Editor’s Showcase: Minjin Kang

Title: Hidden Landscape

한국은 아시아에서는 4번째, 세계적으로 11번째로 큰 경제 규모를 가지고 있는 국가다. 빠른 속도로 근대화를 이룩하고 경제적 기반을 잡은 반면 그에 따른 양극화 현상도 큰 나라가 바로 한국이다.나 역시도 한국, 그리고 ‘서울’의 변화가 놀랍다. 일 년에 한 번 귀국할 때마다 낡은 건물이 고층 빌딩으로 바뀌 어져 있고 사람들의 옷차림 등을 통해 유행이 빠르게 변화하고 있다는 것을 발견하는데, 그 이면에 숨겨진 외로 움과 고독한 풍경도 마주하게 된다.“Hidden Landscape” 프로젝트는 우리가 일상에서 놓치고 있는 부분에 대한 물음에서 시작됐다. 어쩌면 익 숙해셔버려 자각하지 못하는 우리의 감정- 슬픔, 우울함 을 깨닫게 하는 것이 작업의 출발선이었다. 오랜 시간 서울에 살았고, ‘제 3자’가 된 나의 시선으로 서울의 ‘삶’과 ‘시간’, 그리고 단상을 사진으로 담았다.

As a photographer, I trace absence in all its manifestations to capture the various aspects of isolation and loneliness in human life. I’m keenly interested in human beings, their environment, and the tension that exists between the presence and absence of human’s life.

The economy of South Korea is the 4th largest economy in Asia and the 11th largest in the world and famous for its spectacular growth from one of the poorest countries to an advanced, high-income nation in just a single generation. It remains today one of the fastest growing developed countries in the world. I’ve learned that in fast growing developed countries, there is always a serious gap between the rich and the poor. I live in New York, but I visit S. Korea once each year. Every time I return, I am surprised by the sudden changes I see. Seoul surprises me with its changed trends and the destruction of historical buildings to create new trendy buildings. The gap between rich and poor is growing ever worse.

Here, I try to capture the details of that hierarchy the feelings of loneliness and isolation in Seoul. I explore the material choices we make in our lives and how those choices determine who we are. I always been interested in the environment we live in and how we create it and how our environment shows the world our true face. This project thus asks whether you know where you live and how it looks. Because I visit my hometown only once in a while, I notice these changes quickly. However, I don’t believe the people who live there see them the same way. I believe that photography has its own unique language, and indeed these photographs are an invitation for you to see and consider the unseen in life.

Bio: Minjin Kang is a contemporary photographic artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She moved to the United States in 2008 where she received her BFA at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2011). In 2014, she acquired her MFA at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S nationally and internationally such as Asia contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong, Arpny and bcs gallery in NYC, and Aqua Art Miami in FL.

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