Beyond Architecture: Progress in Time – The Korea Herald
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Photos show architecture has tales to tell
2011-11-30 21:15

“The Museum of Modern Art, New York (9.8, 2001-7.6, 2004)” by Michael Wesley (Michael Wesley)

Captured on camera by photographers’ deft techniques, historical sites, interior designs and impressive architecture have more stories to tell.

Six photographers ― Brian McKee, Lina Kim, Michael Wesely, Laurie Simmons, Dionisio Gonzlez, and Hiroshi Sugimoto ― are showcasing their unique perspectives on architectural themes at the exhibition “Beyond Architecture: Progress in Time” which is currently running at The Columns Gallery in Itaewon-dong, central Seoul.

U.S. photographer Brian McKee, for example, photographed once vibrant and monumental buildings that are now left vacant. Although the photos contain nothing but rigid ruins, McKee’s choice of angles and lights lead viewers to reminisce or imagine the former splendors of the venues.

“In the end though all that is left of any society or historic period is their detritus, these few elements that represent the past and which we, in our contemporary lives, reinterpret and reflect on for ourselves.” McKee said in a catalogue accompanying the exhibition.

Spanish photographer Dionisio Gonzalez’s works are also based on the ruins of actual cities and buildings but explore more the connections between the real and virtual. He rebuilds fragments of the buildings with computer graphics after the pictures have been taken. Those who are familiar with the venues in his photos might be bewildered at the sight of the unfamiliar architecture standing there.

The exhibition also features works by German photographer Michael Wesely, who is recognized for his innovative technique of capturing time. Wesley uses the ultra-long exposure technique ― leaving the shutter open for several years in some cases ― to capture marvelous traces of time. A photo that contains the three year-long renovation process (from 2001 to 2004) of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, which can be found at the show, is awe-inspiring.

The exhibition runs through Dec. 9 at The Columns Gallery in Itaewon-dong, central Seoul. For more information, call (02) 3442-6301 or visit

By Park Min-young  (
The Korea Herald
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