The Right to be Here, the Monument to Save Today

Woo Hyunjung

A monument is a public sculpture built to honor a person or event. Most of them are signs of the nation's historical achievements, but on the contrary, they are also used as an important symbol in the rituals of reflection on not repeating past mistakes or following great sacrifices. The lesson of the monument is significant when it rescues the present from failure or at least delaying the failure, regardless of the success or failure of the past it has endured. In other words, the monument presupposes failure. Then, what kind of present was Sunghyeop Seo's Monument built on top of?

Topological Sense,
plywood stained with ink, motor, wooden marbles, mixed media,
240x300x300cm (Engineering Design_ARSIO),
Ink-painted plywood was used as the main material for the 250-centimeter-high sculpture and was constructed by connecting Doric columns, one of the Greek-Roman architectural styles, with tetrapods that can be easily found around the breakwater. Overall, it follows the form of a tetrapod, but the upper part of the Doric column is transformed at the tip of the four legs to make a passage for the sound to flow back and forth. The two objects that make up this monument are typical things selected by the artist, and the two are the representatives of two worlds with very different properties because they have no point of contact in their origin, characteristic, or purpose. The meeting of two different beings leads to misunderstanding, alienation, and disconnection, and this is the reality underneath Seo's Monument. The same goes for the low narration flowing around the Monument and the strange languages that are written on the top pillar of the tetrapod. The story that is written in Polish consists of the episodes of mistranslation that occur when different cultures collide and the loopholes in stereotypes. The slight conversations between the artist and those who are close to him are things that would make you giggle and smirk. However, minor events that will enrich someone's life begin to ask about the individual's position in the social class as they are ignited by words (narrations) and writings (texts) within the Monument.

Gosu Paravan,
plywood stained with ink, drum, motor, arduino, speaker,
120x60x49cm (Engineering Design_ARSIO),
The Monument is a being that moves away from the two objects that gave birth to it and floats out of orbit while losing its function. It cannot support or block something while staying in a place that is not a temple or an ocean. Due to such placelessness, the Monument could be easily pushed out of society and is difficult to be recognized. We are ungenerous at giving complete space because we believe that the act of welcoming and embracing new human and non-human members is only natural. (Let us think about the difference between refugees and tourists. The alienation of radical figures or hybrid objects is also the same case.) How it is received in reality is still important, and recognizing others becomes the cornerstone of acquiring my space. In that sense, the unfamiliar appearance of the Monument and the out-of-the-way style of conversation are disturbing and dangerous. Something that cracks familiar landscapes cannot be welcomed easily. The courage of creating a new place while claiming the right to be here is a gesture that makes someone uncomfortable. The Monument is a device that prevents concepts, such as freedom, equality, and tolerance, from becoming abstracted and is an anchor that holds them in place so that they are not scattered in the air by false declarations. In order for the present to not fail, more objects like the Monument are needed. The Monument testifies through its existence that you should not become used to the language, power, relationship, and structure that support reality. What it insists is to be aware of the fact that someone's existence itself might be denied while you are paying close attention to someone's promise that your rights will be securely protected.

plywood stained with ink, gold pigment, 250x245x275cm,
The Monument says firmly, yet softly, “My place is here.” Even when you do not raise your voice or be upset, it shows its existence. In order to grasp the speech style of the Monument, I would like to look again into the two objects that gave birth to it. The columns and tetrapods have stable proportions, but they are rarely used alone. They are part of the whole, and what they have in common is that they require different beings. In order to function properly, they have to be shoulder-to-shoulder with their resemblances. This reveals the interdependence of objects that no being can be alone. This is the strategy of how Seo's Monument saves today differently from other monuments. It has to be the one that makes its place, and it looks around while letting others know that it does not need someone's approval. Sometimes, it reaches out to them while showing its inability. The union of western columns and tetrapods is a solidarity of those left alone and a welcoming greeting for a new existence.

Hyunkyung Kim, People, Place, Hospitality, Moonji Publishing, 2015
Hiroki Azuma (translated by Cheon An), Philosophy of the Tourist, Luciole, 2020

(Overwhelmingly) Swollen Lo-fi Desire (too early) to be Dead: between raw objects and relief

Sungah Choo

Online streamer Cherry Jang, president Dae Wang Lee, and Natasha, who has been handy for their businesses with her multifaceted talents, can be considered the three key figures of Sungsil Ryu's world. After Ryu intentionally killed Ms. Jang, whose business was flourishing and was highly regarded by a bunch of unspecific individuals, she carried out a live performance of Cherry's funeral (Goodbye Cherry Jang, 2020). However, she revived Cherry's act by having her enjoy greater glory in heaven and explicitly reveal her status. In addition, an ancestor's elevator pitch, which preaches that the ancestor is looking after his descendants and that they need to honor other ancestors with similar appearances as himself, highlights unceased endeavors of deceased individuals toward the next generations through the unique frivolous and resilient Confucian culture (Mr. Behind, 2022). In her recent piece on a companion dog's funeral, Ryu summons the subject of death once again against the backdrop of Dae Wang Lee and his entourage's growing ambition through the successful red ocean strategy of Lee's new business, Big King Pet Funeral Services. As such, the basic targets of the business operated by the main characters with secular desires are consumers that are not presented in the work, and at the same time, the targeted audience is ambiguous. As spectators of the piece, we are uncertain of their primary consumers. However, what is clear is that it penetrates human desires, which are based on somewhat comfort for emotionally unstable individuals and the nosiness of burning love. The by-products derived from the most common desires and anxiety and a form of desperation for one's passion would have business specificity inclined to unique bizarre creativity because they actually belong to surprisingly pure hearts.

