The SONGEUN Art and Cultural Foundation has announced that artist Hye-Joo Jun has won the 22nd SONGEUN Art Award. Jun studies the hidden aspects of our society, collecting and reconstructing relevant materials, references, and images to reveal the obscure.
Jun pays careful attention to the social structure and captures the culture and phenomena that slowly infiltrate our lives. These phenomena cannot be perceived directly because they gradually penetrate our thoughts and actions, and senses. The artist reveals her findings by researching, collecting, and reorganizing different materials using sound, found objects, and other media.
Jun’s new installation piece, Hummer (2022), exhibited at the 22nd SONGEUN Art Award Exhibition in SONGEUN, Gangnam, compares and connects the ecological system of pollen floating in the air with the military weapon technology commercialized in everyday life. In the same way that we are usually unaware of the pollen floating in the air, we are mostly oblivious to the military weapon technology slowly infiltrating our lives.
A long specimen display box is placed in the center of a separate exhibition space, with two sound devices installed at both ends of the room. In the display case, data materials and images related to bee movements, drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, and non-lethal sound weapons are arranged, along with several specimens. The images of and information about bees represent the pollen’s ecosystem, and data related to machines and weapons indicate military weapon technology. In addition to the installation, the artist used sound waves that emerged from the super-directional speakers to evoke the influence of the non-visible stories and systems in our society.
The SONGEUN Art and Cultural Foundation received 503 applications for the 22nd Songeun Art Award, and twenty artists made it to the finals, including the award winner, Hye-Joo Jun, Sungseok Ahn, Heemin Chung, Che Go Eun, Anna Han, Wonhae Hwang, Jongwan Jang, Hye-Rim Jun, Bokyung Jun, Ji-Hyun Jung, Youngle Keem, Hyun-Seok Kim, Jaewook Koh, Heejoon Lee, Jade Sujin Lee, Rahm Parc, Grim Park, Yunju Park, Eunjoo Rho, and Hye-Kyung Son. The foundation commissioned the twenty finalists to participate in the 22nd SONGEUN Art Award Exhibition, which is currently on view through February 18, 2023.
A panel of six judges selected the twenty candidates, and the final winner was chosen by another panel of judges that included Ki Hye-kyung, director of the Busan Museum of Art, Bae Myungji, curator at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Baik Ji Sook, director of the Seoul Museum of Art, Ahn Soyeon, artistic director of Atelier Hermès, Yoo Jinsang, critic and professor at the Kaywon University of Art & Design, and Minouk Lim, artist and associate professor at the Korea National University of Art.
The SONGEUN Art and Cultural Foundation has been running the SONGEUN Art Award since 2001 to discover and support contemporary Korean artists. The final winner will receive a grant of 20 million KRW (Korean won, approximately 16,200 USD) and the awardee’s solo exhibition will be held in SONGEUN within two years. In addition, the foundation will acquire two of the award-winner’s works with the sponsorship of Cartier Korea. Each work will go into the collection of the SONGEUN Art and Cultural Foundation and the Seoul Museum of Art.