In Seokmin Ko’s “The Square“—a multi-year, ongoing project—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. 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.
“Since a mirror will reflect reality and at the same time reality seen in lateral reverse (or right symmetric), I thought there was an inherent double meaning. One’s presence doesn’t have to be reflected in the mirror but I thought the mirror was appropriate in expressing the subjectivity of presence through the act of reflection.” –Seokmin Ko, CNN interview, 2013
Ko’s latest series of photographs “Strip Show,” of buildings and structures in rural and urban landscapes, brings to mind his previous series, The Square, of landscapes and cityscapes in which a mirror reflects back to the viewer more of the landscape—never the photographer.
SEOKMIN KO (b. 1984, Gunsan, Korea) lives and works in Seoul, Korea. Recipient of many prestigious awards including the 2012 SongEun ArtCube Artist award, Ko represents a new wave of young contemporary artists working in South Korea. His first U.S. solo exhibition Seokmin Ko: The Square was presented in 2012 at Art Projects International, New York. Other solo exhibitions include Seokmin Ko: Strip Show, Art Projects International, New York (2014); Seokmin Ko, Shinsegae Gallery, Gwangju, Korea (2013); and Seokmin Ko: The Square, SongEun ArtCube, Seoul (2012). Recent exhibitions include Blurred Horizons, Art Projects International, NY (2018); Not Your Ordinary Art Storage, SongEun ArtStorage, Seoul (2017); Mirror Mirror, Spacemom Museum of Art, Chongju, Korea (2016), Summer Love, SongEun Art Space, Seoul (2015), and FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA, San Antonio, TX (2014). His work is represented in major collections including the Fidelity Corporate Art Collection, Boston; Montefiore Collection, New York; and SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation, Seoul. Reviews and feature articles about Seokmin Ko have appeared in major publications including Artnews, CNN Photos, Photo+, and Art in Culture.
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