I have been working as a gardener since 2011. It was a very natural decision to be like that from my previous job. I started doing this work with a love for plants. Because it was with plants, I felt Everything was related to plants whatever I feel is what I can do best and I can understand more than anyone else. Also, when I am with plants, I felt happy. I had a life plan of wanting to work in an advertising company in my 20s and later a plant-related job in my 30s. Fortunately, I was able to keep it.
You seem to be very sensitive to the seasons. Do you have different ways or attitudes to dealing with plants in different seasons?
Well. I am pretty sensitive to the season, but I am kind of a slow responder. I don’t like some sort of 'seasonal rhapsody'. Knowing how to deal with or care about plants would be enough to have ‘land, fire, wind, water, and mind’.
In other words, I need to be sure to use appropriate 'soil' suitable for the plant group or to install it in a space with 'light', not in direct sunlight. I also pay attention to 'ventilation and ventilation' from time to time, and supply different 'water' management depending on the plant group, soil used, and exposed environment. And most of all, when dealing with plants, I consider the most important thing is to be indifferent and lazy to lose strength rather than an obsession.
Plants breathe and grow because they are living. How do you plan and design their growth as an expert?
I focus on transforming the appearance of plants through long-term planning after planting and 'post-production' that utilizes specific technologies/techniques, rather than simply transferring wild plants to beautiful pots and finishing the process. I use about 10 different horticultural techniques for each plant, and then I complete the result that reflects my taste and aesthetics.
Compared to the past, it is often seen that a plant becomes a work of art in recent years. Sometimes it serves as a centerpiece for an event or is considered a meaningful structure. How do you view this phenomenon?
I don’t think it’s more or less fashionable. Most of them seem to be more into the subject matter of plants, but people's thoughts and knowledge (about plants) are still the same as before and even now.
Lots of people are still less interested in plants than they thought. At this point, it is considered only to the extent that the occupational groups used it as a ‘cool’ work material. Most of them represent ideas from the reference images, SNS, and other international cases. How long can we be concerned about the terrible term ‘planterier’? In fashion terms, this is long overdue. Plants are just plants, they have been plants, and they will always be plants. I hope that there will be more workers who focus on the essence itself and express themselves in different ways as creators.
In addition to soil and land, his field of work with plants crosses classes, types, and studios.
It seems that your work is largely composed of plant installation and education by external request, and photography and writing of plant material.
Introducing domestic wild plants, I am expanding the field of activity through plant installation, education, text, and photo work in outdoor spaces. In addition to the ‘PLANTED’ work that is planted in pots, ‘PRINTED’ works that are printed with photos and other materials are constantly being introduced. In the studio, classes regarding wild vegetation are conducted, and plant installations in the outdoor space are only selectively accepted by request.
We are continuously working on the ‘Plant Taste’. What meaning does the artist have in the branding of anthropomorphic plants?
What I felt while branding was that naming should be easy, clear, and revealing the content, and in the long run. was the name that came to mind without any extra consideration, so, I use it because it fits my direction. To explain it in more depth, I thought that plants have ‘tastes’ just like the taste of food and drink that we choose every moment of our lives.
For a long time, I had hoped to publish a brand, space, exhibition, and book that could be called under one name. For reference, if people look at the popular names these days, they consist of a set of words you like or a combination of pretty words, meanings only you know, abbreviations in English, inscriptions, etc., but I am wary of such methods.
Each time you see a different plant, you are likely to discover your different tastes. Can you explain “the taste of a plant” you recently found out?
Because my tastes are stubborn and consistent, even if I work with different plants, the result tells you who made it. Therefore, the taste of plants is the 'plant taste' derived from my aesthetics and tastes.
The pots containing the plant are also important, and I am curious about your criteria for them.
I like the work of potters who supplied pots to first-generation bonsai teachers. Also, I enjoy the process of discovering and excavating objects of unknown names or brands that remain like relics all over the country.
What results did you get from your long plant work?
I have introduced plant works that differ in the context of material transformation and installation. It is satisfying to show the botanical category of ‘wild vegetation’ to the public apart from the image of bonsai or wildflowers.
When did you start running the class and what do you think is the most important thing?
Since I first opened the studio, I have been running classes every week and every month. I more enjoyed the class in the studio than the outside work. Normally, the class consists of a basic course and a regular course. In the case of the basic course, anyone interested in plants can learn at an easy level. I am more focused on plants not any handouts or written notes but both theory and practice together. It is only within 2 people only afternoon and evening course. As for the regular course, it is a more professional class on wild vegetation. I made a program to teach some special techniques, branding, content R&D, and sales operation as a curriculum.
Park Ki-Cheol, who has a second exhibition after his first exhibition in 2020, is ready to meet people with 《TASTE of PLANT 2》
You put numbers in the exhibition title without a special theme. What does it mean?
It just refers to the number of official solo exhibitions, as well as the stage of the work (scheduled up to the fourth), at the same time that means the number of materials used in the exhibition. It is supposed to be a hidden intention. In the first exhibition, only the most basic frame was used, and in this second exhibition, two materials were used: DIASEC, which was changed from the frame, and slides.
What are the expectations of visitors as an artist at this exhibition?
I completed them through detailed work and I included the portraits of newly discovered plants. It was intended to be visible. As if the plant work was converted into a photograph, I wanted the special boundaries between the mediums to blur and collapse at the end. The photographic work is a total of 4 pieces and the slide images are shown separately. So, I expect the visitors to catch all my thoughts and desire as much as they can.
Isn’t it small of the number of works?
Although the results of about 10 pieces of printed (pigment print) work and about 30 pieces of single-channel images have already been completed, I don’t introduce them all in every exhibition. As the execution, size, suitability, target and range of sales, I coordinate them accordingly.
Describe the images on the slides.
In addition to the 4 printed pieces made of Diasec material, 21 single-channel images are displayed through the projector. These are not portraits of a specific plant, but rather photographic work that captures certain scenes that were the basis or inspiration of all works.