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This series of portraits is one facet of a body of work titled Weighing the Rain, which was photographed in Korea over the course of the monsoon season. In varied ways, the project evokes the weather phenomenon as a signifier of the tempestuous social landscape of the country and the pressures exerted on the individual in its collective society.
The portraits candidly encounter people on the street, isolating them as they are exposed to both the flow of the city and the natural elements. Those brief encounters are then subjected to the physicality of the monsoon itself. Through the application of historical chemical processes, the images are developed under the rainfall from the monsoon, using the weather to create a traumatic modulation of the fleeting, intimate moments they capture.
The resulting portraits are corrosive, abstracting the individual and emphasizing the expressiveness of the social and environmental conditions over an accurate recording of identity. As it inscribes itself on the people, the monsoon signifies the intense physical and psychological strain brought on by a collective ideology that exerts intense pressure to conform to Korea’s rapidly changing identity.
Hans Gindlesberger is an artist and educator currently based in Virginia. His practice examines how contemporary society constructs and represents concepts of place, where the photographic image plays a central role. Gindlesberger’s projects engage a range of photographic traditions and thinking in exploring our psychological relationship to simulated and actual places.
Since earning his MFA in Photography from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2006, his projects in photo, video, and installation have been exhibited widely, including Galleri Image (Aarhus, Denmark), Gallery 44 (Toronto), Jen Bekman Projects (New York), Voies Off Photography Festival (Arles, France), and the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) (Albuquerque), among many others. In 2009, the New York Foundation for the Arts awarded him a fellowship in photography, and in 2011 he received a Mary L. Nohl Fellowship from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Currently, Gindlesberger is an Assistant Professor of Digital Imaging in the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech, a leading program in the intersection of arts and technology.