Archive by Author

Spectrum : Namjune Paik’s 80th exhibition

23 Jul

Spectrum is Namjune Paik’s 80th anniversary exhibition at SOMA Art Museum in Seoul. It opens during July 6th to October 16th. However, I was a little disappointed, because there is no any criterion or intention for displaying his art pieces in the museum and I also feel lack of docent’s explanations. But, Paik is amazing artist as the pioneer of video art. Among his works, there is an art piece of which entitle is ”Before the Word There was light, After the Word There will be Light. (ed.12/18, 1992)” It is a video sculpture which consists of Dumont television casting with candle. The candle is burning and if the light off, then the light can be lit through the hole. I think the title is philosophical. ‘Before the Word There was light’: Before using the word, men have used the fire, so fire is primitive and in the beginning, there was a light. ‘After the Word There will be Light’: As the light of the candle is placed in the monitor of the television, the light  represents the light of monitor, ray. At the time (1992) when this piece was made, television was very innovative amazing. In the same time, I could also find the one of the most primitive thing as light in the modern thing. As Paik installed this work, he threw the question to audiences about what is the meaning that television gives for us.


Shin Kyung Jin:”Imitating Venus”

15 Jul

Shin Kyung Jin,”Imitating Venus”,media art

Shin Kyung Jin,”Imitating Venus”,sculpture with plaster

    From the past to now, aspiration for beauty has been immense. Also, I think advancement of plastic surgery especially in Korea, the desire for beaty has been more extreme. For example, there are so many advertisements about cosmetic surgery which are depicted people’s face,before and after had operation, at the subway stations. In addition, slim body is also one of the aspirations for beaty. Diet has been so natural and common words for woman. Even, what they say,”woman always do diet all their life.” and Anorexia has been one of the disease to modern people. For instance, when I type the food name such as pasta,starbuck’s Frappuccino, at the NAVER which is korea search engine site like google,then the ‘food’s calorie’ appear as a recommened search word under the search engin box. At a ‘Jisik-in’ cyberspace that people can post what they curious and don’t know about, the numbers of questions about calories are large.

   The top of the left picture is an artist,Shin Kyung jin’s “Imitating Venus(비너스 흉내내기)”. it is a media art and displayed in exhibition,’confession:Advertisement,Art and Public’ at Ilmin museum of art(in Seoul). In the media, the artist pose three gestures and her assistent who is a man put the iron thin rods on her body to measure it. The machines are ‘low-tech pointing machines’ which the artist made on the basis of France sculptor. As her body is measured and trapped by the machines, the artish Shin shows the process of human body as being product. In front of the media, there are also three sculptures with plasters as the results of the measuring process.  Actually, the intention of the art work is to criticize ‘sexuality’ in the advertisement. As an example of this, models appeal the customers as models take an sexual pose. But I think in the artist,Shin’s work, the social phenomenon as excessive desire for beauty: diet and plastic surgery is also reflected in Shin’s art works. I think she reflects effectively and penetratively  picture of sexuality in modern Korea and i could easily feel the same way.

PLATEAU: Felix Gonzalez- Torres, Double (revised)

14 Jul

Felix Gonzalez-Torres was born in 1957 in Cuba and migrated to New York. He worked in art field and at the age of 38, he died because of AIDS. He denied fixed notion and monumental of art. Also, he argued that the art changed and made by audiences’ participation has a real eternity. His works such as light bulbs, texts, candies, clocks, mirrors, billboards, piles of paper are about ‘Love and Death. In 2012 now, SAMSUNG Art museum plateau is opened Felix Gonzalez- Torres’s exhibition, double as the First solo museum exhibition in Seoul and in Asia.

