Curated by Youngsil Sohn
The Simultaneous Echoes exhibition presents works by 21st-century Korean media artists who incorporate media technologies such as digital video and interactive installations into their work. At the same time, it aims to analyze the formative language of the medium and examine how the featured artists’ works reflect the evolving views of media and contemporary Korean society. Hosted on the 30th anniversary of Nam June Paik’s satellite project Good Morning Mr. Orwell, this exhibition examines Paik’s view of media and his influence on Korean media art, with works by current young artists considered in a parallel manner to suggest discourses of Korean media art continuing in the present. READ MORE
Photography & Motion Picture Department
Kyungil University, 50 Gamasilgil, Hayangup, Gyeongsan
Gyeongbuk, 712-701, South Korea
Excerpted from Leonardo, Volume 49, No. 5 (2016)
Yongseok Oh, in the work Drama No. 5, collected clips from many films depicting ordinary and everyday scenes and then recorded his own videos of places and scenes that were similar to the movie scenes, later collaging them into one video. He shows movie sets that are simply designed and made to depict a fictional scene as another kind of reality. In spite of using movie scenes in this work, he tried to compose it in a way that is more like ordinary life, not that of a movie.
Yongseok Oh, Drama No. 5, two-channel video, 4 min 33 sec, 2006. (© Yongseok Oh)
Leenam Lee gives rebirth to different times, cultures and concepts, such as the East and the West, using painting and image animation to create a moving image artwork. Early Spring Drawing—Four Seasons 2 is a reinterpretation of the work Early Spring Drawing (1072 BCE) by Guo Xi of the Northern Song dynasty in China. Lee intends, through the use of digital technology, to revitalize this classic work that has been locked in time and space. He maximizes the pictorial mood of the landscape—which Guo Xi would have enjoyed—by creating a dreamlike and dramatic atmosphere through changing the seasons and varying the weather in the painting.
Leenam Lee, Early Spring Drawing—Four Seasons 2 (winter/autumn), LED TV, 6 min 59 sec, 2012. (© Leenam Lee)
Set (American Wooden House)
In the work Set, the artist Mioon has painted a pictorial landscape using florescent pigments on a wall where video is projected. After the video is projected and then turned off, the room becomes dark, and for five seconds of darkness, viewers see the luminous image created by the pigments glowing in the dark. Intriguingly, the pictorial landscape image is differently perceived according to the type and brightness of the previously projected video image. This work relies on the effects of afterimage in memory, i.e. overlaps and afterimages induced by alternating the video images and the pictorial image. One memory is intertwined with another, and recent memories arise together with the traces and afterimages of previous memories.
Mioon, Set (American wooden house), HD video (top), fluorescent paint (bottom), 10 min, 2014. (© Mioon)
Biho Ryu recognizes that contemporary individuals pay a certain price for services that global enterprises offer, and that consumers are conditioned to enjoy and be pleased with these services. His work Euphoric Drive, from the Flexible Landscape series, is a 3D animation that reminds one of a racing game. The viewer is presented with a landscape in which signs keep gliding by during a constant drive down a yellow street at a speed of 10–20km/hr. This work looks at society from a critical viewpoint and sends a message that the desires of modern people fascinated with the ecstasy of capital are like a vain mirage.
Biho Ryu, Euphoric Drive, single-channel video, 5 min (loop), 2008. (© Biho Ryu)
Ho-Yeol Ryu uses the computer to present situations or phenomena that are seemingly impossible within reality. He alters reality to recreate daily life from another perspective. Many impossible things are made possible by computers. In the work Baum, a pale tree standing in front of an artificial background makes sound by flapping in the wind, which blows from somewhere, providing a sense of movement between reality and fiction through the use of a fictional video image of tree and wind. Ryu builds the landscape of a new world through the reconstruction of objects existing in reality.
Ho-Yeol Ryu, Baum, HD video, 44100 Hz, 16-bit stereo, 3 min, 2014. (© Ho-Yeol Ryu)
Kyungwoo Han demonstrates how hard it is to retain objectivity in the human acts of seeing and reading and shows the reality that the truth of phenomena cannot be seen as such but can merely be interpreted subjectively. In his work Star Pattern Shirt, the artist uses the Stars and Stripes as a symbol of Western capitalism flowing into East Asia. The Stars and Stripes projected onto the screen is actually a scene where objects arbitrarily arranged in the exhibition hall are reproduced through one camera viewpoint; the work conceptually displays modern society in which capitalism is prevalent. A spectator realizes that his or her own moving shape seen through a fixed image of the stars and stripes at the moment when he passes through the installed works is the very image lighting up the spot where he or she stands.
Kyungwoo Han, Star Pattern Shirt, single-channel video, 5 min 17 sec, 2011. Image at top shows installation view. (© Kyungwoo Han)
Junebum Park has shown works that demonstrate the procedure of transforming places or objects using his own hands; in more recent works, his intervention as an artist emerges in different, more expanded forms. In his work, Park makes use of miniatures or attaches two-dimensional pictures here and there; he constantly tries to develop and apply a complex way of thinking that does not depend upon the characteristics of the media employed. Making Songdo for 3-channel video demonstrates a procedure for transforming land and city using information from Google Earth, Naver map and Incheon Free Economic Zone (ifez.go.kr) This work, intended for the development of the city, encompasses superficial aspects as well as internal structures, policies and conflicts and involves the people who live there. His work is the result of a novel idea to combine miniature images derived from the real world as a means to understand the self and the surrounding world.
Junebum Park, Making Songdo, 3-channel video, 5 min, 2009–2014. Installation view (top) and still images (bottom). (© Junebum Park)
CAVE into the cave: A wild rumor
Ye Seung Lee
Ye Seung Lee, in the CAVE into the cave series, which she started in 2011, uses various forms of screens to change spaces into a kind of stage. In this work, light and dark—major elements in its form—appear consistently. Images programmed in advance interact with shadows caused by objects installed in the exhibition space to highlight subtle differences between the real and the false. The forms move in sync with sound, depending on the flow of spectators. By creating a confusing experience through the use of constant repetition and overlapping, Lee tries to point to the psychotic aspects of modern society caused by excesses such as too much information and material affluence.
Ye Seung Lee
Ye Seung Lee, CAVE into the cave: A wild rumor, interactive media installation, micro-controller, motion sensors, scientific experiment tools, plastic containers, daily objects, table, lights, chairs, 2014. (© Ye Seung Lee)