<made of layers>
Foil gallery, Tokyo, Japan
choi sunghun + park sunmin
curated by Inseon Kim
organized by gallery factory
participated in group exhibition
catalogue design by sunmin park
FOIL Gallery & Gallery FACTORY are pleased to pres- ent <Made of Layers> a group exhibition by four Korean contemporary artists/group in which layers are overlapped in terms of styles and concepts. The media for the exhibiting works will be mainly photography and moving pictures, and we will be able to have a chance to interpret the functions of these media and the output images in a different way rather than the media themselves.
The invention of image by multi-faceted interpretations of Cubism became a crucial turning point for contemporary art to develop & present “newly defined” reality. And this exhibition will seek to present the expanded notion of reality after a decade of Cubist Art Movement which made an ef- fort to seek out for a reality in the realm of visual art.
Cubism of early 20th century is supposedly the most cor- responding art movement with the “theory of relativity” published by physicist Albert Einstein in 1905; as each viewer’s personal background and taste differs, the contents or concepts of artworks change instantly and continually, the relative perception or interpretation by different viewers with diverse perspectives subsequently grants artworks an infinite changeability and possibility. This exhibition intends to highlight those layers surrounding artworks and to read ever-changing meanings among the multifold layers of dif- ferent artworks.
Layers of Concepts and Styles
The four Korean contemporary artists/group participating in this exhibition Made of Layers, namely Choi Sunghun + Park Sunmin, Kim Siyeon, Kwon Doohyoun and Shin Kiwoun hold their own formal and contextual layers in art making praxis; and the spatial and sociocultural layers of FOIL Gallery will be intertwined among those artworks as the exhibition progresses.
Each art piece in this exhibition works as a layer that consti- tutes space and context. In the meantime, audiences present diverse emotional layers which tend to differ depending upon their personal situation, social stance, and sensibil-
ity; firstly, visual interpretation begins through the eyes of different beholders, and subsequently diverse perceptions are built upon individual sensibility, through which manifolds emotional layers of audiences are created.
The exhibiting artworks are mostly photographs and videos. The images that human eyes capture result in various photo & video works through camera lenses, in which process each artist’s perspective and sensibility create different layers. Camera is a symbolic medium that manifests the structure of human perception: 1. instant perception via human body, 2. physical and contextual perception, 3. emotional percep- tion and feedback. In each phase of perception, other various elements or layers come to get involved.
The contextual or spatial layers entwined in FOIL Gal- lery, along with the emotional layer drawn from different audiences will organically provoke another layer; the gallery space signifies massive yet complex facets of our society, in which people captures a sympathy with the artworks.
The original role of photography and moving pictures partic- ipating in this exhibition will not be defined in a traditional way. ‘Recording’ has already been incorporated into the act of drawing and that of making, and the next step of “how to reveal” is at stake.
This exhibition pays attention to the layers that show a variety of roles and the concept that has a variety of layers connoted in the output. As multiple interpretations of the images of the work are possible, we witness the layering and expansion of genres.
Choi Sunghun + Park Sunmin take surroundings around them and dailiness of objects with the ‘not-everyday’ gaze. The role and position of a pigeon that happened to fly in or of a cat, or the size and shape of a plant they encounter are presented in a totally different image and meaning by the eye angle and position of the artists. Their participation in Ver- sus, an independent magazine published by Gallery Factory also puts their art in layers. Their work extends the original categories of art such as installation and photography and at the same time extends the spectrum of audience who accepts art. This enables visual art to work as an effective medium in publication in which the written text dominates over visual art.
Kim Siyeon, for example, the artist expresses her intention through installation; however, what remain for us are photo- graphic images. Though these outputs may show the artist’s concept, what the artist originally created herself is the installations in images. She does not take photos herself. The imageries in her works present depression, self-defense, and the realm of personal imagination. They are a kind of defense system installed layer upon layer, but the fact that they are made of fragile materials suggests dual mechanism.
Kwon Doohyoun has set some rules to “protect” or “manage” his work. This can be understood as a concept of managing “editions” applied in the realm of photography, but it also is a complicated system of giving originality to each piece of work. He has the system of identifying his works with num- bers or using specific materials for a specific year. Using im- ages which are intentionally shaken and layered, and includ- ing intentional marks or stains formed on the surface of the work in images, he attempts to create layers of time. These acts transform his works so that they take a characteristic of painting that cannot simply be defined as photography.
Shin Kiwoun puts repetitive acts of grinding objects in moving pictures. The objects used in his work are Nintendo, MP3player, clock, and plastic figures of Astroboy, Spider- man, and Superman. Objects favored by today’s young people are destroyed and disappear in front of your eyes, and this is the reality you face when the piled layers are being removed one by one.