Seung-Hwan Oh decomposes photographs with bacteria

Organic and artificial methods are used together to form this haunting set of photographs by Seung-Hwan Oh, aka Tonio Oh. The Korean photographer experimented with degrading his photos by submerging the film in water where various types of bacteria would slowly destroy it. Over time, the bacteria obscured portraits and backgrounds, creating new patterns and even changing the colors into punchy, dreamy swirls. The series, titled Impermanence, turned the artist into part biological scientist in a process that took several months and in some cases even years. Oh’s goal was to “explore the impermanence of matter as well as the material limitations of photography.”

The stunning product of Oh’s labor “creates an aesthetic of entangled creation and destruction that inevitably is ephemeral, and results in complete disintegration of the film so that it can only be delicately digitized before it is consumed.” [h/t:]0aa3b0726b85e0a87d8db2d3b521074d-large 7a56e3cc68b0b7eeb36bbd38282c6c58-large 36dcc07eb16683b0088aa7c52fae13e5-large 96cc2fc07f245e55ae88d540865d48ce-large- 221421d6d851bf61ae12cac2bd3eca2b-large- a1a1732f744b7ea4a7db837a83b260a7-large b36536df0c41b5b29904354e169388dc-large c1e6699d802c700c9678341f21295026-large cd34b50e565c0846a23e9fdfc3cf6ca7-large f8456cd0847fb9a7cbaa64d3acbd1207-large