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Seung Woo Back's "Real World" series presents views of the "Aiins World" theme park in Bucheon, South Korea, where sightseers can visit many of the world's significant buildings and complexes in one place, in one day. It is possible because this tourist destination contains miniature versions of the original structures, arranged along a path through the site. Meant to be photographed from specific marked positions along the pathway, the buildings in "Aiins World" appear the same size as the originals in visitors' snapshots.

In his straightforward documentary style, Back photographs these structures from an alternative point of view that purposely turns upside down concepts of reality, experience, scale, and context. He reveals copious incongruities where backdrop seams show and impossible rearrangements of geography occur. New York's Brooklyn Bridge, former Twin Towers, and Chrysler Building (located in different parts of the actual city) occupy the same space as the Washington Monument, and are surrounded by Korean junk boats. Elsewhere, Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples and Paris's Eiffel Tower are both situated against a background of Bucheon high-rises. In a location constructed to convey experiences of place, sometimes worlds away, Back photographs the fictitious landscape that actually results.

Seung Woo Back earned a BFA and MFA in Photography from Seoul's Chung Ang University in 2000 and 2002, respectively. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Fine Art Research and Theory at Middlesex University, London, where he received his MA in 2005. He was nominated for the Paul Huf Award, organized by KLM and FOAM_Photography Museum Amsterdam, as well as the Prix Pictet Award, the world's first prize dedicated to photography and sustainability. Internationally exhibited and collected, Back was recently interviewed by the British photography magazine Portfolio, which also featured the Real World series on its cover. Back's first monograph, Real World, was published in 2007 by Foil Gallery, Tokyo.

– Jennifer Uhrhane

National Museum of Contemporary Art
University of Colorado at Boulder