly Art Festival by AIAM (Amitiés Internaionales André Malraux,France), Seoul, Korea
2019 The 4th Mix and Match by TOKA(Trendsetting Open Korean Artists) Art, Gurugee Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1989-2020 The 1st-34th Prints Exhibition of Philoprint Printmakers' Association, Seoul, Korea
2014 Korea Art Festival, Korea Arts and Culture Association, Gwacheon, Korea
2014 Blowing Flags in San Bernardino, California, U.S.A.
2014 21c Contemporary Artists' Association at Chwiongwon Art Gallery, Gapyeong, Korea
2014 The 21st Korea Art International Open Exhibition, Yonngsan District Office, Seoul, Korea
2013 Blowing Flags in San Bernardino, San Barnardino, California, U.S.A.
2013-19 21c Contemporary Artists' Association at SEE & SEA gallery, Busan, Korea
2013 Hyedong hwadong, at Hyehwa Art Center, Seoul, Korea
2013 21c Contemporary Artists' Association at Hyehwa Art Center, Seoul, Korea
2013 The 27th Prints Exhibition of Philoprint Printmakers' Association at Hyehwa Art Center, Seoul
2013 The 26th Prints Exhibition of Philoprint Printmakers' Association featured by Korea, Cultural Center in Madrid, Spain.
2013 Participated in the 10th International Gyeonggi Ansan ArtFair as an Invited Artist, Ansan Arts Center, Ansan, Korea
2012 Invited Prints Exhibition of Philoprint Printmakers' Association by Gwangtan Art Gallery, Korea
2011 Korea-Dubai Finding Beauty of Love and Peace, Sultan Culture Foundation Art Gallery in Dubai, UAE
2010 New Horizon, Rainbow Exhibition, Korea-Japan Modern Art Exchange Exhibition, Gallery Artist Space, Tokyo, Japan
2010 Revival of Yongmi Artists' Association, Sejong Cultural Center, Seoul, Korea
2010 The 5th Seoul Open Art Fair, Coex, Seoul, Korea
2010 Finding Beauty of Love and Peace, Abu Dhabi National Theater, U.A.E.
2010 The 2nd Korean Contemporary Artists New York Exhibition, Nara Gallery, Fort Lee, New Jersey by Korea Nature Art Association, Ansan
2010 Commemorative Exhibition of Opening Gallery, Gallery Sky Yeon, Seoul, Korea
2009 World Association of Youth Cultural Exchange(WAYCE), Seoul, Korea
2009 The 6th Ansan International Art Fair, Ansan Arts Center, Ansan, Korea(AIAF)
2009 Private view in New York is the Korean Modern Artists, Narah Gallery, New Jersey by Korea Nature Art Association, Ansan, Korea
2009 Korea Professional Artist Mall Festival at Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul, by Korea Professional Artsts’ Ass'n, Seoul
2009 The 11th Shanghai International Art Festival, Jumen-lu(局門路)436, Life Style Center Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai, China
2009 New Horizon, Rainbow Exhibition Korea-Japan Modern Art Exchange Exhibition, Gallery Tablo, Seoul, Korea
2008 The 21st Prints Exhibition of Philoprint Printmakers' Association invited by Luxun Academy of Fine Arts , Shenyang, China
2005 Korea-China Exchange Prints Exhibition at Chongqing Art Museum Chongqing, China
1995-1996 Seoul Print Art Fair at Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea
1993 The 3rd Exhibition of Expansion of Consciousness at Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea

2012 Put an advertisement on joining a seminar on the-state-of-the-art printmaking in Seoul
2012 Art Guide during July- December 2012 for 6 months
2012 Articles on electronic signature in the quarterly magazine of Vergil America dated Jan.-Mar. 2012
2010 Articles on my works in the magazine of News Time issued by Gallery Sin Sang, 2010. Vol. 04.
2010 Articles on my works in the magazine of North-East Asia Forum dated June, 2010
1989 Articles on Xerography reported in a daily news paper of Sports Seoul dated Oct. 16, 1989

Public Collections:
2015 Seohwa Inc. Anyang, Korea
2014 Korea Tuberculosis Association, Busan, Korea
2012 Korea Catholic Cultural Center, Gimpo, Korea
2012 Korean National Tuberculosis Association, Seoul, Korea
2010 Korean Embassy in the United Arab Emirates
2009 World Association of Youth Cultural Exchange(WAYCE), Hankook Gallery Seoul, Korea
2008 The Department of Printmaking, Luxun Academy of Fine Arts, Shenyang, China

Books authored and published:     
2015 ⟪Computography⟫ printed in Seoul, Korea
1991 ⟪Encyclopedia of Prints⟫ printed in Seoul, Korea

Awards: Grand prix of the 9th Ansan International Art Fair(AIAF), Ansan Arts Center, Ansan, Korea  

Member of Korean Professional Artists' Association, Seoul, Korea
Member of 21c Contemporary Artists' Association
Adviser to Philoprint Printmakers' Association, Seoul, Korea
Head of Whewy Print Art Research Institute Incheon, Korea

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