At the entrance of the museum, there is “untitled(North)”. It is composed of warm lights of bulbs which mean as ‘Free’. This artwork can be easily changed, because the bulbs are connected with wires. So, the shape of the piece is various according to the place. Between of the first space and the entrance door, there is another piece of which subtitle is ‘Beginning’. It looks like a curtain made of crystal beads. To go into the space and see the exhibition, audiences should touch the art work. It has a meaning related to the subtitle that as a ‘fear of contact with AIDS patient’. As Gonzalez-Torres made audience touch the piece, he emphasized the message with his background. Also, when I passed through the piece, I could feel his pain and find myself trying to put in his shoes. And then go into the space, the exhibition began in earnest. There are two ‘candy’ works which are the stack of green candies and silver candies. People can get the candies and when the candies are gone, then curator in the museum or gallery fills up the candies. In connection with it, I think about ‘where is art?’; art is at curators who can be involve in art project. In the next space, there are walls printed with flying the one bird and the sky monochrome images. In front of the walls, there are two piles of sheet; first one is printed with a flying bird and second is printed with one part of famous writer Oscar Wilde’s play. The titles of these two works are “untitled(Aparición)” and “untitled”. I think freely flying bird means Gonzalez-Torres himself, because he sought relief from suffering aids and desired for living together with his lover, Ross Laycock. He asserted,”It has this glow. The beautiful blue creates a glow on the wall when it rests on the floor. And when you look at it, you can think about so many things. You can think of the sky. You can think about water. You can think about pleasant things that are related to that kind of light blue. I know it has a gender connotation; you can’t get away from that. But I also meant it as this beautiful blank page onto which you can project anything you want, any image, whatever.” Besides, audience can have some papers of piles like souvenir. Susan Stewart who is the author of <on longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection,Durham,N.C.:Duke university Press,1993>has written about souvenirs as ” objects of desire”: The souvenir reduces the public, the monumental, and the three-dimensional into the miniature, that which can be enveloped by the body or into the two-dimensional representation the postcard or photograph, that which can be. There are also work,“untitled(Go-Go Dancing Platform)” with many pictures,”untitled(Natural History)”hung on the around the walls. While the platform looks like bright, brilliant and light, the pictures are dark, still and sole. Also in the pictures, there are images of some words that are politician, scholar, scientist and so on. These words are opposite things to Gonzalez-Torres, because he was not white but Cuban and homosexual. But as he made a dancer dancing on the top of the platform, he could be rid of his complex and even could upgrade his existence and identity. There is “          ”. On the walls, many words seemed to important historical events and dates are written. But in fact, the vocabs are not related with them. In contrast, the words are such private things. Recently, date and name of this place, PLATEAU, are written. The reason why it could be possible is a list of portfolio he made about how his art works have to be displayed in many galleries and museum. So, his arts are not still but can be changed and broadened by curators and audiences. In this regard, I would want to go to his exhibition again, because I feel curious about ‘how his works are changed at next exhibition?’ At last, my favorite work of him is ‘Perfect Lovers’. It was impressive for me. The work is two same round clocks. I heard that ‘two circles’ symbolize homosexual and ‘8’ means eternity. I think that two clocks mean his lover, Laycock and himself. Like the word ’perfect’, the clocks seem to be totally same: same time, same color, material and style of number texts. In fact, however, they are not perfectly same. Time of the left clock is little faster than right one. I think it means the fact that Laycock died earlier than Gonzalez-Torres. It looks like Gonzalez-Torres is following to his lover. But, sadly they cannot meet together. So the clocks can not only be perfect like the subtitle but also imperfect. So, I think that this piece is the most beautiful and at the same time sad.

PLATEAU: Felix Gonzalez- Torres, Double (First solo museum exhibition in Asia)

9 Jul

Felix Gonzalez-Torres was born in 1957 in Cuba and migrated to new York. He worked in art field and at the age of 38, he died because of AIDS. He denied fixed notion and monumental of art. Also, he argued that the art changed and made by audiences’ participation has a real eternity. His works such as light bulbs, texts, candies, clocks, billboards, piles of sheets are about ‘Love and Death.

“Untitled” (North),1993,Light bulbs, porcelain sockets and extension cords

In the entrance of the plateau, there is “untitled”(North). Warm light of bulb means ‘Free’. This artwork can be easily changed.

“Untitled” (Beginning),1994 ,Strands of beads and hanging device

This is displayed at the entrance gate. The subtitle of this is ‘Beginning’. To go in to the room, audiences should touch it. It means that he wanted to say about ‘fear of contact as an person of AIDS’. As I touched it to see his exhibition, I think I could feel his mind and see from his angle.

There are also two works. One is the stack of green candies and another is the stack of silver candies. People can get the candies and when the candies are gone, then curator in the museum or gallery fills up the candies. On this point, I could think about where is art. I think art sometimes can be at the curator who can change, edit and involve in works. In addition, he respect audiences’ views and though as he allow the people’s participations and open his works to them. So, I think this also one of his attractions.

“Untitled”(Aparición),print on paper,endless copies,1991,private collection
“Untitled”,paint on wall,1989,Sammlung Hoffmann,Berlin

In this room, there are walls which are printed as flying one bird and two piles of paper. I think that freely flying bird is himself who wanted to be rid of aids and live forever with his lover, Ross Laycock. I saw his desire and aspiration. In addition, people can get some papers of piles. First one is printed sky and second one is printed one part of Oscar Wilde’s literatures.

Around the work entitled ’Go-Go Dancing Platform’, there are pictures hung on the walls. While the platform looks like bright, brilliant and light, the pictures are dark, still and sole. They are images of the words: politician, scholar, scientist and so on which are at the museum’s outer walls.

These words are contrast to Gonzalez-Torres, because he was a Cuban not a white and homosexual. But as dancer dances on the top of the platform, he can broke his complex and upgrade his existence and identity.

“Untitled”,(Go-Go Dancing Platform),wood,light bulbs,acrylic paint and Go-Go dancer in silver lamé bathing suit,sneakers and personal listening device,1991 Kunstmuseum St.Gallen on permanent loan from a private collection

“Untitled”(Natural History),Framed black and white,photographs,1990,Private Collection,New York

“Untitled”, 1989,Paint on wall

On the of the walls, words looked like important historical cases and dates are written. But in fact, the words are too private things. Also, the date and the name about place of his exhibition in Korea are written by curator. The reason why it is possible is when he was alive, he made a list of portfolio about how his art works are displayed in galleries and museum. His art is not still but changed and broadened. if I saw one exhibition, I usually don’t go to the same artist’s exhibition in later. But in case of Gonzalez-Torres art exhibition, I want to go to the exhibition again, because I feel curious and expect ‘how his works are changed now?’

