For the Untitled 2003–2004 series, I chose sites in nature marked by human beings, such as parks or Hampstead Heath in London. In these photographs, the visual image of nature is ordinary and familiar, but there is something unsettling, even chaotic, below the surface. The stillness of the image cloaks a variety of hidden narratives, histories, and events that have accumulated over a long time. I could sense something uncannily powerful and mysterious—an invisible presence—there.
However, what we often see in nature is an ostensibly beautiful or idealized version of the landscape, something we have created, desired, and possessed. Accordingly, the world we understand to be real is not the world itself, but rather something distorted by our preconceptions. The world where we live is not just a space existing at this moment, but a concept constantly being transformed. The most ambiguous of moments is that point when familiar things become uncertain, when our vision of reality grows vulnerable and indeterminate. Such a moment forces us to look at our position in this tension between real and imagined beauty.
Hyung Geun Park
Excerpt from his essay in the FOTOFEST2006 Catalogue
HYUNG-GEUN PARK Untitled
The places Park chooses are 'natural,' but already have been built by human beings, such as parks in London. These places have been interrupted, controlled, reproduced, and interpreted by man. In the pictures, the condition of nature is in an ordinary state, but there is variety of hidden stories and events that have happened. Various objects reveal mysterious situations that invite the viewer to imagine.
Hyung Geun Park was born in Jeju do in Korea and has an M.F.A. in Fine Art Photography from Gwangju University in Gwangju. He graduated from MA Image & Communication Course at Goldsmiths College in London in 2005. This series was made in Hampstead Heath and various forested parts in London. He has exhibited at Fotografie Forum International, Frankfurt, Germany; Gana Art center, Seoul; Martini Art internazionale, Turin, Italy, and has forthcoming Solo Exhibitions at Asia House, London; Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul.