“I wanted to express the aesthetic discourse which overcomes the reality that the nature is facing and the worrisome images of such reality.” - from the work notes of Jongsung Paul Choe in 2010.
Jongsung Paul Choe chose Sundarbans in Bangladesh as one of his environmental project sites. This protected area where the past and the present coexist is an unknown and untamed area. Its size, however, has been decreasing due to industrial development and global warming. It is an ironic place because, while there still remains primeval forest, it is getting smaller and smaller. Sundarbans, which was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, is covered by one of the world’s largest primeval mangrove forests measuring 140,000ha and spreading across India and Bangladesh.
This beautiful and mysterious forest is now struggling to adapt to environmental changes. Rising sea levels caused by global warming are encroaching upon the nearby islands and the shore of the forest, reducing the size of Sundarbans. This situation, for the photographer, was a reminder of his own past where he strived to adapt to a new life as a stranger.
The ‘Beautiful Forests’ series presents the marvelous nature of today and at the same time, the bleak images of nature in the near future, with the goal of raising the alarm to mankind.