From June 9 to July 29, SongEun will present Planet Theater, a solo exhibition by Hyewon Kwon, the Grand Prize Winner of the 19th SongEun Art Award 2019. Hyewon Kwon’s work reconstructs the unwritten history of a particular place, which exists only in memory, in a narrative form and captures it on video. The exhibition focuses on how machines that measure and observe nature change our relationship with it and create a ‘new nature’.
At the 19th SongEun Art Prize, the artist presented two new, more dynamic videos of her journey to a cave on Jeju Island, which took a serendipitous and unexpected turn. In these works, the artist takes her ongoing interest in video experiments and installations to another level, reconstructing the fragmented history and cultural context of her personal experiences. The exhibition raised expectations for what new sites of memory she will show in the future and how she will document them.
In Planet Theater, she seeks to find the point where humans, technology, and nature connect with each other through virtual reality. After building a fictional laboratory, the artist questions the relationship between reality and fiction and the “reality” that the artist has recreated through the technology and environment in her imagination, asking the question, “What can we learn from machines that aim to coexist with us?” and imagining the possibility of a world in which the power of ecosystems and human technology is reversed, rather than subordinated to the purposes of humans and industry, beyond anthropocentric perceptions. Through this imagination, we look at the world through the eyes of humans, nature, and various organisms on the planet today, and we are interested in how the relationship between technology and society shapes social and psychological consciousness, and we hope to continue this new transition through the practices and actions of others.
From June 15 to July 15, the OCI Museum of Art will present MATTERS, a solo exhibition by So Jeong Kim (b. 1993), an artist selected by the 2023 OCI YOUNG CREATIVES, a program to support emerging artists.
So Jeong Kim references representational methods such as line, footprint, and folding screen as well as documentation such as royal regalia and processional maps to express scenes that barely hold their place in everyday life or protests where crowds gather. The artist paints only the intact form of things but does not explain their essence. The crowds gathered on the canvas are only outwardly present, with no facial expressions. The banners, flags, and placards they hold have only a form, no message, content, or argument, and are composed of monotone colors and lines that do not speak to a concrete reality.
Disasters and catastrophes, wars and conflicts, tensions and militancy, crime and corruption, discrimination and exploitation, loneliness and addiction, poverty and disparity – the list of broken places around us grows but there are more people who break things than those who fix them. Those who want to fix it because they can’t stand to see it remain broken, crowd, form wills, open their eyes and ears, speak out, and act.
However, all of them are accused of rebellion or disrupting society and are fined, ostracized, and isolated. So the artist covers their faces. It’s easy to be ostracized and isolated with a burden and a sin that can’t be fixed. Still, the crowds go out into the streets, and the artist looks at the first steps they take to fix the broken places. If we don’t give up and keep going, they will correct our misguided gaze and point out what we should be looking at and what we should be listening to.