Seokmin Ko, The Square 03, 2010, limited-edition archival pigment print.
Art Projects International is pleased to present the first U.S. solo exhibition of works by Seokmin Ko. The exhibition features select photographs from Ko’s three-year, ongoing project entitled “The Square” and will be on view from September 20 to October 27, 2012.
A mirror shown reflecting its surroundings is held in a field, or in the sea, or on a road. Two hands gripping the mirror’s edge are the only clue of the holder’s presence. Modernist architecture is featured in other images; here, the human hand, the slight presence of humanity, is seen amidst the reflective surfaces of glass and steel construction.
It is hard not to think of Stendhal’s famous quote about mirrors when looking at Ko’s work: “A novel is a mirror carried along a high road. At one moment it reflects to your vision the azure skies at another the mire of the puddles at your feet. And the man who carries this mirror in his pack will be accused by you of being immoral!” Ko pointedly lets the viewer know the holder or director of the mirror is not innocent. In one photograph the mirror is oriented so the painted lines on a road continue in the reflection of the mirror and then again beyond it; in another, a mirror leans against a tree which borrows a reflected trunk to become whole.
Ko is an artist of his own time. The mirrors and reflective glass make more sense as portals to other dimensions—dimensions perhaps similar to ours or radically different.
The patterning reflected in the mirror is never a seamless match with the mirror’s immediate surroundings; these works are not about tricking the viewer. In Ko’s images, the human, as the carrier of artifice, is a kind of discrepancy and belongs neither in the natural world nor in the constructed world. This is obvious in the architectural photographs where the human presence disrupts the dehumanizing machine-made grid. Ko’s is a humanist vision amidst a world that has become foreign to its inhabitants as creators, but as Einstein famously said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Ko’s disruptions offer hope.
Ko was recently selected as a 2012 SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation ARTCUBE Artist. A solo exhibition of select works from Ko’s “The Square” is concurrently on view through October 10, 2012 at SongEun ARTCUBE in Seoul, Korea.
SEOKMIN KO (born 1984 in Gunsan, Korea) currently lives and works in Seoul, Korea. His solo exhibitions include: Art Projects International, New York (2012); and SongEun ARTCUBE, Seoul, Korea (2012). Recent group exhibitions include: Parentheses, Hong-Ik Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2012); Scales of Dragon, Anseong Machum Museum, Anseong, Korea (2012); Best of Best, KT&G SangsangMadang, Seoul, Korea (2011); Shinsegae Art Award Selected Artist, Shinsegae Gallery, Gwangju, Korea (2011); In the CITY, Chung-Mu Art Hall, Seoul, Korea (2011); and Chung-Ang Emerging Artist, Doosan Art Center, Seoul, Korea (2011).
© 2012 Art Projects International