중앙데일리

‘Tom and Jerry’ like you’ve never seen them

‘[A Swiss museum]contacted me and said they had samples of 7.7 million species but did not have a skeleton of a cartoon character.’

June 18,2007
“Animatus” by Lee Hyung-koo on display in the Korean pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale [Yonhap]
Artist Lee Hyung-koo, 38, is the sole artist in the Korean pavilion of this year’s Venice Biennale. Two of Lee’s works, “Animatus” and “The Objectuals,” are on display. Since Korea began participating in the prestigious art exhibition, Lee has become the first Korean to use the entire Korean pavilion to show his works.
“Animatus” is a skeleton of a cat in mid-air chasing after the skeleton of a mouse. The skeleton in mid-air depicts the cartoon cat, Tom, from the animation, “Tom and Jerry.” The smaller skeleton depicts Jerry.
“The concept of ‘Animatus’ is that in the distant future, the skeleton of an animation character will be excavated and displayed in a natural history museum,” Lee said.
“The Objectuals” is a lab where parts of the human body are enlarged. The Korean pavilion opened on June 8.

Lee Hyung-koo
Q.What does it feel like becoming the sole exhibitor at the pavilion?
A. I was an assistant for artist Kang Ik-joong during the 1997 Venice Biennale, and I can’t believe I am displaying my works alone at the Korean pavilion. It is an honor.

What are the reactions of visitors?
What they see in the middle of the hall is a skeleton trying to devour another skeleton. Some visitors are startled to see it.
But when they come out of the hall, I see them smile. They think it is funny. They complimented the work.

The Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York want to buy some of your works.
I am very glad.
I am very interested in displaying my work at the Museum of Natural History in Basel, Switzerland, which is the biggest such museum in Europe.
They contacted me and said they had samples of 7.7 million species but did not have a skeleton of a cartoon character. They said they wanted to own my work.
I also suggested to them that I wanted to display my works at the museum. I am planning to visit Basel personally and discuss the issue.
It would be interesting if there were exhibitions of both real skeletons and imitations.

What difficulties arose with the exhibition at the Venice Biennale?
The space was too small and it was divided into four different sections. I talked to Korean pavilion director Ahn So-yeon and reduced the number of works on display.
I wish the Korean pavilion was as spacious as the French or the British. Then the installation might have been more impressive.

How did you come up with “The Objectuals?”
I always felt that my body was not well built, and the feeling intensified when I went to Yale University in the United States to study.
I saw that some Westerners have really large hands. Then I became interested in the proportions of human body.
That’s how the work with enlarged eyes or lips came to be.

The concept of excavating the skeleton of a cartoon character is very unique.
I was originally interested in phrenology and physiognomy. I selected the characters of the cartoon “Tom and Jerry” for my work because it is now shown on television in Italy.


By Cho Hyun-wook JoongAng Ilbo



dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장