Held in conjunction with the SCAD Museum of Art’s fifth anniversary celebrations, Barrier Island is a major new solo exhibition by Michael Joo.  

Specially conceived for the museum, Joo drew inspiration from the environs and archaeology of coastal Georgia for the exhibition; spending five years researching the effect of natural phenomena and human intervention on the landscape over time, examining how these forces shape cultures and identities.

Employing a combination of photography, digital scanning and printmaking, Joo has created a series of large-scale ‘paintings’ in silver-nitrate, based on 1:1 scale photographs of lightning-struck trees on the Savannah Barrier islands. The luster and reflectivity of these works are echoed by the polished marble surfaces of three monumental sculptures, described by the artist as ‘billboards’ which stand as markers of both space and time.

In collaboration with the SCAD preservation design program, Joo has also created a site-specific installation made of tabby - a southern, vernacular building material comprised of lime, sand and shells. Here he explores the relationship between land and sea, and draws comparisons between the techniques of architectural scholars from the UAE and the Deep South, who share the same oyster shell construction technique.

Joo’s work can also be seen as part of the Anyang Public Art Project, a biennial which takes place 20 kilometres south of Seoul, Korea. Within the forested mountainside around the city, Mediator (Anyang) sits in a nine-meter depression carved into the earth. Seemingly looking like an ancient sundial, APAP Artistic Director Eungie Joo says of the work, ‘The centrepiece is made of copper and can work as a lightning rod, which is the artist's gesture to protect the surrounding forest. It will eventually get absorbed by the mountain like a living ruin.’

Michael Joo, Barrier Island opens 10 November at the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia and runs until 5 Feb 2017

The 5th Anyang Public Art Project is currently on view at various locations around Anyang, South Korea, until December 15, 2016.