Unused Open Spaces

Korean photographer Hosang Park's recent series exposes tiny, unknown 'parks' that are attached to housing developments around the world.
February 10, 2009, 9am PST | Tim Halbur
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"Park's parks are photographed from above – which seems, in fact, to be the view for which they were designed. As two-dimensional compositions of curved paths, colored paving, and rhythmically spaced rocks or trees, they resemble pleasing, if sterile, designs for wrapping paper or Ikea rugs. Tellingly, they are also completely empty. Park explains that he took these photos while he was living on the 13th floor of Jugong Apartment in Chang-dong, Seoul. He and his hundreds of neighbors experienced their park as a a patch of eye candy – visual respite from the concrete and tarmac of their surroundings. Its cornucopia of amenities – climbing frames, fountains, seesaws and swing sets, pagodas, grass, ornamental rocks, meandering paths, trees and flower beds, benches, ponds, basketball courts... even public art – are crammed together as visual shorthand for endless leisure. They are landscape as signage, a placeholder for the possibilities of a park."

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Published on Sunday, February 8, 2009 in BLDBLOG
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