Semi Submersible Rig, DSME Shipyard, Geoje Island
About This Artwork
Since the 1970s, Thomas Struth has been creating pictures that are both ordinary and grand in the rituals they reveal about humanity and its relationship to the physical world. Whether photographing portraits, landscapes, architecture, or interior scenes, Struth homes in on the omnipresent but fleetingly visible that can be startlingly sublime when frozen in a large-scale image. In 2007, Struth visited South Korea for the first time, where he took this photograph capturing a drilling rig at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard on Geoje Island. The photograph is nearly devoid of people; one figure bending over a bicycle in the foreground provides scale. On display is an enormous vessel occupying the majority of the scene, depicting at once the incredible achievements of science and engineering and the complex global politics of international defense and energy trade.