Park Chan-Kyong (b. 1965) is a media artist, film director and writer based in Seoul. His work examines Korean society, framing the rapid socioeconomic development of the past century while chronicling the often reckless pursuit of Western modernization and economic growth, through subjects including the Cold War and traditional Korean religions. His techniques include incorporating traditional "shanshu" (landscape) scroll paintings into his videography, utilizing a panoramic structure as a way of integrating ancient art forms into modern methods. Park's work questions how we perceive ordinarily unscrutinized perceptions. For example, in Child Soldier (2017-2018), he aims to broaden our understanding of North Korean culture, from more than justs a strict ideology filled with robot-like citizens, to ordinary, lazy and innocent people. In Park's work, nothing is accepted and everything is subject to interpretation; the only thing that remains objective is the subversiveness itself.
Park graduated from Seoul National University in 1988 with a BFA in Painting, and the California Institute of the Arts with a MFA in Photography in 1995. He served as the Artistic Director of the SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul in 2014. His major works include Manshin: Ten Thousand Spirits (2013), Night Fishing (2011, co-directed by Park Chan-wook), Sindoan (2008), Power Passage (2004) and Sets (2000). Park’s work has been exhibited internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions including Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2017), Taipei Biennial (2016), Anyang Public Art Project (2016), Iniva, London (2015), Art Sonje Center, Seoul (2013), and Atelier Hermès, Seoul (2008, 2012). Park was awarded the Hermès Korea Art Award in 2004, and the Golden Bear for best short film at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2011 for Night Fishing. His works are included in the collection of major art institutions, such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; KADIST, Paris and San Francisco; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, Nantes; M+, Hong Kong; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; Seoul Museum of Art; Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan; and Art Sonje Center, Seoul.
From KADIST: In conversation with curator Hyunjin Kim, Artist and filmmaker Park Chan-Kyong introduces "Citizen’s Forest", a video installation dealing with folk shamanism, mourning and politics. Evoking figures such as poet Kim Soo-young, Minjung painters Oh Yoon and Min Juing-gi, Park simultaneously addresses spirituality and history.
Park Chan-kyong, "Citizen's Forest", 2016
three-channel video, black and white, ambisonic sound, 26 min 6 sec
Directed by Hyunjin Kim and Louis Pierre-Lacouture
Translation by Hyeyoun Eunice Choi
Produced with the help of Marie Martraire, Shona Findlay and Kukje Gallery
Courtesy of Art Sonje Center and Kukje Gallery
Acknowledgement to Taipei Biennial 2016