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A Square, Photographs by Hosang Park

Jen Bekman Gallery
6 Spring Street, between Elizabeth St. and Bowery, 212-219-0166
East Village / Lower East Side
September 26 - November 7, 2009
Reception: Friday, September 25, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

NEW YORK, NY – Jen Bekman Gallery is pleased to present A Square, a solo exhibition of nine color photographs by Hosang Park. A Square is the Korea-based artist’s solo debut in the United States.

In 2004, Hosang Park began taking aerial photographs of the parks that are often developed alongside luxury apartment buildings in Seoul. Park’s resulting images in A Square flatten the spaces into geometric surfaces reminiscent of modernist abstraction. Increasingly common in high-density areas of the city, the parks reference the traditions of town squares. But, as captured by Park in wintry light, they appear to be lifeless and inorganic, shallow representations of the perceived economic and cultural value of both leisure and nature in Korea. Devoid of people, they prompt wonder: whether the parks were designed for engagement and enjoyment on the street level, or from the bird’s-eye view that Park has captured, is entirely ambiguous.

On BLDGBLOG, writer Nicola Twilley observed:

They are landscape as signage, a placeholder for the possibilities of a park… could we then imagine that Korea’s urban landscape subcontractors have been applying the lessons of graphic design to their creations, as if to a poster or magazine spread? …It leads me to wonder if Park’s photos have inadvertently documented an experimental array of urban test gardens, new spatial formats for high-density leisure in their beta phase. (“Park’s Parks,” February 8, 2009)

Hosang Park is one of two artists to be awarded representation by Jen Bekman Gallery in 2008 through the international photography competition, Hey, Hot Shot! Twice a year, a distinguished panel of arts professionals chooses five artists for their unique contributions to photography and awards them with a group show at Jen Bekman Gallery. Annually, the gallery selects two of those ten artists for representation and a solo exhibition. Since its inception five years ago, Hey, Hot Shot! has debuted over a hundred photographers, receiving critical acclaim from The New York Times, The New Yorker, Aperture, Le Monde, PDN and The Village Voice.
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