“Untitled” (Perfect Lovers)
Wall clocks
35.6 x 71.2 x 7 cm overall
Two parts: 35.6 cm diameter each Edition 1 of 3 , 1 AP
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Gift of the Norton Family Foundation

The entitled of this work is ‘perfect lovers’. This piece is the most impressing to me. Two circles symbolize homosexual. I think that two clocks mean his lover, laycock and himself. Like the word ’perfect’, it seems to be perfect: same clock, same color, time and style of number texts. However, actually it is not perfect. The left clock is little faster than right one. I think this means that left clock means his lover, because laycock died earlier than Gonzalez-Torres. The right clock means Gonzalez-Torres. It looks like Gonzalez-Torres is following his lover. But, they cannot meet together. It is perfect and also imperfect. I think that this piece is beautiful and at the same time very sad.

Noh Jung Ha: The Pink God

9 Jul

    Artist, Noh jung ha expressed that the power of women through this work. To illustrate about power of women, women give birth to babies, raise children, cook and do a lot of house works. Not only the women do these kinds of works but also have their own job. Women have such a several jobs and multitask a lo of things. They are powerful and even stronger than husband or men. In the past, the common ideas about women were that females are weak and should be cared by men. But, now these thoughts have been already changed. The background of the transitions are related to ‘Diaspora’ which means mass population movement. According to the Dr.Avtar Brah’s article,”Diaspora, border and transnational identities”, he argues that Feminisation of migration is especially noticeable in particular instances. One of the examples is that women form the majority ofCapeVerdian workers migrating toItaly,Filipinos to the Middle East, or Thais toJapan. These migrations are creating new displacements, new diasporas. As the process of women’s migration, they became to be more involved in jobs and other works, so they have been consisted of as an important existence in society. Noh expressed the women’s power figuratively and metaphorically, not just by some words or letters. She found her own way to present and spoke her thought to us through the photos. I think that this is also the reason the work can be art.

Oscar Wilde and artists

8 Jul

‘Untitled, from the series ‘A bunch of fairies’,Hernan Bas,2011, Gelatin silver print, Edition of 3 + 2AP, 4 x 5 inches

     I went to the ‘Hernan Bas: A Brief Suspension of Disbelief’ exhibition at PKM TRINITY GALLERY(June 19 – July 20, 2012 ) in Seoul. The Working ways of Hernan Bas are motivated by contemporary artists such as ‘Joseph beuys’, Matthew Barney’, ‘Bas Jan Ader’ and so on. Also, he was affected by ‘Oscar Wilde’ (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) who was an Irish writer and poet. I think the reason why Bas was mootivated by Wilde is that wilde also were coming out, so Bas would felt sympathy with him.  As Bas used the way of  literally citing ,reinterpretating and analyizing the wilde’s literatures, he represented  his state of minds and feelings  like confused ,anxious and Narcissistic. These minds has been arisen from his identity as homosexuality. Felix-Gonzalez-Torres also were coming out and he handwrote a fragment from the end of the play Salome: A Tragedy in One Act. There are  the common between two different artists and their works and this gives interest to me.

untitled(Oscar Wilde),felix-Gonzalez-Torres,1995,photo-etching paper

Kim wonsook : Eyes on Me

4 Jul
,Kim Won Sook,2011,Casted Bronze,97*63cm

Kim Won Sook,2011,Casted Bronze,97*63cm

     The artist, Kim won sook did her work drawing with shadow. She called it as  ‘shadowing drawing’. It means that not only some art materials, but also shadows which are made by them are consisted of canvas. She used the one of the art materials, bronze as a plane not a three-D. At the entrance of the gallery, there were phrases by her. ‘ I(kim won sook) draw the world where I can see, scenery which touches my heart, things that exite me and shadows which I am afraid of, moments I want to keep become pictures and art. A number of sounds, memories, stories, nostalgia, dreams, and images floating in a small space as “I” lay on canvas , soon become art and my diary of life. ’ Many things related to her became art. According to the reading ‘Themes of contemporary art : visual art after 1980, Oxford University Press’ written by Jean Robertson and Craig Mcdaniel, identity defined through culture and relationships is a preeminent theme in western art and art discourse in the late twentieth century and today.  Many things which are close to her are also some part of her identity. The identity is expressed by other means as well, including by words, symbols, objects, and settings. In the case of her, identity is reflected by art pieces.

   When I saw this art work, I sympathized with her. I could read her thoughts. The body of woman is encircled with many eyes. It makes me think about my identity. I have been seen by people (family,friends,teachers,government and even strangers all around the world) for a long time. Especially cyber space make easy for us to monitor people. For the reason, my behaviors used to be controlled,faked and I used to try to repress my feelings. It becomes accustomed to do. So, for me the women represent not only the artist, but also me. I thought about the question “why is this art?”. The answer for me is “It is because there is an identity.” It was such a meaningful art work for me, because I could have a time to think about my identity as I recalled the past and present.