Seoul’s Empty Squares


You could say that Seoul's parks had been drawn from the sky. Just like crop circles, these cold and uniform contemporary agora seem to have been etched by a celestial being, and only from very high above do the empty spaces make sense as geometric patterns. But while crop circles suggest meddling gods and spaceship landings, the urban reality of South Korea’s capital is not so exciting.

These public parks are empty in densely-inhabited Seoul because, as photographer Hosang Park points out, “people, pressed by time and space, don’t seem to have time to go here.”  And the aesthetically perfect patterns increase the value of nearby real-estate, but serve little civic purpose. Instead of meeting in public space, locals peer down onto it from their apartments, watching what Park calls “the futuristic utopian fattening of Korean capitalist dream”. 

Hosang Park was born in 1977 and resides in Seoul, Korea. In 2004, Park received his B.A. in photography at the Undergraduate School at Sangmyung, and in 2009, received his M.F.A in fine art photography at the Graduate School of Art and Design at Sangmyung. Hosang has exhibited his work in both solo and group exhibitions in Korea, Australia, and the U.S. In 2009, Hosang was selected as a Hot Shot in Hey, Hot Shot! (volume iv, edition ii) and for The Center for Fine Art Photography Artists’ Showcase Portfolio, Second Edition.