BJ Cherry Jang 2018.9,
single channel video, 11 min,

Ryu's work style of YouTube-style compact video composition and the interactive user interface format shifted to 8-bit video graphics (Never Ending Family, 2019) and rough low-resolution images, and relief layers (I'm Not Dead!, 2022) linked to and derived from her videos gradually began to cover them. Low-resolution images and crude relief coverings are the reminiscents of the K-consumption culture, like shallow on-the-spot signboards and careless layers of glossy veneer sheets covering previous signs. This would be portrayed as inaccurate errors of lo-fi, and at the same time, it would be considered as taking a more inclusive attitude toward the relationship with the general public, rather than interpreting the perfect value. As a result, it leaves possibilities in connection to being less complete, like the low-quality noise or statics of lo-fi with poor sound quality. Furthermore, flamboyant video images and surfaces and lumps of all sorts of harmful properties protruding from them became supporters of each other. The artificially colored urethane foam and pink insulation foam protruding through the gap like a group of individuals with the same overgrown ambition would turn a blind eye for each other, the artist's touch that weaved, molded, and painted the reproducible elements to materialize the texture of the object on the layers of surfaces is her sincerity that represents the desire of the majority. However, the physical shells and lumps that Ryu began to create reveal the existence of raw objects as heavy entities that hold on to gravity as seen above the institutional sphere, and they borrow Korean senses that rapidly volatilize and begin to expand to high-resolution relief screen pieces composed of lo-fi.
On the one hand, the growing mass of matter surrounding a flat and clear display serves as a device that holds the sensation which prevents it from melting over the flow of time. At this time, it plays like a purely compressive visual surplus within the segmented screens and the scenes where the roles of the characters are reproduced, rather than urgently exposing any deficiencies as if it needs to be filled with fiction. The artificial screen construction creates a strange tension between oddly disparate differences, and the boundary between image consumption and physical shells is expressed on the screen as compressed desires pretending to be relaxed. As this is supported by physical pillars of hopeful and tangible desires to be realized on top of reality, the possibility of will among high tensions is maximized. A sort of fusion of objects and data with relief shells attached in the front and back weaves socially activated functional aspects and commonly used and reemitted formats within flat screens into lump data, in other words, fragmented data. It also confirms that forms and textures are inseparable. This is the result of the artist's cynical view of the public toward the demands of viewers being reverted into physical properties such as lumps, structures, textures, and forms. If we look back, the continuous use of artificial wreaths from Ryu's earlier works, which were not intended as reliefs using the sculptural method, can be also considered as the starting point of the relief in her pieces. In particular, Ryu mentioned that an artificial wreath is, "an object that serves as a great shell.”Thus, it is flamboyant and cumbersome and a shallow object at the same time. It is a by-product emanating from innocence and earnestness.

Bigking Travel Ching Chen Tour - Mr. Kim's Revival 2019,
single channel video, 25 min,

One of the unique flower businesses in Korean society, artificial wreaths are used for various occasions in Korea. The form consisting of multiple tiers and diverse shapes basically became unified into a universal design due to their specificity of transportation and installation requirements, and for a while, illegal reuse of them in order to maximize profits in the industry was a problematic issue. The intriguing point here is that a kitsch combination of the general form, color, and structure of wreaths used for events has become the most broadly accustomed norm for flower culture and that they are used for all death-related occasions. Ryu brought artificial wreaths to Cherry Jang's funeral and to the funeral of a dog named Princess and modified them. Through her nonchalant attitude toward the usage of seemingly insignificant objects that are merely just shells, she aims at bloated human desires which commercially tackled the most defenseless state of human beings facing death. In particular, the long wall (The Burning Love Song, 2022), which monumentally commemorates the dead entities to the extent that it is excessive, is like a portal on the border between this world and the underworld. The most practical and effective sheets are used to create realistic fake surfaces. How efficient is it? The ingenuity and frivolity devised in the funeral business with a high turnover rate are converted into efficiency, and you can get a glimpse of Ryu taking her absolute stance from the business owner's perspective. The unique one-time nature and lightness of imitations also emerged as the shell of Big King Travel, which proposes a filial piety package tour to Ching Chen. The sculpture of the Ching Chen landscape protruding (Ching-Chen, 2022) feels like a megalith vertical monument or a street sign for advertising.

