Rhee Sei, Che Swann

, ,

Rhee Sei, Che Swann

Rhee Sei_Exercises of the Awasungu
video projection and written texts on walls, sound
Audio-visual installation

Che Swann+Rhee Sei, Sonic Carousel

I collect sounds from the day or someone’s records. I sometimes measure and calculate space and time. As an alchemist, I create an imaginary soundtrack with light and sound. My work is a collage of memories, narrative, and images. Images made of sounds are like a scene from the distorted world Franz Kafka(1883~1924) described; an ornamental pattern Alphonse Maria Mucha (1860~1939) portrayed in his posters;or sound furniture Erik Satie (1866~1925) produced.
— Che Swann

 Mural Painting, Picture Book, Screen: Images and words of psychological and physical narratives are
engraved on the wall and it begins to have a memory of its own like a living being. The body of the wall craves encounters with some ardent gazes, which will read and interpret the meanings of the spaces between lines on it and between frames on it. As the pages of a book or the surface of a screen, the explored and excavated wall can be linked to the pedigree of spatial montage in film. The space of the wall is occupied by words, images and sounds. Logic or mechanism of their appearances in and exits from it make it a screen of time-based art work.
— Rhee Sei

Rhee Sei+Che Swan_A Night of Automata
video projection on a wall, sound, on-the-fly programming, performer, movements and voices
intermedia performance
1 Rhee Sei_ An Essay on the Visibility of the Hidden 1
00:14:48, color, sound, 16:9, HDV+DV
single channel video version
The Glass Sewing Machine – A New Beginning of Cinematography
                                                                                                                   Hur Yoon-jin, Literature Critic

Rhee Sei is both a friend and keen competitor of painters, musicians, and poets. Since 2004 she has explored images and sounds generally, and in detail, images, music, sound before uttering, and phonetic language. Rhee intends to become an orchestra. She thus embodies her work in an orchestral manner. In one of her representative pieces An Essay on the Visibility of the Hidden I (2009) for example, she uses typography, photographed images, music, and narration, and generates intricate, elaborate rhythms, allowing theatrical gesture, Western painting, and cloth in diverse colors and forms to move rhythmically at the layer of images.
The screen in her work is not a backdrop of flat, transparent, or sleek representation. How legitimate and revolutionary an artist is suspicious of most backgrounds! Is a perfect-square screen dividing the world, simply an extremely tiny part? She posed this question in her first work Lost girls’ Self-portraits on the Wallpapers, the blackboards and the film(2004). In it she delineates fairytale-like, grotesque pictures on an overlap of drawing paper and a blackboard. A border between the paper and the blackboard is delicately exposed in the process of showing the pictures. Photographed objects are also re-photographed and projected. During this process, objects go through a delicate processing of printing paper and film.
In recent work Exercises of the Awasungu (2009/2010), she poses a fundamental question concerning the screen. What is a screen? Is a screen plane? Images she has photographed are projected onto the body of a performer, and the scene is photographed. As in The thousaned one nights, video images on a screen within another screen, are described in language, and then projected on the wall. In this installation, the screen appears opaque and refracted. She also renders patchwork on an uneven screen in different textures and colors. The term ‘patchwork cinema’, which she has aggressively employed since 2009, condenses her film while referring to her outstanding video-installation and indicates a self-reflective eye.
Her ‘patchwork’ begins from her love of discarded sculpture, like a radio, letters, childhood voice, memories or wounds, all lovable to one who is sewing. Such works as Weeping Men (2007) and Sleeping Old Creatures (2009) show an aesthetic synergy when trivial objects form a patchwork. Her stitching is an act of healing someone whose identity is damaged by oppression. In terms of technique, form, meaning and artistic ontology, this theme is significant. Traces of many individuals are engraved in intricate memories. The ashes and remains of time are buried in the name of the self. Being is ruptured when it is weakened by sorrow and suffering. Things forgotten enter the frame of everyday life. As the nature of the screen is inexplicable, we sway in a beautiful yet perilous world.
Rhee has matured through encounters with others. She worked with sound artist Che Swann for A Night of Automata (2009). It displays a work style of an artist interested in the relationship of voice and sound, language and music. Che’s recent performance Sonic Carousel (2010) shows how Rhee’s images added a warm mood to Che’s romantic, hypnotic, and aural landscape. She will create sound and aural landscapes through collaborative work, beyond processing and modifying existing sounds. I have not doubt their work will have abundant energy.
In MIA迷兒, MIA未兒 (2006), Rhee’s narration, like a female minstrel, expounds the relationship of beings, I, you, he, and her. “If you disappear, your voice also disappears” is the beautiful aphorism accounting for Rhee’s world. As if murmuring, others speak to us. Thanks to them, we become spectators viewing the world, stitching our being then presenting them as a gift to them. I anticipate her patchwork cinema, which she will make with a glass sewing machine.