Seoul Ⅰ, 2000
Embroidering Photographs for the Expression of Seoul
Noh, HyungSeok, 2003

In an age when digital cameras are in vogue and everyone uses photographs as the language of everyday life, photographer Park, HongChun is walking the path of early photographers who elaborately crafted their photographs by hand. According to Park, “not all photos taken by digital cameras are digital photos. Isn’t it real digital photography only if the photographer’s way of thinking is completely digitalized?” Park has been faithful to the philosophy that photography not only captures phenomena realistically but reflects the inner side of the photographer. This perseverance resulted in huge photographs consisting of 10,000 images of a city, including cars and stores. They are currently on display in his forth solo exhibition ImageCity - Seoul at Gallery Ihn(82-2-732-4677~8) from 25. Apr. 2003.

“The series of Seoul 1-3 represents the internal dynamics and impression of Seoul which I experience and feel. This exhibition is just the opposite of the former exhibitions, such as To Alice and Trace, where time and space are completely accumulated in one photograph with extended exposure. Seoul 1-3 accumulates time and space by putting together cuts of instant time and space taken by the general camera.”



Three photographs from this series that illustrate stores, moving cars seen from a bridge, and trees on the street are huge (3m x 4m). Two thousand pieces of contact prints, each of which consists of 5 consecutive films measuring 4cm by 3cm, were pasted one by one precisely by hand. It took Park from 2 months to more than a year to make the 10,000 cuts of each photograph, and even some photographs of trees on the street were completed just before the opening of this exhibition. Cutting and pasting numerous pieces of contact prints accurately required more than 15 days. Also, combing through the apartment complexes around Seoul, Park completed the series Apartment, which is composed of photographs of apartment lights at night, but looks like a collage of images of a nebula.

“The works for signboards of stores or car plates represent the uniform code or standard of the city civilization. In respect that the trees on the streets in the last work of this series imply the environment or culture of the city, the works depict the portrait of me or a human being in the big city. The desperation caused by the fact that I directly experience and feel these images appears rather strange in the collage of the photographs.”

Having recently taken pictures of his father for another mosaic work, he is going to New York as soon as it is completed. “I am going to take pictures of the bedrooms in New York where various races and cultures merge using the extended exposure. I am wondering how their sex, innermost cultures, and traces of everyday life stimulate the imagination.”

- from The Hangyoreh, Apr. 24. 2003.