Seoul, South Korea
Wandering, Wondering (2020) by rising artist Seok-Woo Song (1993-) is a portrayal of the aimlessness of adulthood. In his third individual exhibition, an impenetrable wall of anonymity is erected amidst Korea’s traffic tunnels and sun-drenched coasts. For many young men such as Song himself, society of the 21st century offers little more than a mapless quest for purpose and recognition. A search often mired in feelings of futility.
“No one has ever forced or suppressed our lives. I live in the naturalness of a certain flow of time, a life that has already been adapted to a familiar flow” – Seok-woo Song
Deliberately hiding or obscuring his subjects’ faces or dwarfing them with enormous terrain and monotonous concrete structures, Song’s use of distance and body language cements this unrequited need for acknowledgement as explicit text. Human figures disappear into the scenery as near-identical props, each robbed of their individuality. The trauma that many young adults are exposed to during their societal debuts veils the photographs in dense loneliness. The result is a study of the kinds of people such rapidly changing social structures produce; wandering bodies, made alien and insignificant by virtue of the pre-existing societal script.
Written by Asbjørn Killen Jahn