Museum of Contemporary Art of Castille and Leon [MUSAC], Spain
Curator: Octavio Zaya

The New Silk Roads is a research project involving a series of journeys whereby the artist, urban theorist, curator and activist Kyong Park explores the new rapidly expanding and transforming urban landscapes that are emerging in Asian cities and regions. The title of the project and the regions travelled through allude to the Old Silk Road as one of the earliest landmarks of globalisation.

Making use of the method of urban research he calls “nomadic practice” Park has endeavoured a number of successive expeditions through regions and cities along the intricate route between Istanbul and Tokyo, first documenting the physical evidence of the urban mutations⎯through photographs, videos and interviews—and later combining them with data, information and analysis.

The project encompasses several objectives, such as the investigation of the new cultural, economic, political and social relations that are developing between East and West and the spatial and physical effects of globalisation, placing special emphasis on the relations between material movement (products, work and resources) and immaterial movement (information, capital and services).

For MUSAC Park has created an investigation and documentation space for the display of each and every one of the textual, documentary, visual, graphic, statistical and geographic elements that shape the complex framework sustaining the whole work-in-progress. This multidisciplinary space is complemented by the inclusion of photographs, maps, projections and a detailed itinerary and timing of the expeditions made in recent years through Eurasia, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Northern Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

The result can be conceived as an attempt to trace the relations between all these elements by seeking an understanding of the dynamics of urban transformation accompanying the social, economic and political evolution of the Asian continent.

Kyong Park (Tong Yeong, South Korea, 1955) graduated from the University of Michigan in 1978 with a degree in architecture and he is currently an associate professor of Public Culture at the Visual Arts Department of UCSD, San Diego, U.S.A. His most outstanding achievements include founding and directing diverse centres specialised in the study of urban space: StoreFront for Art and Architecture, New York; the International Center of Urban Ecology in Detroit and the Centrala Stichting voor Toekomstige Steden of Rotterdam.

This project has been supported by UCSD-University of California, San Diego (U.S.A.), The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts, Smac Scribemedia Art and Culture, assisted by his team of research and visualization (Kael Greco, Jia Gu, Alexandra Lerman, Laura Hanna, Giacomo Castagnola, Andrea Dietz and Sean Franklin).

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