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Records and Memories of Cities: ‘Everywhere and Nowhere: Seoul through the Eyes of Kang Hong-Goo’

exhibition Kim Jia Jun 07, 2024

SPACE Jun 2024 (No. 679) 


Exhibition view of ‘Everywhere and Nowhere: Seoul through the Eyes of Kang Hong-Goo’​ / Image courtesy of SeMA AA


‘Everywhere and Nowhere: Seoul through the Eyes of Kang Hong-Goo’, on show at the Art Archives, Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA AA), attempts to reinterpret the work of artist Kang Honggoo, who explores the changes to the urban landscapes of Seoul from the perspective of the archives. He donated the 5,000 pieces forming the Bulgwang-dong collection to the SeMA AA in 2018, and the 15,600 pieces forming the Eunpyeong New Town work collection additionally donated in 2023 are not simply listed as part of the artist’s solo exhibition but are organised under the title ‘Kang Hong-Goo’s Seoul Archive’. In GALLERY 1, Kang’s works based on Seoul’s neighbourhoods from the late 1990’s to the early 2020’s are presented. One of his representative works, Fish with Landscape (2002), is a digital image that combines images of fish with photographs taken at alleys of unspecified urban space. These landscape photographs reveal different aspects to Mickey’s House, Trainee (2005 – 2006). These artworks film a toy house found on the demolition sites of the redevelopment, placed in different areas of the urban redevelopment. This is a record revealing the many faces of reality, rather than offering a purely aesthetic experience. The exhibition route begins with Vanish Away – A Record of Eunpyeong New Town (2009) and end with The House-Bulgwang District 3 (2010), showing that the subjective observations of an artist can also function as an objective observation of a specific time of Seoul. In GALLERY 2, Study of Green-Seoul-Vacant Lot (2019 – 2020), in a homage to the existing empty spaces of Seoul has been coloured in acrylic paint, is presented. Hinting at the futures of as yet undeveloped urban spaces, it leads us to wonder how we should view our land as its citizens. The exhibition is open until Aug. 4.