Kim & Hyun

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Kim, Won Hwa
1980. 1. 24. born in Seoul
2008 B.F.A. Seoul National University College of Fine art
2012 Planning to graduate in Seoul National University graduate school of Fine art
Solo Exhibition
2011 Priapism, Kunst Doc, Seoul
Group Exhibition
2009 Going up 30, Yeonhee-dong project, Seoul
2008 The Cheonggye stream Arts festival ‘The Cheonggye stream, be dyed in dream', The Cheonggye stream, Seoul
2008 Shift to Third Space, The Korea National University of the Arts, Seoul
2008 animation : motion / emotion 展, Barome gallery, Seoul
Hyun, Chang Min
1977. born in Seoul
2006 B.F.A. Seoul National University College of Fine art
2012 Planning to graduate in Korea National University of Arts
Group Exhibition
2009 Platform in KIMUSA 2009, KIMUSA, Seoul
2008 dream - Illusions, gallery on, Seoul
2007 NEW WAVE , gallery YOGIGA, Seoul
2007 TOY ART, N seoul tower, Seoul
Kim &Hyun (Kim, Won Hwa, Hyun, Chang Min Cooperation)
Group Exhibition
2010 Bibliotheque, KT&G Sangsang Madang, Seoul
2009 Double Act, Sabina Arts Museum, Seoul
2009 Arts Museum Spring trip ‘Arts Museum Attack Incident’,Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
2009 Seogyo Sixty 2009 ‘The game for respect’, KT&G Sangsang Madang, Seoul
2009 EMERGING 9, Ssamzie space, Seoul
2008 Time and Space as the Object展, Seoul National Nuniversity Woosuk hall, Seoul
2008 OPEN STUDIO, Seoul National Nuniversity Woosuk hall, Seoul
2008 Rising writer‘Shooting for tomorrow’, Chenjeonggak, Seoul
Group Exhibition
2008 BANANA TASTED MILK展, Curiosity gallery, Seoul
Extra activities
2010 Geumcheon Arts factory 2nd term moved in artist, Seoul
2008 SOAF 2008, Coex The Indian Ocean HAll, Seoul

Kim & Hyun’s Korean Peninsula Report to Penetrate Individuals and Groups

Kim Jun-ki(Art Critic)

New media artist duo, Kim & Hyun, is a pair of artists who work both independently and cooperate on projects together. Though the pair majored in painting at the same college, they are computer-based new media artists who create their works by using a mouse in front of a monitor rather than holding a brush in front of a canvas. They are collaborators and through their cooperation and spirit of mutual assistance share both the good and the bad with each other. Kim Won-hwa, who primarily does 2D and 3D and animation work, and Hyun Chang-min, who mainly does video editing work, seem to have great potential to establish themselves as a new type of artist work in the medium and production system of the second media age. Changing social systems and the subsequent adjustments to rationality and emotion must be reflected by changes in technology. Under this assumption, artists must serve as a medium who reflect human emotions and conditions through the use of technical skills such as painting, photography, and editing. In this way, the duo’s Banana Milk reflects not only the microscopic view of Korean modernization, but also the macroscopic view of modern cities with their monument to high-rise buildings and squares.

Kim Won-hwa’s keyword is ‘Priapism,’ a condition in which the penis remains erected for many hours without any sort of sexual stimulation. Kim has made ‘priapism,’ the central concept of his work because it adequately reflects mechanisms of modern society. HisPriapism series include Priapism: DMC, Generator, and Sustainable World. The works are a sarcastic smirk about the fetishism of modern cities and a satire on the desire to capture capital through conspicuous publicness. Kim Wonhwa demonstrates uncontrollable urban growth though his installation pieces and the process of creation and destruction of urban environments though his videos. Two of his digital esquisse works are SLV SIT which parodies the Songdo Incheon Tower and SLV LTT which parodies the Lotte Tower, both of which are dealing with the biggest development scandals in recent history. There is a fetish for monumental urban architecture equipped with command centers to launch rockets into space. It is a common criticism that the costs to create and maintains these monumental high-rise structures in a cutting edge urban area which resemble displaced rockets on launch pads is astronomically monstrous. North Korea’s Kim Il-sung statue, which looms high above the population on a square base represents a reproduction of his image 10,000 fold, reflecting that this fetish still exists in modern science and technologybased societies even today. This fever for monumental statues exists not only in North Korea, but the South as well with statues of such figures as Lee Sun-shin, King Sejong, Lee Seung-man and Park Jung-hee all representing the desire for the dead to live forever. Hyun Chang-min criticizes the point of conspicuously public monumental statues in public places. One of his pieces in his Toppling Kings series, Collapsing Statues is an edited piece capturing the collapse of gigantic statues reminiscent of the toppling of regimes. Statue Position is a 3D video that tracks where Kim, Il-sung’s statue is located using the Google Earth system. Lee Sun-shin Statue Demolition is a work of art that captures the simulated scenario of the statue of Lee Sun-shin being torn down after Seoul is captured by North Korea. The video was created by editing and reversing video of the tearing down of the Myeongbaksanseong during the recent candlelight vigils. ‘The Happy Prince’, is a fairy tale written by Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). In the story, the prince becomes a statue and has a conversation with a swallow in the first person. Hyun used the basis of this story to criticize the cult of personality in North Korea.

The first works of art created by new media artist duo Kim & Hyun is the Banana Milk series. Bananas and milk were both symbols of the myth of growth for those who grew up in the 1980s under the rule of modernization and the paradigm of development. However, due to the disaster at Chernobyl accident, this was a tragic time to make people eat daily products made from imported raw materials from Germany. Banana milk, however tasted enough like bananas that it supported the myth of an imagined modern Korean society. Kim & Hyun’s model is composed of 5 bottles of banana milk as well as a helicopter, bulldozer, a statue of a general, a tank, and vehicles used to repress protests. Authoritarianism surrounded the Korean Peninsula, and during the 1980s the main topics of conversation were the problems of imperialism and colonization, the spirit of the age, incitement of democratic propaganda relying on military culture, military dictatorship and democratization, all of which were symbols of the representative frame. The pair is working on a large-scale version of this piece comprised of a steel frame and PET film. Animated versions of the helicopter and tank have already been produced. It is rare to see artists such as Kim & Hyun who frugally reflect the recent past as well as the present of the Korean peninsula. They do not merely reflect personal experiences at the microscopic level, but rather encompass the experience of an entire generation and depict them at the macroscopic level. This, perhaps, is the reason why Kim & Hyun’s art work is so appealing.