Do bis So: 14 – 19 Uhr / Thurs – Sun: 2 – 7 p.m.
Eröffnung/Opening: Freitag, 9. Juni um 19.00 Uhr/Friday, 9th June at 7 p.m.
Performance von/by Soni Kum
Focus Female Korea: NEVER ENDING SONG
‘Is it not over yet?’
This is how Hee-Joong Lee’s ‘Never Ending Song’1 begins. Poems allow different thoughts and feelings depending on readers, but if read together with Jeong Hee-Jin’s “women starts from the beginning. They have to repeatedly respond to the ‘same’ oppression, and have to repeat the ‘same’ story”2, the phrases of this poem creates a rather strange point of contact between the long history of mistranslations about feminism and hate crimes against women which have recently become a huge issue in the Korean society.
The murder of a young female in Gangnam station which occurred at dawn in May 17, 2015, made this song repeat itself again. In the Korean society where a woman gets killed per 1.7 days or feels she’s under the threat of death3, a murder case like this no longer receives wide attention. However, waves of condolences spread swiftly and quickly through social media, and the news received unprecedented attention. This exhibition initiated from the new senses and feelings about feminism which recently awakened the Korean society. The humanity’s false conventional wisdom about women which are commonly found in the Eastern and Western civilizations is not only the characteristics unique to Asia including Korea. Yet, the awareness of feminism in the non-western country viewed through the eyes of the western world is often given a very unique perspective. This is because it cannot be explained using a single discipline called Women’s studies, and is based on wide-ranging knowledge production and historical recognition. Furthermore, such a perspective creates ‘political correctness’ in which the operation of ethics about ‘otherization’ is only rational if the focus of the debate is on the other, in other words, the victim. However, this exhibition does not focus on ‘Korean women’ who cannot be sampled based on such simple epistemology.
‘Focus Female Korea: Never Ending Song’ which will be held from June 10 to July 2, 2017 at MEIN BLUE shines new light on all kinds of personal values that were ruled out by the universal and cold hard rational judgments demanded by modern rationalism through the works of Soni Kum and Chansook Choi who restores the memories and experiences of individual women that were marginalized from (almost) the whole history in the form of aesthetic language based on the special historical facts of more recent Korean society. Moreover, rather than limiting the gender issues as simply stemming from the few hate crimes against women that made the headlines via SNS, it aims to expand the discourse through diverse views and perspectives based on history and the entire social structure.
Goeun Song (space O’NewWall Curator)
1Hee-Joong Lee, “Never Ending Song”, Truly Old Scissors, Munhakdongne, 2012, (p116-117)
2Jeong Hee-Jin, “Language Divides by Gender”, Did Somebody Say misogyny?’, Hyunsilbooks, 2015(p98)
3Analysis by Korea Women’s Hot Line which was the first NGO in Korea which adopted the provision of counseling for victims of violence toward women in 1983
Chan Sook Choi, Choi & You, single channel video and installation, 2017
Chan Sook Choi
Chan Sook Choi works in a wide range of media, which include installation, sound, video, photography, painting and drawing. She has also recently started writing. She was born in Seoul, Korea. She studied Fine Art in Korea and Experimental media-Art at the University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany. Since 2003 she has worked intensive with film and video installation in the fields of experimental and new media art: Works that expand the boundaries of classical and contemporary art. She tried to combine elements taken from diverse epochs, cultures, and genres in order to stimulate all the senses of audience. 2010/2011 she received a Promotion from the NaFöG of the Senate of Berlin and Nart Promotion of young artists from the Seoul Art Foundation and Arts Council Korea 2013. And she was a participant as a video artist at the national-brand production from National Theatre of Korea. 2012 she was selected as Artist for Tomorrow by Sungkok Art Museum in Korea and 2014 as New Rising Artist by Gallery LOOP, Seoul, Korea.
Soni Kum is an interdisciplinary artist who was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan as a third generation Korean. She grew up in North Korean Community in Japan and obtained South Korean citizenship in 2006. She works in a variety of mediums including film and video, installation, performance, writing, photography, drawing and dance. Her early artworks attempt to shed light on fragmented pieces of darkened history and realign itself into more complex and personal storytelling.
After working for activist art projects with North Korean migrants in South Korea for several years, she begun to explore the theme of ritual in her performance/ installation works. Her ongoing art project is to transform the relationship between living and dying in contemporary society by attaining ultimate healing within ourselves.
Soni Kum received a M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts in the United States in 2005 and Doctor in Fine Arts from Tokyo University of Arts in 2011. Her work has been exhibited at numerous art spaces and film festivals around the world, which include USA, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Philippines, China, Cuba, UK, and Myanmar. She has taught in several universities in South Korea for 4 years since 2011 and received Excellent Lecturer Award from Yonsei University. Currently she is based in London from April 2016 as part of an artist in residency funded by the Pola Art Foundation, Japan.
Curator: Goeun Song
Song studied Painting at Sejong University in Korea, and received Kingston University London’s Art and Space M.A. degree. Since 2014 until present, Song has been working as the curator at SPACE O’NEWWALL, Korea. Recently, Song has contributed in organizing and writing in exhibitions Im Youngzoo Solo Exhibition: THEWESTERLIESWINDCOMESANDGOES (2016), Jaewook Lee Solo Exhibition: Treatise on Rhythm, Color and Birdsong (2016), Hesitation Form: Gone with the Beginning (2015), and The Smell of the Moon: Swiss New Media Art (2015), etc. Song’s interest in the various knowledge production methodologies in art has led to other projects and workshops including Sensible Residence (2016), and Right Then, Wrong Now: Curators’ Conversation (2015), etc.