Artist: Lee Chang-hoon
Works at: Seoul Art Space_GeumCheon
Stays in: 2012
Genre: Visual Arts
2009 Aufbaustudium, Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
2007 Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
2010 The Room of Others, Gallery Jungmiso, Seoul, Korea
2009 2001-2009-Grant from SeMA for New Artist’s solo exhibition, Noam Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2008 nothing, Stuttgarter Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany
2004 Stein, (Stein) ..., Stuttgarter Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany
1999 A Planned Square, Ungjeon Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2012 Guerrilla Video Project-between V and R, Sinchon-Rotary LED Billboard, Seoul, Korea
2012 Words but no language, Space Mom Museum of Art, Cheongju, Korea
Real / Unreal, With Space Gallery, Beijing, China
GCC Open Studio, Gyeonggi Creation Center, Ansan, Korea
Art Studio Network 2012, Bongsan Cultural Center, Daegu, Korea
Travel Art-Artists on the Road, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan, Korea
Sea of Art, EXPO 2012 Yeosu, Yeosu, Korea
Human Habitat, GCC Convergence Building Exhibition Hall, Ansan, Korea
Art Edition 2012, Coex Hall, Seoul, Korea
Golbang Art Film Festival, Gyodong Art Center, Jeonju, Korea
2011 Open Studio, Seoul Museum of Art-Nanji Art Studio, Seoul, Korea
Kangmiclub, Art Plaza Gallery, Chuncheon, Korea
Mix Media Exhibition, Gangneung Museum of Art, Gangneung, Korea
Smoked Salmon Festival, Chugye University for the Arts, Seoul, Korea
WONDERPIA, Seoul Museum of Art-Nanji Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Summer Festival, Gyeongpodae, Gangneung, Korea
Daejeon & Nanji Exchange Exhibition, Igong Gallery, Daejeon, Korea
Excerpt from p.182, Seoul Museum of Art-Nanji Gallery, Seoul, Korea
The 10th Songeun Grand Art Award Exhibition, Songeun Art Space, Seoul, Korea
Urban Landscape, Parkryusook Gallery, Seoul, Korea
SeMA 2010_Crack of Image, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
2010 5th intro, Seoul Museum of Art-Nanji Art Studio, Seoul, Korea
Professor Art Exhibition, Haeram Cultural Center, Gangneung, Korea
Chibyun Sculpture Exhibition, Gangneung Museum of Art, Gangneung, Korea
Gangneung Haslla International Art Symposium, Haslla Art World Museum, Gangneung, Korea
2009 ARKO Artist-centered Network: Decentered,
Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju/ Busan Museum of Art, Busan/ Arko Art Center, Seoul, Korea
Spling, We will spring!, Gallery Imazoo, Seoul, Korea
2010 3st Prize in The 10th Songeun Grand Art Award, Seoul, Korea
2009 Grant from SeMA(Seoul Museum of Art) for New Artist’s solo exhibition, Seoul, Korea
2008 STIBET Scholarship of the DAAD, Stuttgart, Germany
Kabel BW-Kunstwettbewerb (Cable BW-Art Award), Heidelberg, Germany
2006 2st Prize in The Greven Idea Contest for Crossroad Sculpture, Greven, Germany
2006 3st Prize in The Ebersbach Contest for Crossroad Sculpture, Ebersbach, Germany
2005 German Federal Minister of Education Sponsored Award for Formative Art, Bonn, Germany
2003 Rotary Club Sponsored Award, Stuttgart, Germany
2012/13 Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, Seoul, Korea
2011 Gyeonggi Creation Center, Ansan, Korea
2010/11 SeMA Nanji Residency, Seoul, Korea
Open Studio-獨水空房_installation; studio of artist, water, boat_1150X830X350 cm_2009
Lost One`s Way-Sweet Story_HD_11’ 52’’_2011
Babelstreet_photograph series, fine art print_90X127 cm_2008
Babelstreet_photograph series, fine art print_90X127 cm_2008
lost the way-sea,wood,desert_acrylic on canvas_dimensions variable(canvas; 290x218 cm)_2011
Net_installation; braided line_255X205 cm_2010
HOUSE FOR SALE_newspaper advertising_3.3X3.2 cm_2012_(Chosunilbo, 13.06.2012, p.23)
Stone, (Stone)_installation on table; paper, gravels_ dimensions variable(table; 87x167x90 cm)_2004
It symbolizes an individual who has lost their way on the road, and is simultaneously a metaphor for society and the individual’s oppositions and conflicts regarding the models and values produced within it, and furthermore the uncertain journey of life between the reality of society and the ideals of the individual.
Lee Changhoon : Outside and Inside
Rachel Cook (Curator and Writer)
In considering notions and concepts of space we should bear in mind how it is framed, through language or physically in the world. Moreover, the precise language we use to describe physical space, through the words ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ reveal a clear directional separation. These two words immediately draw a boundary that illustrates a division within the physical world. What is included or excluded from the interior or exterior of a space determines its boundaries, both on this page and the view from the window in the room we are sitting in. The ‘frame’ determines how we perceive the idea of space and place. Additionally when further examined space and place can be connected to more complex ideas of ideological spatial boundaries that have become contested spiritual and political concepts. The international border has become a huge point of contention and becomes the frame for how we speak about various people and cultures. Every society creates space and has ways of organizing it within a city. Neighborhoods are laid-out according to certain methodologies, the location of important places and landmarks reveal the intricacies of power in any given geographic location, and certain boundaries affect inhabitant’s mobility, all of which are connected to society’s construction of space.
