Jeong Jeong-ju

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Education2002   Meisterschueler by Prof. Hubert Kiecol               
2002   Diplom, Kunstakademie Duesseldorf, Germany, Department of Sculpture 
1995   BFA, Hong-Ik University, Department of Sculpture 

Selected Solo Exhibition2010   Illusion, Kim Chong Yung Museum, Seoul, Korea
2010   City of Gaze, Gallery Chosun, Seoul, Korea
2008   City of Gaze, Vanguard Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2007   InsideOut, Art Space Pool, Seoul, Korea 
2007   City of Gaze, Plus Galery, Nagoya, Japan 
2005   Strange Visit, Project Space Zip, Seoul, Korea
2005   Bodyscape, Gallery Shinsegae, Gwang, Korea

Selected Group Exhibition
2011   Media season in heyri, Donhwanara, Paju, Korea
2010   A Dialogue Between Art and Design, Hongik Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
2010   Digital Landscape, Daejeon Art Center, Korea
2010   Beyond Surface Culture, Space CAN, Seoul, Korea

Award2010   Artist of Today, Kim Chong Yung Museum, Seoul, Korea
2004   New Face 2004, Seoul, Korea
2003   Shinsegae art award, Gwangju, Korea
2002   16th. Bergische Kunstausstellung, Solingen, Germany
2001   Jungerwesten 2001, Recklinghausen, Germany 
2001   Emprise Art Award, Duesseldorf, Germany

Residency2009-2011   Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON 1st-term residency artist, Seoul, Korea
2006   Goyang International Artists Studio Program, Goyang, Korea
2003   Ssamzie space studio artist, Seoul, Korea

The art works or the model of buildings that I make focus on the spaces like the living room and the bathroom that I have previously lived in, the gymnasium and the dormitory that I have experienced, reproducing the authentic impression and atmosphere these spaces give off. I arrange the most basic architectural conditions like the size and the structure of a room, the location of a window, and intensity of the light in order to capture the unique aura in three dimensional building structures. What is interesting is the fact that the eye of a camera is included within such a structure.

Through the eye of the camera I have been researching how the authentic aura of each space is experienced by certain visual conditions. The camera could be understood as a tool to investigate the relation between the physical and perceptive locations.

The model of actual space with the camera installed inside allows spectators to get the inside information only through the eye of the camera. Spectators who desire to gain a complete understanding are faced with the physical impossibility of entering into the space.
They can only experience the feeling of being inside by injecting their emotions into the eye of the camera. In this sense the camera in my work is the extended as well as the expanded independent eyes.

40 Rooms
aluminum, monitor, 49×35×28cm

City of Gaze
12 models of Buildings made of paper, wood and acryl, 7 video cameras, video projector, 4 motors, LCD Monitor, flexible installation
Villa (Susaegro, Seoul)
a model of a Villa made of sheet zinc, 24 LCD monitors, 400×170×90cm

Villa (Susaegro, Seoul)
a model of a Villa made of sheet zinc, 24 LCD monitors, 400×170×90cm

old roof tile, window tile, floor tile from boggeon province, china
8 video cameras video projector, flexible installation

Stage as ‘Brain’ or ‘Room’
                                                        Lee Won-gon, Professor of Dankook University, Media Art Theory

What is an architectural space or room for man? Irrespective of lexical meaning, I would like to define it as a device enabling and protecting life or a way of communicating with the outside through a closed or open spatial composition. A cell, bearing tiniest life forms, can be seen as a room, and a public building for social activities is a base for life or human activities. It is a space, but evolves into a place with a certain context where life goes on and memories accumulate.

Jeong Jeong-ju’s space-models are mostly reproductions of buildings he has resided in or visited. These are spaces, but appear in monochrome, as if manipulated by computer, within abstract space. These are natural results of cutting and assembling paper, wood, or aluminum. These results coincide with the fact modern architecture is made up of pillars, slabs, and wooden plates, assembled using geometric grids.

Despite their titles, these space-models seem to float after losing identity. Edward Relph (1944~ ) stated all places lose their identity as their appearance and atmosphere is identified, thus prompting a superficial experience. He referred to this as ‘placelessness’. Jeong’s model-spaces have codes for their purposes, but float like planets filled with ether, as in Metaphysical Star. Like an empty house he effaces details, objects, and even records of incidents from spaces he staged. These spaces thus appear non-existent, or like a stage on which another incident will occur.

Time unfolded before visitors is perhaps the dawn devoid of the trace of people. Like the dawn of Paris that Eugene Atget (1857~1927) captured, the stage where a theater came to an end emphasizes its emptiness, with bright light from dark shadow. Visitors can revive their memories of a space the stage or abstract space imitates, or imagine a deleted incident. Jeong’s work presents a fake reality, and allows pure imagination. Spectators realize they are like specters in ‘a living stage’ and become the object of another gaze, because of a moving camera. The hierarchy between this fake reality and spectators becomes shrouded in mystery, raising cycles of relationships between reality and magination, fake and genuine, seeing and being seen. As the gaze is generalized, even objects gaze at me from in the city. The device is like a theater that resembles the brain, drawing us to
its storytelling.

Instead of memories hovering like illusions in his previous work, human imagery appears concrete in works displayed in this show. In 40 Rooms (2010) 40 images that look like CCTV images or snapshots are contained in a latticed aluminum frame. These are aspects of a group of people existing in a frame like a cell. These were small video images arranged in a monitor in lattice, but viewers cannot see the images as a whole because of the aluminum partition before the images, so each video image is sensed as a sway of light reflected onto the aluminum partition. The artist shows this effect is the nature of our gaze, the limit and feature of reality we experience through our eyes, underscoring their difference from images captured by the camera.

This law of the gaze is applied to The Villa (Susaek-no) (2010). In this work light from televisions blinking from apartment windows at night signify each resident’s life, and an incident in their brains. A scale model of a military apartment in Susaek-no turns into an unfamiliar scene when wrapped in a zinc plate’s swaying, diffused light. In such rooms residents expound their wounds and reactions through narratives and performances. These are all a line of incidents showing the experience residents had in relation to the external world, how they heal wounds they earned, and how life goes on. While his previous work clarified the relationship between the gaze, the subject of consciousness, and the object, underlining a structural sense of through intensely controlled lighting, in 40 Rooms the viewer’s gaze sways among cells; and in The Villa it wanders among residents. These works, which emphasize unstable visual angles and the world’s complexity, are posterior to his previous work, so we must wait to define the evolvement his work accomplishes.