Last week, I saw this photo at Tête, an artist-run gallery in Berlin. It’s part of an exhibition of new work by Florian Bong-Kil Grosse and Unn Fahlstrøm, on view through Sunday. Though Florian’s work in the show is not primarily about plants — it is a series of observations about the way people live in Korean cities — in several images, the photographer’s eye for plants is clear.
Marko, a regular UPR contributor, was also there and noticed the artist’s affinity for urban plants. He urged me to talk to the artist and ask about featuring his photos on this blog. And indeed, Florian showed interest in our project and later shared with me, over email, that his involvement with plants goes back to his childhood, which he spent discovering and identifying wildlife with his science-loving father — not in the countryside, but in the urban and heavily industrial Ruhr Valley.
So he continues to observe plants to this day, and how people in different cultures — and thus, different cities — relate to nature and plant life. He explored this on a trip to Korea, in the series Hanguk, and right here in Berlin, in the project Botanica, in which he used the idealized format of botanical illustrations to photograph oft-overlooked weeds from the city streets.
Yet plant life is just one of many things Florian explores in his photography. If you are near Berlin, do go see his show, perhaps at the closing reception this Sunday. And his website offers many other projects to be discovered.
Florian Bong-Kil Grosse and Unn Fahlstrøm
Schönhauser Allee 161, Berlin
April 4-14, 2014 — Tue-Sat 11am-4pm
Closing Reception: Sunday 3pm with Korean pancakes and dumplings
The artist’s website: www.bong-kil.net
All images courtesy of Florian Bong-Kil Grosse. Thank you for sharing your work with Urban Plant Research!