Hanmi Gallery Seoul is very pleased to present a solo exhibition by the German artist Ingo Baumgarten (b.1964). Through his paintings, Baumgarten explores his observations from his experiences in France, England, Japan and Korea. The artist focuses on the visible manifestations of human life in contemporary society, through an investigation of the collective principles behind architectural styles in different societies and generations.
Since he began painting, the root of Baumgarten’s artistic practice has stemmed from his concerns relating to experiences and memories of those living in urban society. Baumgarten’s perception of everyday life, culture and societies reflect his interests in visual anthropology. As a result of his exposure to various international societies and cultures, Baumgarten seeks to understand the socio-cultural qualities seemingly inherent in the motives of private houses and architecture. For Baumgarten, the different styles of architecture within a city do not comprise a fractured cityscape; rather they create an individual collective and culture. Moreover, his obser- vations contribute to his own consideration of those living inside the buildings and their lifestyles.
Baumgarten’s paintings comment on the malleability of trends and styles in architecture over space and time. Traditionally architectural developments in cities serve to demonstrate modernization. Baumgarten has spent time observing Seoul’s urban environment. Through his paintings, the artist depicts the multiple styles within Seoul’s cityscape. Particularly, his artworks focus on Baumgarten’s interest in concrete housing, built between 1970 and 1990. This period witnessed a time of economic revival in Korea and thus a sense of optimism was shared amongst Korean citizens.
Concrete housing changed Korea’s traditional architectural style. Korea’s use of this material was an attempt to replicate the idealized Western modern day house. However, despite their hope to mirror the style of Western housing, ironically a European visitor to Korea would associate the concrete houses as traditionally Korean.
As the spectator observes Baumgarten’s paintings, they relish a moment to recall memories of their own past and thoughts on Korean history. Ingo Baumgarten: point of view serves as a reflection of the artist’s own perspective on Seoul. Through the artist’s articulate observations, intricate details found in Korean houses and buildings are brought to the viewer’s attention.
This exhibition will showcase a selection of works from 2009, when Baumgarten moved to Seoul, to present day. Including paintings of private houses to Seoul’s cityscapes, this fascinating show will reflect Baumgarten’s unique visions and his world of art practice.