August 24 – October 10, 2004
Art Sonje Center
Gimhongsok and Sora Kim have been noted both domestically and internationally as independent artists. As of recent their collaborative artwork, which started in 2000, has gained much respect of the art community as well. ANTARCTICA, at the Art Sonje Center, will be a unique opportunity to view two solo exhibitions of the two artists under the same title. It is most interesting to observe and understand how each artist responds to each other’s work, while simultaneously applying their individuality to attract and invite the audience into the same space, ‘ANTARCTICA’.
The 1st South Pole Centennial, hand-written by Gimhongsok, continues through the automatic entrance door and ascends to the second floor. Here the audience is greeted by complex spaces, comprised of two large sections titled, Volcan’O andBibliotheque, by Sora Kim. Like the explorers in Antarctica who continuously experience change and new discoveries, Sora Kim proceeds to encourage the audience’s dynamic involvement and through that involvement, create a whole new experience throughout the exhibition. Located on the second floor gallery,Volcan’O, constructed of circular plywood, continuously erupts popcorn from a popcorn machine, which emulates rupturing magma.
Bibliotheque, comprised of abandoned books stacked in mammoth columns, invites viewers to take out any book for reading. In addition, Sora Kim selected items of various colors from the abandoned books and used the colors to embellish the second and third floor walls. Orbit Lounge, on the third floor, is an extension from the second floor gallery. Here, Sora Kim has recycled a collection from her colleagues’ abandoned ideas to fabricate her work. This piece is appreciated both aesthetically and functionally, as Gimhongsok uses her artwork as seating objects for his opening performance.
Gimhongsok’s body of work displayed at this exhibition includes objects, media work, and wall text pieces. I Documented It – Jeju Island is a video piece that documents tourists posing for the camera in front of waterfalls and cliffs in Jeju Island. Through the documentation, Gimhongsok examines peoples’ behaviors and attitudes, which are acquired both socially and culturally. In another video piece, titled G5, Gim shows 5 individuals from various fields of work singing Korean-translated versions of the American, English, French, Japanese, and Russian national anthems. In doing so, Gim provides a think-tool for the audience to reflect upon the identity of ones’ nation, culture, and an individual.
Exhibited on the second and third floor galleries, are wall-text pieces by Gim. Excerpts from the Cohen brothers’ movie, O Brother, Where Are Thou?, are subtitled in Korean. This piece is a character screen, which utilizes text to substitute images shown in the movie. The viewers can imagine a scene illustrated only by subtitles. Poems A Petal I by Soo-Young Kim and America, Plate 10 by William Blake were also been transferred to the gallery walls, translated from Korean to English, English to Korean over and over again. The process of multiple translations creates entirely different poems from the original. The artist visualized the distortion that occurs through the translation process, questioning the limitations in translating languages and cultures.
In the opening event, Gimhongsok will participate in a performance where various objects such as the parody work of Robert Indiana’s LOVE and the G.N.P. / cOrrespOndence, a fortuitously created word by a boulder hitting a wall, and theWell, a text piece that has been written on the gallery floor are used as a backdrops.
Through this exhibition, Gimhongsok and Sora Kim attempt to break away from the linear and logical thought process in attempt to create a dynamic communication between the artist and audience. Also, instead of exhibiting complete images and objects, the artists present the concept of various objects working in conjunction with each other to create new images and meanings.