빨리! 빨리! | Sander Holsgens

Sander Holsgens is a photographer and freelance writer who explores contemporary Asian art and culture with his work. Based in the Netherlands, he attended the photo academy, and then graduated from programmes in Cultural Studies and Artistic Research at Maastricht University. 

Before heading off to Manchester this year for a postgraduate program in Visual Anthropology, Sander travelled to Korea to work on a project that aims to provide a reconsideration of ethnographic and documentary photography.

빨리! 빨리is an intervention into Korean public space, focusing on the rigid redevelopment of some districts in and around Seoul, including Dongdaemun and Maseok. According to Sander, the everyday lifestyles of residents here slot into two categories: a postmodern mindset that is prevalent in Gangnam, for example, and a premodern one, which is based on developmental thought, honoured traditions and an interpersonal economy.

“My images” he says, “discuss what photography entails and what it actually meana to visualize the redevelopment process in Seoul, and how to consider the aestheticisation of the neglected, the ugly and the deprived.”

The striking images taken as part of this project are a far cry from the every-day conception of Korea I, and seemingly everyone I know, have developed. Be it by way of Psy’s aggravating K-Pop phenomenon, the Vice Guide to North Korea or the many delicious meals consumed in tiny restaurants claiming to serve authentic Korean cuisine. 

An intimate glimpse into the split mentality and development of area-specific lifestyle, 빨리! 빨리! gives a fascinating view of public space in contemporary South Korean culture.

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