Bang Geul Han
Bang Geul Han (born in South Korea, 1978) is an interdisciplinary artist working across video, performance, text, and code. Her work ponders and probes the sociopolitical and cultural dimensions of language and text concerning social structures, representational systems, and understandings of self. Born and raised in Seoul, and based in the US since 2003, Han has shown her work in venues including the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Queens Museum, DOOSAN Gallery New York, NURTUREart, AIR Gallery, and Cuchifritos Gallery, all in New York; Galerie Les Territories and Project Pangée,Montreal; and Centro Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome. Han is a recipient of several artist residencies and fellowships, including an Artist in the Marketplace Fellowship at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace program, an AIR. Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellowship, a Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture residency, and a Center for Emerging Visual Artists Fellowship in Philadelphia. Her work has been reviewed in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, and Art Papers. Han received her MFA (2005) in Electronic Integrated Arts from NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University, NY, and her BFA (2002) in painting from Seoul National University. Han lives in Brooklyn and is an associatepProfessor at CUNY–College of Staten Island.
Photo by Steven Pedersen.
Terre de Tendre
Bang Geul Han (born in South Korea, 1978) is an interdisciplinary artist working across video, performance, text, and code.Artist Bio
Terre de Tendre functions as an immersive world-exploration video game loosely based on Carte du Tendre—a map of an imagined land created by a group of women in 17th-century France that charts the path toward true love. Mixing the fantastical with real-world elements, the game uses themes of interdependency, memory, empathy, and care among humans and nonhuman agents to approach and reframe contemporary questions concerning the ongoing migration crisis. In the game’s world space, the player is accompanied by Alma, a small cinder-block shack (reminiscent of ad hoc shantytown structures) with human legs. The landscape is embedded with stories generated by a Natural Language AI model, trained upon texts stemming from the 2019 Flores v. Barr lawsuit, in which migrant children offered accounts of their journeys and experiences, relating hope and resilience as well as despair and humiliation. The player and Alma travel between ten villages to collect stories allowing Alma to enter a new land. Each town is named and conceptualized after the locations in Carte du Tendre, such as Backstabbing, Care of Small Things, Meanness, and Inequality. The project incorporates generative and responsive systems, which means that the visual design and nature of interactions within the game world evolve and change in undetermined ways, reflecting the choices and behaviors of the player.