An Jung-ju

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An Jung-ju, Korea

The World I Saw
Hwang Shin Won(Curator, Project Space SARUBIA)

The world looks different depends on which frame we fit the world in. It is difficult to realize the gap between the subjective experience about the world and the objective reality for the thought that we are looking at the world as it is. An Jung-ju focuses on the social structure and socialization process which is firmly established through a long period of time. The artist reminds us of the things that define us simply and familiarly by switching the viewpoint to newly define the relationship with the surrounding environment or by “reframing.” Also, the artist makes us realize the viewpoint in which we understand phenomenon or a meaning and the framework through which we look at the world, suggesting an approach of looking at inside from outside such boundaries.

The video by An Jung-ju that filmed the story of everyday living in a documentary format does not clearly express the purpose and also restrains any aggressive statement. It only provides the artist’s viewpoint to bring out the memory and experience of the viewer to see the world from a different perspective. The artists fully played his role by suggesting another viewpoint to the blind reality.

Recent video works focus on the process of socializing people. The socialization process where a person learns the code of conduct, norms, and values expected by the society he or she belongs to is comprised of experience and knowledge, and the education plays the major role in the course. Especially, the artist focuses on the socialization process of a child. Until recently, group events such as group gymnastics and tug-of-war played on the field day teach children the common goal and culture that children can go along with and understand in the group they belong to with others. At the same time, they show the stage in the socialization which causes the interaction with the environment that surrounds them.

Not only the field day but also sociopolitical phenomena specific to Korea are the major concern of the artist. The conventional promises that appear during election campaigns and that everyone knows and the flowery words that they are going to build a better place to live no longer interest people at all. It is difficult to confirm how the feelings such as the piety, magnificence, beauty, and firmness that we feel as a citizen of Korea while looking at the national flag fluttering in the wind. As described, the works of An Jung-ju look at the world through the frame that considers how loosely and distortedly the things that were accepted naturally are fit into everyday living.

His attempt to have a strange view on everyday living becomes a mechanism for rediscovering the reality through the gap that we became insensitive to and easily miss in living. The work of reframing is the scene from everyday living that we would have passed by if we saw it in personis a process of unearthing more profound truth in simple reality and revealing the basic order that constitutes the world. The world that An Jung-ju saw is the passage to the truth where the starting point of the thought that rather takes gradual approach but makes a great difference is embedded in life.