Artist uses body paint to create surreal kind of camouflage

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Artist uses body paint to create surreal kind of camouflage


Artist Emma Hack’s “Papyrus II - Florence’s Archives”(2013), left, and “Peony Butterfly - Utopia”(2015) are part of her solo exhibition “Body Flower” at Savina Museum of Contemporary Art in central Seoul. [SAVINA MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART]

Many artists have explored the way humans can blend with nature, but few have used camouflage quite like Emma Hack.

The Australian artist’s work is now on display at the Savina Museum of Contemporary Art in central Seoul. They are photographs in vivid color, featuring naked women almost hidden within various botanical patterns.

The surreal images are not the product of digital manipulation, but rather show real models whose naked bodies have been elaborately painted by the artist to match the walls they stand against. The women look like chameleons that have merged with their surroundings, which in many cases include animals like birds and butterflies.

“I love nature and I was greatly inspired by [Australian wallpaper designer] Florence Broadhurst who created patterns based on nature and the culture of East Asia where she had traveled,” Hack said in a press preview last month.

She added that she was granted exclusive rights to use Broadhurst’s designs as backgrounds in 2005, which contributed to the development of her style.

Starting out, Hack only used Broadhurst’s wallpapers. She has since gone on to create her own patterns, and in recent years, she has experimented with using lenticular prints to create the illusion of depth in her work.

The exhibition runs through Oct. 30. Admission is 10,000 won ($8.90). The museum is closed on Monday. Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit No. 1. For details, visit or call (02) 736-4371.


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