I'm Not Dead!,
motor, mixed media, 150x200x280cm,

Recent works that have absorbed raw objects and reliefs are equipped with materials themselves, printed glossy sheets, artificial grass, urethane foam, artificial wreaths, and lo-fi displays. Ryu's recent works are surprisingly blended in as a part of images on sheets. The scope has more skillfully expanded from images and video glitches to the physical properties of the medium. Her work style is extremely straightforward and brazen to grasp whether it is an error or not. Furthermore, just as the shameless attitude of Cherry Jang, Dae Wang Lee, and Natasha absorb the customer base, the K-consumption culture blew up, and the desires of both producers and consumers are represented by Ryu's physical gesture that seems to be able to embrace errors. The small desires longing for the days when all our small dreams would come true are gathered together and transformed into a massive snowball and became a part of an irreversible high-resolution image. It feels almost like a waste to kill the main characters just yet.

Unable to Succeed and be Sufficient

 Hyukgue Kwon

You will encounter a multi-colored spectrum that delicately oscillates within a canvas, an image that seems to be flowing along the surface of air or liquid. When a viewer's shadow overcasts over the surface of the painting that does not indicate a specific figure, the image flutters with the shadow. As the observer converges one's gaze and concentration into the canvas, he/she may feel an unspecific emotional level, temperature, and touch, or the magnetic field of the view may leave behind remnants of some sort.
The motive for Keem Jiyoung's recent work, Glowing Hour, is found in a specific target called candles. However, the series of works does not reproduce the object. They are on the same line as Blue Series (2018), which specifically revealed sinking ships or collapsing cement buildings and such, and the candle sculpture of praying hands displaying a charred black wick, Look at This Unbearable Darkness (2019) but are presented in a different form. Their appearances are also distinguishable from Sleep (2015), which attempted to recreate the motif of death and sacrifice by overlapping it with a sleeping face. Glowing Hour does not depend on the imitative depiction of the object. These paintings do not show what is commonly referred to as conceptual or concrete figures. However, they manifest the image of fire, a mere lambent of a certain state. Just as the cropped and enlarged image of an object becomes distant and abstracted from its origin, the painting in front of you appears as a visual image that eliminates the explanatory elements of the object called a candle.

Installation view of Scattering Breath, P21, 2022

However, Keem's works are often described as the logic of reproduction. The reason may be that her works have been continuously recalling the incident of April 16, 2014, and in the case of Glowing Hour, it might be because they are visualization of the object, candlelight. For the same reason, it is said that Keem's pieces recreate something in an allusive and indirect way. Is reproduction an actual method utilized for the Glowing Hour series? These paintings simply display large red-colored surfaces, right? What do we see from them? They continually evoke tragedy and disaster, but they never directly present tragic and disastrous scenes. Maybe we need to accept the fact that these ambiguous and blurred beautiful paintings would never take a form of recreation.
Peter Osborne reexamines the critical discussions that stirred over Gerhard Richter's abstract and aesthetic paintings introduced in the late 80s in his writing titled Abstract Images: Sign, Image, and Aesthetic in Gerhard Richter's Painting (1998). He explains that in Richter's photo paintings, photographic characteristics function as an index rather than the figurative likeness of a certain object. Furthermore, he said that the decision of smearing the image using a squeegee is the result of taking only the directive function without any iconic similarity. In other words, he is saying that they are not abstract images with iconic resemblances and that they are simply generating symbols, meanings, and observations through directives. Perhaps Keem's paintings found themselves in a predicament that was not much different from what Richter's abstract paintings had to deal with in the 1980s. The point is that even the remembrance of April 16, 2014, incident is considered abstract and overly aesthetic which can be seen as formalism. However, Keem's recent pieces act as directive symbols that evoke meanings even though they do not appeal to specific iconic resemblances, despite being aesthetic and abstract. They are activated while overcoming the media conditions of the time, including photos and videos, without prompting metaphors and symbols.

Glowing Hour,
oil on canvas, 405×194cm,

On this premise, the relationship between the artist's past works and the series of Glowing Hour can be examined. Based on her past works, including the reproduction of visible objects, and the reproducible functions of contemporary media, photos, videos, and text that were part of the past works, we can infer whether the recent pieces are seeking to represent something other than an iconic resemblance. For example, we see Paengmok Harbor in her video work Glow Breath Warmth (2020). Since 2014, Paengmok Harbor and the nearby sea have had a special meaning for the temporary community that can be referred to as us. It embraces the unclarified tragedy, Sewol Ferry victims, inadequately concluded condolences, and those who paid their condolences, and it ceaselessly calls for an ethical responsibility to remember a certain issue. The indicative state of the video is clearly quite influential in viewing her paintings. Nevertheless, to be exact, the abstract paintings are drifting away from the actual tragic scene. Thus, the gap between the video and the paintings, between the indicative symbols and the physical traces, and between the expanding meanings and the meaninglessness can be confirmed. Such opaque images continue to create cruxes between symbols, meanings, and the possibility and impossibility of reproduction. The images of the color surface, which their meanings cannot be hastily anchored and only unknown and heavy emotions are presumed, are continuously pushing us to verify something.
The series of Glowing Hour, which would be better to be said abstract, nevertheless engages in the tragedy of that day, forming candles and several semantic networks surrounding them. To be exact, Keem's paintings are attempted in the position of those bereaved of the victims, in other words, those grieving. Therefore, the artist does not choose to reproduce the tragic disaster, but the method of mourning is embodied while the indicative state is planted inside the images. The abstract paintings in which nothing is apparent are related to mourning, although they could be understood as evoking candles or the sea where the tragedy transpired.

