The City of Glass
High-level urban societies, where politics, economics, culture, education, and other social functions are integrated, are concentrated mainly in population and industry, though their scope is limited. On this account, city development-evolution process always place efficiency and competition in the very front. So the relaxation and leisure for people in modern city are not just opportunity for refreshment to improve quality of life. They are much more multilayered. 'Jingyeong sansu', 'Bam-Seom', 'River-side', 'City Life', 'Idong Kalbi Village', 'In the Suburbs' series of SeungGu Kim are the result of inquiring into cities multiple elements. Through these works, 《The City of Glass》 try to contemplate modern people’s life and environment, who cannot help facing multilayered life symbols of urban in and out of season.
Being packed with apartments and buildings like matchboxes, One of the biggest virtues of urban architecture is to get the maximum floor space. The only nature allowed for us is the artificial garden which was uncomfortably rooted in the middle of the apartment complex('Jingyeong sansu' 2010-). Or else, it would only be to recognize the existence of Bam-sum which is only able to be alive through control and neglect('Bam-Seom'2011). Like this, relieving the lack of nature that can be faced at extreme efficiency and inefficiency can be a consolation for modern people like luxury relaxation in busy urban life.
By the way, leisure needs time and budget so sometimes it makes an unusual scene that no one expected. For example, people who spend leisure time in Han-river Park where water may overflow during the rainy season('River-side'2010-), or the amusement park in the city which seems to exceed the number of limited capacity('City Life'2014-). And a restaurant located in suburb where full of people in weekends but presence itself feels strange in weekdays('Idong Kalbi Village'2012-2013), and a fringe of the city where full of awkward scenery of unknown nationality('In the Suburbs'2013-) are all created in process of representing fantasy that we can’t find in our ordinary life.
It is a basic desire of human to pursue a better environment for living. To relieve this desire in city, a lot of preparation and cost is needed. But even if it is not feasible, desire creates light, heterogeneous objects that have lost their purpose. The work of SeungGu Kim proves that the leisure and relaxation that should be a part of life is transformed into fantasy and unusual thing for modern people. 《The City of Glass》 will offer seed for the wise answer for modern people’s agony about worth of one’s own life through SeungGu Kim’s works.
By Sol Kim, GoEun Museum of Photography