Young In Hong
Siren Eun Young Jung
Young Min Moon
Exhibition Space: Kukje Gallery K2
About the Exhibition
Kukje Gallery is pleased to present The Song of Slant Rhymes, an exhibition curated by Hyun Jin Kim, opening on April 22, 2013.
The title of the exhibition alludes to the process of planning an exhibition with the visual space in mind, at the same time highlighting artists who, instead of creating works that are perfectly syncopated, rather create more inconsistent and compelling slant rhymes. The exhibition is comprised of approximately 20 works by seven artists, including Hwayeon Nam, Young Min Moon, Hyangro Yoon, Miyeon Lee, Siren Eun Young Jung, Jeamin Cha, and Young In Hong.
The artist’s process of creating work is based on integrating the rhythm of seeing, experiencing, and thinking. The curatorial work on physicality of an exhibition is to weave together the measure of individual works to the rhythm and rhyme of the space—in other words, to contemplate how to frame the cadence of the space through the works that occupy it. Because of the challenge of conveying something without explicitly articulating the curatorial process, planning an exhibition transcends simply selecting works with artists and entails a process of composing. This is akin to writing poetry or composing music, where the curator merges the rhythm and slant rhymes, lines and stanzas, exploring the unseen areas of a space, and creating new rhythms by shifting an exhibition’s grammar and syntax. Rather than organizing a show based on a subject or setting a certain title and direction based on the artists’ vision, this exhibition was organized through this conceptual process wherein the abstract rhythm or the rhyme of the works were visualized with the intention of creating a space that foretells a new direction.
The title of the exhibition, The Song of Slant Rhymes, alludes to this process of planning with an emphasis on the visual space, but furthermore it highlights the artists who, instead of creating work that is perfectly syncopated, create more complicated, inconsistent and compelling slant rhymes. An artist’s practice is founded on the various conditions within their society, environment, and lives, challenges that must be met head on. The disjointed, forever imperfect relationships that define one’s life are, in turn, the foundation for incomplete slant rhymes —identifying artists within their society. This exhibition attempts to explore the metaphor of artistic practice within these boundaries.
The Song of Slant Rhymes is comprised of approximately 20 works by seven artists, including Hwayeon Nam, Young Min Moon, Hyangro Yoon, Miyeon Lee, siren eun young jung, Jeamin Cha, and Young In Hong. The exhibition design includes a long slanted wall devised by the curator that cuts across the exhibition space in the first floor. On this wall a series of 127 drawings by Miyeon Lee are installed as if they are dangling on the wall. The drawing series reconstructs images taken from press photographs that document sea or river disaster or rescue sites that the artist found on the internet. They are made in a process of selectively copying or erasing the found images on carbon paper.
Hwayeon Nam’s sculptural installation responds to the slanted wall exploring the flow of time through the shifting shadows created by the light entering the gallery window. On the second floor, she presents an installation of structures that frame the temporary relationship created between the column and the ground with the slanted wall on the first floor.
Jeamin Cha’s video Fog and Smoke incorporates performance and is projected in cinematic scale. Made in the city of Songdo in 2012, it exemplifies the artist’s ongoing interest in the artificial formation of the urban environment in a society that is heavily based on construction. The work Trot, Trio, Waltz is a recorded performance piece examining the invisible movement of re-production in an urban environment that is formed by recycled goods.
Young In Hong has continuously reconstructed the strange sights found in Korean totalitarian society and made mixed allegorical images about this situation using machine embroidery. Hong’s works reveal Baroque-like extravagant and exaggerated parts of this society and these characteristics are further expanded in a performance scheduled to take place at the exhibition opening. Titled Gwanghwamoon Quartet, the work consists of four musicians playing the saxophone, drums, contrabass, and piri (a Korean traditional wind instrument) interpreting in an improvised and collaborative way — along mixed sound collected by Hong around Gwanghwamun area.
Painter and critic Young Min Moon has repeatedly painted an image of a middle-aged man in a suit bowing to the ground. These evocative works explore a ubiquitous symbol in Asian culture easily observed in ceremonies within a Confucianist patriarchal society. Repeated on numerous canvases, this singular pose creates a very strange framing in time, creating a subtle difference in the viewer’s gaze, and ultimately creating a space of différance where the same is not possible to be reproduced.
Over the past few years, Siren Eun Young Jung has examined and recorded yeosung gukgeuk (Korean women’s musical) which was popular in the 1950-60s but is currently in decline. Previously, she made a documentary film, and more recently a stage-based performance on this theme, and in this exhibition, she shows a projection of slides displaying former gukgeuk actresses — a grouping that presents this cultural tradition in light of its’ biographical, cultural and gender significance in Korean history. This work transcends mere documentation of women’s history, functioning like a theatrical event exploring fragmented texts and poetical images of queerness of yeosung gukgeuk actresses who are widely celebrated for their performances of male characters. Through her diverse work practice, Hyangro Yoon used to explore mid-class society’s perversity relating to covert violence, boredom, and sexual stimulation. For this exhibition, she presents her wall text work depicting suffocating stage scenes, a video work in which she compiles, editsand restructures various grotesque short moving image clips from the internet, and around 69 works on paper created by cutting or erasing parts of figures, or backgrounds from famous American hero comics covers.
As Emma Goldman, an anarchist from the early 20th century wrote,” If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” In facing an uncertain future we need a rhyming song, dance, and rhythm in order to dance, no matter how imperfect or inconsistent it may be. The visual world, while often lacking sound or physical rhythm, can be considered as having its own kind of rhythm and rhyme. In this light, visual art no longer functions merely as a mechanism of the antiquated notion of ‘art for art’s sake’ or as a medium of commerce. Instead, these are rich visual worlds, in which the ontological shifts of the Arts are realized, a dynamic world of collision and correspondence, a latent world that becomes a space of politics.