Installation view of Scattering Breath, P21, 2022

Judith Butler wrote, “I am not sure I know when mourning is successful, or when one has fully mourned another human being.” (Butler, J. [2006]. Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. [p.20]. Verso.) This sentence does not mean that we should continue our condolences forever, or that we should abandon the enigma in an enigmatic state eternally. Instead, we need to sincerely advocate to face the state of mysteriousness itself, which can never be successful unless we busily promise to do so. Keem's paintings might be taking part in this baffling state of grief and bereavement. The images that the artist is presenting are standing where those bereaved and those mourning are, those who can grasp the desperate efforts and pain of the victims only in their own grief. The artist understands the sorrow that captivates and dominates us and the opacity of unfinished condolences as a property of an image.
As an audience, all we see are abstract paintings as simple facts, and traces of brushwork that follow color and light. As such, the series Glowing Hour does not easily allow the visible image to instantly adhere to a specific meaning. I hesitate to explain the artist's recent pieces in any other connotation that candles symbolically embrace or refract. The brush strokes as traces of some sort of a mind, time, and action are significant enough without specific declarations and instructions of figures. Keem's paintings leave an opacity as a purely visual state through aesthetic convention. In other words, the emerging method of an image in a painting is to make the impossibility of internal clarification a kind of essential condition. Keem Jiyoung's works embrace the inexplicable sorrow brought by the loss and embody the situation that is incomprehensible as how it is. By doing so, they compel the tragedy to not become something that could be simply remembered or disregarded. The abstraction and opacity of the paintings/images make us face mourning, which Butler says cannot be successful or be fulfilled, as something internal and present. As such, her works tell us not to be swept away by the unclarified ambiguous facts and sentimental metaphors but to face the loss that is already originated in the paintings or us. Maybe we can compare all these processes to the procedure of grieving that encounters unfathomable loss. The mourning attempted here is to repeatedly confirm the fact that not only some entity's life has come to an end but also that the world and others are gone (those out there are already within me).

 The Neverending Story

 Jihan Jang
An exhibition is a place where works with autonomous senses are displayed, but it is also a space where events of creation, extinction, or construction and dismantlement take place. Perhaps this is largely the perspective of artists. For the artist ahead of an exhibition, this venue is also a place of internal challenge to go towards the opposite side of the familiar senses, but at the same time, it is also a physical arena that needs to be filled with something. Changing the quality of space is an obligation included in the contract that an artist signs with someone. For the implementation of the contract, the space must be filled and pieces need to be produced. The labor required for the production of sensory things, whether it is a matter or non-material, is actually impossible to calculate. However, there is a practice of writing contracts, and there are side agreements that are not specified in the contract. The venue must be emptied at the end of an exhibition for other works. Works must be produced, but they are stored somewhere at the same time. In most cases, the fate of the pieces after the exhibition is not included in the contract. Of course, the fate of contemporary artworks ends up in destinations unexpected in the past centuries. In our era, they become data through smartphones and are stored in the cloud. What if the journey's end of artworks after exhibitions is not storage where they are stacked against each other, but an archive of vast images of viewers' bodies and private memories intertwined with them? Should we say that they gained eternal life or disappeared into the deep darkness that will never see the light again?

Untitled (yesterday tomorrow),
animation, 1 min (loop),

Artist Siwon Kim defines these overall prerequisites that support the exhibition as conditions or situations. In fact, in most cases, the physical conditions of exhibition lose their priorities against autonomous senses and are often hidden behind perceptions. The moment when Kim says conditions or situations, he is revealing the various aspects of contracts that are understood but could be pretended to be unknown, through critical consciousness. In other words, he can no longer concentrate only on creating an autonomous sense in space. If the perception of the condition or situation surrounding exhibitions precedes the reproduction by playing with matters or images, he must start working elsewhere.
This does not mean that the artist completely rejects the situation given to him and is immersed in uncovering the truth of the situation. In other words, his critical consciousness surrounding the dynamics of exhibitions does not criticize the system. The conditions of exhibitions cannot be accepted nonchalantly, but they are not subject to criticism and dissolution. In the process of accepting the conditions, Kim intends to establish his own unique place of creation. The condition of the exhibition, which must be denied by the artist, paradoxically seems to be another condition of creation itself.

