“An air of alienation, desolation, despair, aloneness is often pungent in my photos.” – Ku Hone
Ku Hone is a photographer whose images encapsulate a fluid sense of place. His images seem to be taken at a very specific location, yet do not necessarily hold the information to identify exactly where we are. They are at once one, specific place and many other places. “Brooding Alley” includes what we assume is a street number, a salient detail by which to gain one’s bearings, but “Lines of Decay” and “Forms in White” speak on mostly abstract terms, the former image evidently modern architecture but the latter proves more elusive, much harder to pin down place or time except as an instance in the mind of the photographer.
Born in South Korea in 1974, Hone has been living in Louisville since 2010. His interest in photography started in early teenage years, but, while holding multiple academic degrees, he has received no formal training in art or photography.
“My work attempts to gain new perspectives on the ordinary. I believe that only in a state of confusion can one’s mind spring out towards a new direction. Objects, patterns and such are no longer amusing once one makes the association between the subject and a preconceived idea of the subject already in one’s mind. I often strive to de-construct space in order to gain new (and often confusing) views of ordinary objects. The ultimate goal of such attempts is to kindle the viewers’ imagination and help them appreciate the beauty of the mundane.
“I also thrive in empty space or void. I believe negative space is not simply used to counter-balance positive space but to facilitate a new creative space where the viewer is able to project oneself into the scene. In that sense, it is an invitation to explore and to contemplate. For this reason, simple and minimalistic compositions of lines, curves, geometrical shapes, symmetrical and asymmetrical patterns and textures are abundant in my work. I believe that our innate perception of beauty in nature and objects is based on recognition of basic forms and shapes found within them. And this is how arrangements of simple (and seemingly meaningless) forms can give rise to beauty, meaning, and ultimately, emotions.”
“My work harnesses the absurdity of life. It is what alienates oneself from the world and the life itself. However, one must live on in the face of absurdity, forever searching for the elusive Emperor’s clothes. I believe streets of urban life reflect this struggle. Abandoned objects and disintegrating walls clash with and clutter our life. Exotic and vivid colors clash with one another, juxtaposed with neutral tones. The old clashes with the new. I believe my job is to find beauty and balance in such scenes in an attempt to find hope in the absurdity.“
Hone is participating in Abstract in Kentucky, a Juried Exhibition running through February 24, 2018 at Kaviar Forge and Gallery in Louisville. He will also be a part of the Mellwood Art Center Spring Art Fair, February 24 & 25, and, later in 2018, the Open to Interpretation exhibit at the Community Arts Center in Danville, KY.
Hometown: Seoul, Korea
Education: BS, Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA; MS & PhD, Toxicology, University of Rochester, New York
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.