Eve Kwak

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Artist: Eve Kwak

Works at: Seoul Art Space_GeumCheon
Stays in: 2012
Genre: Visual Arts
2009 MFA, Fine Arts, Seoulnational University of Technology, Korea
2006 BFA, Fine Arts, Seoulnational University of Technology, Korea

Solo exhibitions
2010 Oasis,, Space zip, Seoul / CheongJu Art Studio, CheongJu
       Space drawing - Difficulty of Enter, KunstDoc Project Space, Seoul

Group exhibitions
2012 Distancing_ Kumho Art Studio 7th Group show, Kumho Museum, Seoul
       Art Factory Project, Sunset Janghang Festival, SeoCheon
       Project Hansunjung, Insa Art Space, Seoul
       Heterotopia, Gallery 175 Gallery175, Seoul
2011 You’re In-Cheon, InCheon Art Platform, InCheon
2010 Turn the Corner of Square, Palais de seoul, Seoul
       UM?, Gallery2, Seoul
       Misunderstanding forward Understanding, Songwon Art Center, Seoul
2009 Space into the Language, Space 15th, Seoul
       The 31th JoongAng Fine Arts Prize, Hangarm Art Museum_ Seoul Art center, Seoul

Award / Artist Program
2011-2012 Studio Residency, Kumho Art Studio, Icheon
2011 SOMA Drawing Center Archive Registration, Seoul
2011 Young Artist Critic Workshop, Arko Art Center, Seoul
2010 Studio Residency, CheongJu Art Studio, CheongJu
2009 20 Artists of Year, the 31th JoongAng Fine Arts Prize, Seoul

<Space Drawings>, Drawing Book, Contact print, all under 5x5(cm), Dimension Variable, 2008

<Mountain in the back>, River up front–Even if it Breaks, Cement. Super glue. Wood rock, Dimension Variable, 2009

 <Space Drawing–Difficult to Enter>, Paper, Photography, Dimension Variable, 2010

배산임수-곧게, 시멘트, 2010

사라지는 건물, 밀착사진.종이, 가변크기, 2008

쌓이다, 42x59.4(cm), 종이.벽지.스톤스프레이, 2010

오아시스, 플라워폼.석고, 2010

반으로,시멘트.우드락, 100x100(cm), 2010

A Brief Review of Kwak Eve’s Works
Chungwoo Lee A.K.A. Geun-jun Lim (Art and Design Critic)
The emerging artist Kwak Eve, who has <Spatial Drawings> (2008) as the starting point of her career journey, appears to inherit a certain critical mind of Korean contemporary art which had been formed in the early 1990s. That critical mind refers to the tendency of an aesthetic politicization which produces the exhibition space in an ambiguous way or leads the viewer to recognize the conventions of art appreciation in a critical way and to revise it, through reconstituting and presenting nonartistic materials (which can be considered raw materials) or ready-made objects as art.
The group of artists from Park Iso and Chung Seoyoung to Yang Hyekyu and Rhii Jewyo have formed un-monumental creative tendencies typical of Korean contemporary art while sharing and variating a common methodology which is summed up as ‘re-objectualization’ and a ‘literalist christening of objects’. However, the critical strategy of re-questioning the existential forms of contemporary art by creating and installing drawings or sculpture of simple structures which emphasize the raw characteristics connoted by a certain material or object has rapidly lost steam in the mid 2000s. Since then site-specific performance works escaping from exploring materials or objects, and investigating the raw connotational characteristics of certain given situations, have emerged, and their series of creative conditions is of a trend of collapsing, transfiguring and dividing. (Note: Such new tendencies are to an extent influenced by the choreography, play, performance, etc. of the “post-dramatic theatre” variety, which assume the theater to be a critical starting point of performance.)
Kwak Eve’s original work <Spatial Drawings> is a piece reconstituting the cognitive method of a place one frequents regularly through a literalist attitude. The artist has created contact prints with film with which she photographed the hallway of a communal college studio, and adhered those to a drawing book to ornament a structure which ‘appears to reverse perspectival spaces’, thus creating an ‘un-monumental miniature sculpture of a fragile structure’. If one contrasts the theme or style of this piece with the genealogy of preceding artists, they will find the situation to be one of returning to an object composed once again by artistic materials in their raw state, assuming as a research topic a certain point belonging to the mid-stage of development in a certain current of Korean contemporary art which pursues ‘re-objectification’ and a ‘literalist christening of objects’, i.e. a certain aspect or dimension of a given set of circumstances rather than objects or materials.
Since <Spatial Drawings>, the tendency to objectify a certain aspect or dimension of space grew out as <Ground Plan- Drawing on the Ground> (2008), <Apartment> (2008), <Mountain In The Back, River Up Front Even If It Breaks> (2009), <Mountain In The Back, River Up Front Sustainment> (2010), <Mountain In The Back, River Up Front Upright> (2010) and <In Half> (2010), in which the artist has collected floor plans of apartments to create cement (which is not a conventional art material but has already been redefined as a contemporary art material by Park Iso or Cheong Seoyoung, et al) objects, and these cement objects were either presented in the form of a functional object (springboard) which has lost its function in combination with photographs of a (cement) street surface to become <Asphalt> (2009), or as objects which at least temporarily serve a utilitarian function (stepping stones) in an actual space to become <Take-off Board> (2009). Recent works in succession of such a phase are <The Overflowing Sky> (2010), in which the artist has frottaged the wall surface of a certain place (but an insignificant place devoid of any particular meaning) to deduce a painting which resembles the sky and has presented it in the form of a window, and also the <Natural> (2012) and <Hardwood> (2012) series, in which the artist has overlaid a ‘ready-made illusory trick painting’ (printed lumber patterns) on ‘a ready-made material producing space through optical trickery’ (oilpaper flooring).
To synthesize such a developmental phase, Kwak Eve’s works can be thus summarized: “To create ‘re-objects’ which expose the raw characteristics connoted by a certain place or the materials composing the place by starting from art materials in their raw state, non-art materials or ready-made objects (which constitute the everyday).” The problems or questions Kwak must resolve through her works in the future are as follows: 1. Is the method of extracting the states of a certain raw entity involved in a place through raw materials aesthetically valid? If so, how can the methodology be articulated as distinct from that of the previous generation? 2. The strategy of installations since the 1990s, which critically transform the characteristics of the exhibition space through ‘re-objects’, has now lost its effect. However, a quite certain feeling of déjà vu occurs not just in her works but also in her installation method. 3. What is the reason Kwak uses non-artistic materials which other artists had already redefined as ‘problematic art materials’- cement, oases, oilpaper flooring? 4. The operative method of a literalism deducing ‘re-objects’, beginning from the conceptual dimension of place, is loose, making the artist’s works quite arbitrary.

In anticipation of the unknown struggles ahead the artist Kwak Eve will fight, I draw a cross with my fingers.