Untitled (yesterday tomorrow),
performance, video, 1 min (loop),

Regarding the 2008 exhibition at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), the artist wrote, "After a long contemplation, I decided to participate.” His hesitation was due to poor support and insufficient time. The museum only provided partition walls, pedestals, lighting, painting, and transportation, and he had a little over two months of time. The condition given to the artist was for autonomous pieces, but he accepted the arrangement for other “works.” For the installation Untitled (Sleeping Time Box), the artist recorded and arranged the sleep time for 34 days from the day he decided to work on the project to the day before the transportation of his pieces. Recording and organizing are more of an act that stands on the opposite side of the autonomous senses, that is, “works” faithful to the schedule rather than an amusement that crosses boundaries. Also, the time of the night he recorded is not darkness and silence for the depth of creation, but nights for resting opposite to the days for working. Like this, the act of replacing creation and autonomy with daily life and rules would be a denial of the conditions given to the artist. He writes about this negative space in the form of instruction and writes the promise that he wants to keep on paper, instead of the contract usually agreed upon between the artist and the institution.
However, the denial of a given condition paradoxically becomes the prerequisite for the forms that fill the exhibition space to be created. Kim wants to transfer the record of sleep time to a three-dimensional space. In this process, following the instructions written by the artist himself is a denial of the condition as it is. Performing the directive does not just end as a work of recording and organizing, but the record is transformed into preconditions for the form of squares through mathematical calculations. The series of events of recording, organizing, calculating, and producing move toward the opposite direction of the incident that the given condition expects. The contract conditions of providing pedestals and transportation of works are not simply preparing a place for an autonomous piece and transporting it. It only leaves the white boxes produced as a result of the calculation in place.

3 channel video, 24 hours,

Nevertheless, we cannot say that Untitled (Sleeping Time Box) is the practice of idleness. We encounter his works, such as Kim actually rows but a boat hovers in the same spot ((Untitled (Explorer)), the practice of continued act of crumpling the same sheets of paper once a day for a year (Untitled (One Day One Year Lifetime)), and the walking without quitting that has the purpose in walking itself ((Untitled (Walking)). However, from his purposelessness and his space of recording and organizing against aesthetics, we witness the time of existence at the same time. Of course, the white boxes freely placed in his Untitled (Sleeping Time Box) might be pedestals without a sculpture or a special object as Donald Judd defines. Considering that the viewers could freely walk around the boxes, touch them, and sit on them to rest as intended by Kim, it is also a space of relationship. However, the denial of this condition, which leads to the production of phenomenological experiences and relationships, is also an existential diagram materialized in the space that can be seen from a distance. The different heights of the boxes provide a place of experience for the visitors, but they are also a record of sleeplessness for the artist. He overlapped his existence in the space of idleness, in which the positions of aesthetics are deleted through the denial of conditions. He also brings in 34 days of time into the presence that physically invites spectators in. The surface of each box is a comfortable space for relaxation, but the collection of the boxes is a record of anxious nights. Through the denial of the conditions, Kim tried to reveal the traces of time that bind his spirit and the condition itself that regulates the body, not the irrationality and dynamics of power in the contract. He wrote about this work as "paying back through the exhibition,” returning his concerns. Of course, rather than a meticulous strategy, it should be said that his body is finally lifted without himself knowing it in the practice of idleness. This return of favors is going to be repeated indefinitely. This is not because the artist's instructions are a score that can be played indefinitely. This is because other conditions and situations will continue to bring him back to his original place.

 In between Swimming and Paddling

 Mijung Kim

As an artist, Doyoung Kim works with various categories, such as project planning and space management. There is something in common with what he does because he finds points of heterogeneous collision within the world surrounding him and finds ways to reveal them by tackling them with his entire body. When he said that he considered a turning point in his work as an artist, I wanted to hear more about the multi-layered narratives accumulated in his work rather than writing something that defines or organizes his works. This interview is a compressed record of the artist's plans as he prepares to experiment and expand the subjects and methods of his work and observations on the issues that he is faced with.

Video 6min, HD, Color, Sound, Subtitle(FR, ENG, KR), 

Looking back on your activities so far, such as planning and projects, it seems that you put significance on continuously working together. What do you think is the reason or motivation behind repeatedly taking on community-based artistic activities and forms?
I once lived in a flophouse area. While working on the flophouse-related piece and listening to the stories of those living there, I thought becoming their neighbor and living with them and capturing it as a video, rather than a formative creation, would be the right thing to do. Such a method is similar to my work in action. I think an artist must raise awareness by continuously exposing stories that others might ignore. Of course, there is indeed a limitation to the art as a tool, and still, onsite experiences are important for me. This is because I am always concerned about the subjective interpretation of other people's narratives. So whenever there is a community or topic that needs work-related research, I always go there in person and listen to their stories.
Then, in connection to this, let us talk about your recent solo exhibition, Pray for a Good X (2022). On the surface, the exhibition seems to refer to an environmental crisis centered on water, but in reality, it was intended to emphasize that there are neglected individuals in the middle of crises, which you have been consistently stressing. However, it is regrettable that the multilateral tiers were not revealed much in terms of formality. I am curious about your explanation of the exhibition and your assessment.
I have been working on water-related pieces and Pray for a Good X is a story about the people who are suffering in the era of capitalism, industrialization, and environmental pollution. The exhibition focused on water pollution. There was a time when the water supplied to the studio was not drinkable and could not even be used for brushing teeth. I was not the only person using this water. The people living in the area and migrant workers also used the water. I am well aware of how poor their environment is. That is why, I added mouthwash to one of the exhibited pieces, Objects, Dead Waters, to display my hope for purifying the contaminated water at the time which was not even suitable for brushing teeth with. The exhibition was prepared based on the data that were mainly researched and collected from polluted rivers, water sources, valleys, lakes, and seas for a year. Power units that are affected by temperature and humidity were placed in a metal tank for Hole: Leftover, and the piece was about global temperature, polluted water, and daily life affected by them. Although the theme of the exhibition was about the environment, I have been continuously working on water-related pieces so they were connected, and at the same time, I wanted to make people aware of those who have no choice but to live in such an environment. So, the theme was not actually about environmental issues. It was rather closer to wanting to talk about the people who were actually affected by them.