We can also think of space from a phenomenological point of view; how we carry with us the notion of the spatial unconscious; how we organize our lives; how we arrange our home. Our public and private spaces are divided, and designate a boundary of control through which we allow access—physically and emotionally—at any given point in time. The domestic space of a house can be described as the lived experience of space, and its physical layout and structure can affect our emotional state. Space can also be thought of as an abstract notion of time, where something is “here” or “there,” positioning it spatially and temporally. Either of which can be described as conceptual ideas of locations or events, or when referring to where an object is placed in a room.
Korean artist Changhoon Lee explores notions of space in his work through a series of still and moving images, conceptual objects, and performative interventions that examine how we construct these notions of space, place, inside, outside, and the alienation that exists between them. For example in <Lost One’s Way-Sweet Story> (2011) Lee appropriates a large street sign pointing in four different directions Jongno being one, which is the oldest major east-west thoroughfare in Seoul. The work takes the sign as a literal symbol for finding directions on a road. The sign is placed on the back of a truck and driven to a beach where it is firmly planted in the sand. This performative gesture allows our ideas of place and space to be conflated and re-imagined. The huge highway sign is out of place on a sandy beach, however it functions as a representation of the alienation individuals experience when traveling to unfamiliar surroundings or experiencing a different landscape, city, or place. Additionally the sign points to a particular cultural and economic breakdown of the city of Seoul. Jongno is a significant financial and cultural district that connects Sejongno, the diplomatic area, to Dongdaemun, the cultural historic area. While Lee’s work points to a more abstract and conceptual understanding of these two geographic locations, the specific details allow us to better understand how a city itself is constructed through a series of historical and cultural events that affect its spatial-financial breakdown.
Lee’s work lifts or removes the details from maps and street signs in order to reemphasize our cultural and conceptual notion of space and place in the world. Just as Gaston Bachelard considers the house a “privileged entity for a phenomenological study of the intimate values of inside space”1) Lee transforms an image of the exterior of a house by removing all windows and doors looking in or out of it. Lee’s images, <Babelstreet> (2008) and <Island> (2007), appear hauntingly banal until the viewer realizes the absence of the framing device separating the interior and exterior of the domestic structure. Lee has rendered these homes as objects and removed all notions of how people inhabit them while allowing ideas of being or belonging to come into focus. By stripping away detailed information, Lee’s work heightens the viewer’s attention to hone in on the structure or object in question–maps, road signs, or houses. In <Lost the Way-sea, forest, desert> (2011) Lee renders a single colored sign into an abstract color field painting of these landscape locations. These three road signs not only become visual indicators for each landscape, but also operate as a phenomenological understanding of each place (sea, woods, or desert).
These investigations speak to the disconnectedness between the individual and the inner ideological workings of a society. The human-ness of how global spaces are constructed and laid out is directly connected to how we organize our most intimate places. Lee’s work creates a framing device that throws into question how these systems and mechanisms of organizing space are thought through. If these structures-maps, road signs, or houses-reveal an intimate human organizing system in how we think about society than what does it reveal if we reexamine them without the detailed information; as “forms” unto themselves? Herein lies the crux of Lee’s investigation, is there a universal system to understanding society’s notion and construction of space? Lee’s use of formal and conceptual representations of our understanding of space, place, inside, outside, and alienation prod us to question how we create or dismantle borders and boundaries between cultures.
- This essay is commissioned by the Seoul Art Space_Geumcheon as part of the International Critique Program 2012.
1)Bachelard, Gaston, The Poetics of Space, Boston: Beacon Press, 1994, 3.
Modern Society and Perception on Real Identity
Suh Jinsuk (Director, Alternative Space Loop)
Lee Changhoon creates his works with diverse media. He deals with topics that he wants to express by using various media such as photos, images, and installations. Communication ways and ontological anxiety of modern people are inherited in various languages used by him, which will elaborately analyze lonely individuals and inform the public of harmful effects of fetishism at the same time. He expresses issues of overcoming limitations of general spaces and human beings’ basic loneliness through two opposite words, severance and communication.
His work <Between V and R> (2012) covers alienation between oneself and others in social groups that members cannot help but make a relationship whether they want to communicate or not by showing the relationship between a man looking at a big advertising screen and other people who just pass by him without recognizing him. He asks himself through the work what his real identity is. Here, real identity of human beings means that some people exist in reality and they should perceive by themselves that they exist. In an individualized capitalistic modern society, human beings generally become materials and alienated. An extreme individualism that everything becomes information and technology in a modern society accelerates the situation and deprives people of a close communication between individuals and multiple different groups. Human beings become alienated due to lack of interests in and love of others and communication gap. Lee describes alienation and anxiety owing to loss of a close personal relationship among modern people across his works. He always puts himself on borders. Putting himself on the borders between imagination and reality and between his ideal life and real life might mean him being included in both areas, not out of them. That is, he expresses an individual’s sense of emptiness and ontological sensibility at the same time to speak meaning of his real identity by detouring from an urban life of modern people.
In his recent work <I frame series> (2011- ), images taken for a long period of time are compressed into a frame. Lots of figurative images are arranged with stories in a film but when they are compressed into a layer temporality becomes meaningless; stories are broken, and ambiguous images only remain. Then, figurative images and temporality are compressed into abstract images and moments and viewers are led to recognize the relation between them. In other words, people consider a real life, a fluid time, an immovable moment and ask many questions about reality that they face and identity.
Works of Lee Changhoon show challenges that modern people should resolve regarding severance of human relations with a critical perspective on how abundance of a modern society influences us, emptiness and anonymity behind such abundance under a paradoxical context, individualism going wrong, and effectiveness of a capitalistic society. He wants to deliver the message that we cannot help but perceive others and an indifferent ‘society,’ and ontological ‘oneself’ who has no choice but to live in such society by ourselves, not through others to us via his works.