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Park Chan-Kyong at the Atelier Hermès

Sindoan

The work of Korean artist Park Chan-Kyong (b. Seoul, 1965) explores the fear and aversion that traditional beliefs and superstitions can evoke in local populations. His photographic and video essay fouses on the Sindoan valley, at the foot of Gyeryong Mountain.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Park Chan-Kyong at the Atelier Hermès
© Wonjun Choi

Park Chan-Kyong has become increasingly fascinated with the way mythological and religious stories have shaped the culture of the Gyeryong region, in Korea. In particular, the area is referred to in the prophetic writings of Gyeogamyunok and Jeonggamnok as the site of a new regional capital after the end of the Choseon dynasty.

As the guest of the Atelier Hermès in summer 2008, Park Chan-Yong filled the exhibition space with a hanging of photographs of Sindoan, a relief architectural model of the region, a series of collages and a 45-minute film. In documentary form, the film is based on photographs and text extracts, mingling testimonies via a variety of different supports. The result is a story in pictures, a meditation on the sublime and the fear of the unknown.

Park Chan-Kyong seeks to reinstate the imagery associated with the Sindoan region, a sacred site for numerous religions, superstitious belief systems and shamanic rites in Korean culture. His thoroughly researched, documentary approach shows how each is given leave to seek to form a collective entity in the search for a common, utopian territory. In this way, a variety of different beliefs can be substituted for the official or tolerated religions, such as Confucianism, Buddhidm, Taoism, shamanism and Christianity.

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