Hole: Leftover, 
Mixed Installation, 
Water and collected object operation in a steel circular tank. Steel Circular tank, Temperature and humidity sensor, electric motor, Gathering, Object, Water (2200t), Software: This Artwork controlled by Aduino control system and controls the operation of electric motor with temperature and humidity sensor, 

Swimming (2021), which is known as a turning point in your work, unfolds somewhat differently from your previous video works. Water Reverberation (2021) and Thirsty Land II (2021) present images and narratives in succession, centered on the questions in text format. You never learned how to swim, however, you repeatedly paddle away in the water and return to the shore in Swimming. As the will to cross certain boundaries and the difficulties intersect, you examine how the points you are currently contemplating about as an artist are linked to your body swimming. Meanwhile, the juxtaposed scene of refugees traveling to and from the strait at the beginning of the video seems to need an explanation. How can the refugees swimming or paddling be linked to your swimming?
The water that I look into is a mirror that projects the world and a space that metaphors human society. I cannot swim. Then, I thought about why I did not learn how to swim. Due to various personal situations that I had endured, this question became “Why did I not put in the effort?” In the past few years, I have been in many activities closer to social movements than work, and it was disappointing and felt flustered because they were not proceeding into my work. I thought maybe I was contented with the situation I was in, and as the number of showcasing new pieces and participating in exhibitions decreased, I told myself not to be lost in thoughts and to do something, so I started working on Swimming. However, when I went to Haeundae and swam the fear I felt was overwhelming. Still, when I actually did it, it was really refreshing. I realized that it was very important to unfold my story as a piece of work. Since this is not something that is only applicable to me, I want to share the stories of diverse characters. Regarding the refugees you asked about, I wanted to encompass commonality at the point of action rather than incidents. I wanted to talk about these acts of survival, such as flapping arms and kicking legs, as all the people in the modern world and as our common perspective instead of as an individual's narrative. The juxtaposed scenes should be seen as a kind of caption displayed as images. It would be better if you could sense it as modern people rather than as a person or an incident. As you have mentioned, it is a story about today's lives with repeated attempts to cross certain boundaries and frustrations. Just as I cannot survive without struggling in a human society, which is like the ocean, I think it would be the same for them as well. I want to look into their survival and their act of emitting signals.

Untitled (Series 'The House of Colonial Period')
Mixed Installation/Polytunnel (Wood, Plastic Wrap), Video 12'00" 
(1) 02'15" (2) Sound 02'30", Sound and Vibration Dynamic multi-system, Archive Photography,

At this year's open studio, the materials related to refugees stood out. I wondered how your interest in displaced beings, including refugees, would be reflected in your future work. I heard that you are going to Spain soon, so I would like to hear what kind of plans you have for the future as an artist.
I plan on meeting various people in the process of traveling along the route of refugees entering Europe from Africa. I am also going to visit Southern Morocco on the route of African refugees entering the Canary Islands, which is believed today to be where the ancient city of Atlanta was, and the point leading to Western Sahara. I think I will encounter people and legends in places that are connected to our modern-day lives and discover stories of people in person. I plan to work for two to three months in Spain and Africa traveling back and forth, and I think I am going to compile my stories for a solo exhibition in a year or two. I want to focus only on this swimming project this year, but I wonder if it will turn out well.

 Routes Guided via Constructed Interfaces

KIM Sung woo 
Daum Kim's work is the constructed domain based on interfaces. An interface refers to a physical and virtual medium designed to enable interaction and communication between objects or between objects and humans at the boundaries between dissimilar sorts. In other words, the concept of the connection environment seems appropriate to explain his work. This is because the artist's work captures the pattern of life or the state of society created on top of diverse social networks in the form of art by constructing an interface that crosses boundaries or intersects separated relationships. He observes a variety of structures and systems from the physical space that he encounters around him to the online environment and their operation principles and adds another narrative to them. It crosses the private and public domains and evokes social, cultural, political, and historical contexts at the macroscopic level based on memories or experiences at the microscopic level. Daum Kim's interface, which is extremely private and expands into a universal context at the same time, establishes some sort of events or a situations in the gap of space and becomes visible as a place.
The sense of penetrating the interface presented by the artist is generally linear and is not an easily readable narrative. He sometimes deviates from explicit narrative threads through ambiguous intent or fragmented text and draws the audience to an inconclusive destination. He also induces a certain tension through a series of sliding images that abscond from the smooth progression of the video. In addition, the sound, which generates a unique sense of presence, is in discord with the situation or image that the audience encounters. Moreover, it even aggressively demands emotional intervention from its spectators. Utilizing reproduced and constructed spaces at the macroscopic level in this manner, the flip side of formally imaged phenomena, and our interest in the realm of life that we live in, Daum Kim's work encourages us to adapt and experience through abstract senses of daily life that are often scattered rather than through clear narratives.

