Through the process of drawing, various issues and problems surrounding my installation practice are addressed.
My installation explores the language of repetition, the simplicity of reduction, and the etymology of single unit-like structures. They referenc Flavin’s serial methodology of using the fluorescent lamp as a “colour stick,” a unit to be combined with other units to create building blocks of a system. In my work, these units come in the form of colour belts used in the ranking system of martial arts. In a unit-based structure, any number of these mass-produced commercial products may be deployed within the limits of standard issue colours and sizes.
The symbology of colours also evokes expressions of kinship represented in socially encoded markers. Colour (and its selective arrangements) as a means to express the body politic, in its collective authorization or social pact convey both the socially inscribed nature of belonging and also its arbitrary nature. Some inherent aspects and contextual function and myths of the sport of martial arts also come into play. I am intrigued by the idea that early martial artists begin their training with a white belt that eventually becomes stained black from accumulated years of sweat, dirt and blood; the black belt represents the culmination of a ritualistic journey and reward for physical and mental strength and suffering.
Flavin’s series of white fluorescent lamp sculptures, “Monument to Tatlin” (1964 -1990), an homage to Tatlin’s unrealized utopian design, “Monument to the Third International” (1920), has been an inspirational point of departure for my own series of white marital art belt arrangements. The tapestry-like textile constructions are illuminated, not by white light but rather inhabiting a self-contained stillness, seemingly untouched by time or technology but retaining an indexical relationship to both. With an infrastructure that speaks geometry and hierarchy but are also unexpectedly organic with a democratizing effect on the visual plane, my work tries to both contain and unsettle these contradictions.
Artist Bio / CV
Born: 1969 South Korea
Education: 2005 Goldsmiths College, Master of Fine Art, London, UK
Solo Exhibitions: (selected) 1997 Cute Sexuality, Gallery BODA, Seoul
2002 Transparent Charm, YYZ Artists' Outlet, Toronto 2002 When We Were Kings, Galerie Wieland, Berlin 2002 Transatlantic Pacific Show, VTO Gallery, London 2004 Too Sweet! Go Away!, Aceartinc. Winnipeg 2006 Pangea Ultima, Articule, Montreal 2006 Original Supercontinent , Galerie Martin van Zomeren, Amsterdam 2008 Ideal and Emergence, Derek Eller Gallery, New York 2009 Together in Fateful Collision, Magnus Müller, Berlin
Group Exhibitions: (selected)
1997 The Body as Text, Kumho Museum, Seoul 1999 Clothes&That Inside, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
1999 Also Different Flow, Moran Museum of Art, Wolsan, Korea
1999 Performance, Kleines Helmhaus, Zurich 2002 Telling Stories, borromini Arte Contempranea, Ozzano Manferrato, Italy
2004 Open House, SSamziespace, Seoul
2004 Placebo, Artspeak, Vancouver, Canada
2004 I am Very Very Sorry, Galerie Martin van Zomeren, Amsterdam 2005 All Personal, VTO, London 2006 Born to be a Star, K/haus, Vienna, Austria
2007 Drawings and Papers, Grusenmyer Art Gallery, Deurle 2007 Gegen den Strich, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin 2007 In Neuem Kontext, Haus der Kulturen der Welt offsite exhibition at St. Johannes-Evangelist-Kirche, Berlin 2008 Interfacing practices, Magnus Müller Gallery, Berlin 2008 Gegen den Strich, Experimentiertfeld Zeichnung, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld, Germany 2008 Figur des Körpers, loop – raum für aktuelle kunst, Berlin, 2008 In the Shadow, Kunstverein Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg
Residencies: 2003 Ssamziespace, Seoul, Korea
Grants and Awards: 1996, 1997,Ontario Arts Council, Visual Arts Grant
1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 Canada Council for the Arts, Grants for Emerging Artists
1998, 2000 Canada Council for the Arts, Travel Grant
2004 Canada Council for the Arts, Visual Arts Grant
2006 Canada Council for the Arts, Research and Creation Grant
2004 Arts & Humanities Research Council, England