On January 7th, Kwon Ahram(b. 1987), who works on media art, was selected as the recipient of the 21st SONGEUN Art Award.
In 2021, a total of 20 finalists out of 539 applicants were chosen to be exhibited in THE 21ST SONGEUN ART AWARD, which will run through February 12, 2022, at SONGEUN’s recently opened new building in Cheongdam-Dong, Seoul. Kwon Ahram’s work was selected through an evaluation process during the exhibition.
The award-winner Kwon Ahram creates installations with digital screens and mirrors to reconsider the media world. Walls (2021) was entitled to question the role of the media, a system for communication, and to emphasize that the digital screens such as monitors, tablets, and smartphones that we view in our everyday life are channels for carrying human desires.
The broken screens hanging down from the ceiling are like dead pixels that fail to show the right colors. The colors of the screen repeatedly sparks from red to blue, as if they are a “blue screen of death” or “red screen of death,” both error screens that indicate a fatal system error on a digital device implying that the human desires projected in the media are fallacies.
The awardee will be granted a monetary award of 20 million KRW (approximately $17,000) as well as a chance to hold a solo exhibition within two years at SONGEUN’s exhibition space.
From this year, SONGEUN will be providing additional benefits by working with other organizations. Cartier, a French luxury goods company, will be purchasing two works by the grand winner, which will go to the collections of SONGEUN Art and Cultural Foundation and the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA).
The winner will also have a chance to participate in a year-long SeMA NANJI Residency program.
SONGEUN will also grant funds for one of the 20 finalists to participate in London’s Delfina Foundation’s 12-week residency program.
Finalists, including Kwon Ahram, who is exhibited in The 21ST SONGEUN Art Award are Kim Kyoungtae, Kim Daum, Kim Woojin, Kim Eun Hyung, Kim Inbai, Kim Jeesoo, Kem Jiyoung, Kim Jipyeong, Ryu Sungsil, Park Gwangsoo, Bak Hyoungryol, Seo Hae-Young, Sim Rae-Jung, Yi Jungwoo, Cho Gyeongjae, Choi Goeun, Choi Byeongseok, Han & Mona, and Hoonida Kim.
SONGEUN is a non-profit institution run by SONGEUN Art and Cultural Foundation. The foundation was established in 1989 by the late SungYeon Yoo, founder of the energy and mining-related company ST International. The institution is dedicated to discovering underrepresented but promising contemporary artists inside and outside Korea and supporting them through various exhibition programs.
The SONGEUN Art Award was established in 2001 to discover emerging Korean artists with promising potential and to support them by offering career opportunities in the field of contemporary art.
SONGEUN was newly opened in SONGEUN Art and Cultural Foundation’s new building in Cheongdam-Dong, Seoul in September 2021.