multi-channel video and sound installation 
(monitor, media player, fluorescent light, speakers, woofer), 
dimensions variable (video duration: 14min 51sec), 

Specific spaces and contexts are important backgrounds for his work because he focuses on the environment created based on networks where individuals and societies and micros and macros come in contact. In other words, in order to depict a specific environment consisting of a network of relationships, it requires a specific body of densely intertwined individuals and societies and micros and macros that constitute it, such as a space or a situation as a phenomenon. Furthermore, Kim renews the concept of a place by granting a sort of narrative on top of a space and a system that operate under such particular rules and conditions. According to Yi-Fu Tuan, space and place are similar words but have different meanings. A space has more abstract characteristics than a place. A place begins as an unspecified space, but the space turns into a place with identity when meanings and values are applied. In this aspect, Kim treats everyday space as potentialities that he can apply interfaces that he constructs. He transforms them into a place where narratives and senses that have acquired reality come to life and creates a sense of emotion. As such, he extracts narratives floating in some kind of space or environment and adds new sensory elements, like images and sounds, and turns them into events so that we can newly experience the time and space here, where we are standing now.
The artist summons the exhibition (venue) as the interface in his early work Mutually Mediated (2013). Precisely, some sort of virtual space reconstructed using computer graphics covered in dry and cold skin without any human body heat coincides with the narrative commencing the exhibition and presumes the environment as an exhibition hall. First of all, the viewpoint in the video penetrates and enters the digital display and swims in the space at a slow speed. Also, narratives that recite the hierarchy of communication and creative possibilities inherent in the form of viewing are added. Then, a character encountered on social media is incorporated as a part of the narrative to discuss the possibility/impossibility of communication. The clamorous conversation noise of people that can be heard intermittently and the lethargic background sounds push you to be immersed deeper in the imaginary situation guided by the narrative in the expressionless digital space. Ultimately, narratives that end in the inability to fully understand each other's intentions are embroidered on the transparent background of infinite and vastly open graphic tools, creating interesting paradoxes in themselves. An exhibition hall filled with floating words and writing, in other words, the artist acknowledges the intentions that cannot be fully matched under the horizon of the senses and the exteriors of words and writings presented by the exhibition experience. At the same time, because adequate communication is impossible, he leads to a narrative of division and expansion in the sense of making it possible.

Walking Lullaby
powder coat on bent steel, 5 channel speakers, artificial fur, 

The artist discusses the possibility/impossibility of each individual's full access and communication across virtual space, physical environment, and exhibition venues. Then, he continues to explore the boundaries of psychological alienation and isolation experienced by individuals on a more social level. To this end, the artist introduces the concept of ‘maengji’, which means landlocked property in Korean and can be literally translated into ‘blind land’. Landlocked property/blind land refers to land without a passage from the perspective of real estate and refers to a space surrounded by other lots that cannot be accessed by physical routes like roads. The artist extends this blind land through the concept of interfaces and explores the boundaries that arise within contemporary social and cultural contexts. First of all, in his work Blind Land (2016), which is named the same as the concept he utilized, the artist features three speakers who live in places with similar yet different historical and social backgrounds, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. They are those who bring others into their space, leave a specific space, or further face the space left behind. Through the narration, those who share their feelings about the space evoke the emotion of psychological density and depth inherent in the physical space that crosses the occupation and ownership of space and the psychological conflict that occurs there, the boundary between private and public spaces, and the narrative of memory. Furthermore, the three characters in the story have sentiments of personal experiences that filled up those spaces, relationships with others, and loss and memories. The story induces an emotional emptiness implied by a letter that does not reach its recipient and is not replied to, which ends by asking “How is it there?”However, sometimes the artist is determined to be the destination for connection himself as if he is actively trying to overcome the psychological boundaries that he faces and the emptiness that stems from them. For instance, in 24/7 Ambient Radio Music To Space Out (2020), he eagerly attempts to penetrate other people's time and space utilizing an online platform. For the project, Daum Kim temporarily created a live radio station on YouTube and shared music from his computer in real-time. The establishment of the online network allows the audience to access through digital displays in two-dimensional planes from their respective time and place, beyond the boundaries of physical contact. Moreover, the continuously played sound spreads from the artist's space to the space of others, promoting a sense of commonality. The interface is no longer a gap that cannot be filled but extends to the sentiment of solidarity stemming from hospitality.
On the other hand, the construction of the artist's interface encompasses the macroscopic context and is also visualized in a way that generates emotion. For example, in Three Suns (2018), which is based on a specific place, Daum Kim deals with today's conflict over the historical meaning of Gwangju against the backdrop of the architectural structure and purpose of the Asia Plaza, the wide open space in front of the Asia Culture Center (ACC) in Gwangju. Unlike the public building style that can generally be seen, the structure of the ACC is dug down from the ground level and the Asia Plaza located in the middle has the character of an open public area like a yard. The artist focuses on the nature of the space, thus its openness. He understands it as a structure that cannot easily accumulate common memories or experiences because of the constantly intersecting movements of people entering the area and also due to the views colliding from various heights. Furthermore, he introduces the Asia Plaza as a place without location-specific properties and provides an experience that overwhelms space through his luminous sound video work splitting from two colors, red and blue to white and black. The endlessly bifurcating video limited to the two-color axes recalls a dichotomous way of thinking and logic and he makes you sense the history of past conflicts, today's repeated divisions, and the signs of events that have been forgotten once again or have not yet occurred beforehand.

