Powerful Gaze on a Gloomy World – Park Geonhi’s Photography, by Park Pyeongjong
One of the prominent features in his series “Dream” is the texture of the white translucent cloth. Park Geonhi had a particular liking for covering objects with translucent cloths?they serve as links between the world of reality and dreams. Dreams are by no means reality, but they are dreamt in the real world. Mr. Park occasionally told me about the times he experienced sleep paralysis. He would try in desperation to wake up from his sleep paralysis nightmares, which he experienced often; before he knew it, however, he was able to control his dreams. Since then, he enjoyed such episodes of sleep paralysis, and tried to induce a state where he would be half awake and half asleep. Translucent materials do not completely reveal nor hide whatever lies behind them. As complete concealment represents silence while complete revelation represents reality, the translucency portrayed in his work symbolizes an in-between space, somewhere between the real and surreal.
Park Geonhi felt that a state of quasi-reality, neither in the form of existence or non-existence, was much more attractive. To Mr. Park, unfamiliar objects that sometimes appeared in his dreams amid sleep paralysis were not objects of fear, but rather farcical clowns. He couldn’t change how the real world revolved, but no matter how hideous the monsters appeared to be in his dreams, he had conscious control over them. Compared to the dark, drab world of reality, the dream world, over which he had control, was comparatively brighter. This is why Mr. Park, by instinct, was drawn to and cherished the translucent cloths as they served as gateways into the world of dreams. Perhaps, he is embarking on a journey in his bright world of dreams, calmly accepting the dark world of reality. Alas, it just isn’t easy living in the gloomy world of reality without such consolation: and so, he drifts away from reality into the world of dreams.
Excerpt from “Powerful Gaze on a Gloomy World – Park Geonhi’s Photography,” by Park Pyeongjong
1967 Born in Chuncheon, Gangwon-do, Korea
1986 Graduated from Young Dong High School, Seoul
1986 1st solo exhibition, Seoul
1991 2nd solo exhibition, Exhibition by Park Geonhi and Small Concert by Roh Young Sim, Hakchon Theater, Seoul
1993 Graduated from Dept. of Photography, Chung-Ang University
1993 Studied in France
1995 Establishment of Daum Communications Corp.
1995 3rd solo exhibition, “Images, Images,” Daum Communications Virtual Gallery
1995 Live Internet broadcasting of the first Gwangju Biennale
1995 Died of a heart attack at his home
2006 National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea