Hanguk by Florian Bong-Kil Grosse
When I think about my first impressions of Korea, I see before all else overpopulated, hectic, noisy cities, modest, traditional architecture side by side with the ubiquitous functional yet disconsolate prefabricated housing blocks; I see Buddhist pagodas hemmed in by 8 lane traffic arteries, minimally landscaped parks next to the tangle of market stalls, and oversized human-drawn carts that wind between beaming white Limousines through the tightly packed streets.
I observe all of this, and at the same time long involuntarily for moments that might grant a little calm. Whilst I feel out my surroundings with the camera, my gaze is caught by a bush in the shape of a seated figure, a sofa at the side of the road that seems oddly to have been shrunken, or a dusty car covered in print marks from hands, feet and tennis balls. Everyday scenes in an alien world that I have spontaneously connected something with.
Hanguk is less the documentation of a country and its inhabitants. Rather, for me the work is a pictorial description of a place that belongs to my own wholly personal imagination. It is the attempt to bring the images of external reality into agreement with those of inner reality.
- Florian Bong-Kil Grosse