Blind land
4 channel video, 8 channel sound, 
dimensions variable (video duration: 9min.)

As such, based on his interest in the interface of relationships, Daum Kim's work raises questions about the conventional relationship style on top of the designed and reproduced spaces at the macro level, and he guides us to some kind of narratives that is embedded deep inside under the epidermis. This begins with the exploration of the psychological blocking experienced by individuals under today's social and cultural backdrops, questions about the space that derives from them, and the creation of places to overcome them. The artist's work built on top of the sense of absence and loss produced by the superficial relationship in today's society encompasses one side of the aspects and reality of the relationship between individuals and extends to the construction of an interface for a pathway to imagining the possibility of a new contact. Thus, his work creates a sort of a place in an everyday space by intersecting micros and macros and penetrating the sense of absence and generation. The interface of the connection created by Daum Kim brings space to life as a place by imagining events that occur when individuals meet each other while evoking another reality through the nonlinear crossing of the past and present. Furthermore, it leads to a kind of future where imagination and reality are blended. This can also be said to be an access route through which multiple meanings can occur, breaking away from existing narratives, meanings, or images. Through this path, we can dream of escaping from the space and system of reality, break down the boundaries between ourselves and others to enable new connections, reverse the existing context, and face aspects of the relationship we have formed in a new way.

Stay in 2023

Heemin Chung investigates the material potential of digital images by translating them into the mediums of painting and sculpture. Her work interrogates how technology has shaped contemporary approaches to art and its role in society. She reimagines art historical genres, including the landscape and still life, through poetic visual metaphor, engaging with experimental techniques to explore the function of texture and volume in her work. Born in Korea, Heemin Chung lives and works in Seoul.

When Our Palmline Meets
oil, acrylic, inkjet transferred gel medium, stainless chain on canvas, 260x194cm, 2021

Installation view of Busan Biennale 2022, mixed media, dimensions variable, 2022

Siren-Anemone and Her Reflected Self 3, 
acrylic, gel medium and UV print on canvas, 100x80cm, 2022

Installation view of V8 (N/A, 2022)

Being Hued 2, oil, acrylic, gel medium, UV print, stainless studs on canvas_dimensions variable, 2022

Distant Calling, oil, acrylic, inkjet transferred gel medium on canvas, 223x190cm, 2022

Installation view of Myths of Our Time (Thaddaeus Ropac, 2022)

Veiled Bride, acrylic, inkjet transferred gel medium, PLA print on canvas, 117x91cm, 2022

2015 MFA, Fine Art, Korea National University of Arts (Seoul, Korea)
2012 BFA, Department of Painting, Hongik University (Seoul, Korea)

Solo Exhibitions
2022 How Do We Get Lost in the Forest, P21, Seoul, Korea
2021 Soulites, Museumhead, Seoul, Korea
2020 If We Ever Meet Again, 021 Gallery, Daegu, Korea
2019 An Angel Whispers, P21, Seoul, Korea
2018 UTC-7:00 JUN 3PM, On the Table, Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
2016 Yesterday&s Blues, Project Space SARUBIA, Seoul, Korea
Group Exhibitions
2022 Myths of Our Time, Thaddaeus Ropac, Seoul, Korea
2022 10th Busan Biennale: We, On the Rising Wave, Busan, Korea
2022 V8, Cylinder & N/A, Seoul, Korea
2022 Your Present, Pace Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2021 Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Nam-Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
2021 Folding City, Eulji Art Center, Seoul, Korea
2020 Catastrophic Sensation, Soorim Art Center, Seoul, Korea
2020 Painting, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan, Korea
2020 Light and Crystalline, ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2019 The Best World Possible, Platform-L Contemporary Art Center, Seoul, Korea
2019 Psychedelic Nature, Artspace Boan, Seoul, Korea
2019 Korean Young Artists 2019: Liquid Glass Sea, MMCA Gwacheon, Gwacheon, Korea
2019 Tarte, Audio Visual Pavillion, Seoul, Korea
2018 Allover, HITE Collection, Seoul, Korea
2018 EVE, Samyuk Building, Seoul, Korea
2018 Gray Navy Black, Korean Cultural Center Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
2017 Snowscreen, Archive Bomm, Seoul, Korea

2022 SeMA Nanji Residency, Seoul, Korea
2020 MMCA Goyang Residency, Goyang, Korea
2019 Incheon Art Platform, Incheon, Korea
2018 K’arts Studio, Seoul, Korea

Awards & Nominations
2022 13th Doosan Artist Award, Doosan Yonkang Foundation, Seoul, Korea
2020 9th Sindoh Artist Support Program, Gaheon Sindoh Foundation, Seoul, Korea