S E U N G  W O O  B A C K  :  Real World

His series Real World, shot in apparently ‘straight’ documentary style, slowly reveals itself to be deceptive in both subject matter and framing. Real World focuses on Aiinsworld, an amusement park of scaled down international landmarks—a tourist attraction of tourist attractions. Back sets his vantage point low, blending the peak of the World Trade Towers with the surrounding South Korean skyline. What at first glance appears to be a familiar landmark is found to be a fabrication, a stand-in at one-tenth scale. Miniaturized architectural icons are forced together into a claustrophobic frame. Butting up against each other and shrunken, these sites, from the Egyptian pyramids to the Empire State Building (King-Kong and all), are stripped of their cultural context and stand as shells in an unfamiliar landscape. The photographs of this series document what the artist describes as “staged boarders of ambiguity” and serve as apt illustrations for the paradox of expanding boarders in a shrinking world.