Artists chart transitions of adolescent stage
“In contemporary Korean life, gravity and speed collide, and self-pride and inferiority complexes coexist,” stated Hong Ra-hee, the director general of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art. She added, “In that context, this exhibition is also inspired by surprising similarities and emotional correspondences found between the psychological conflicts experienced by contemporary artists and the concept of transition, characterized by alienation and anxiety.”
The exhibition, running until Nov. 5, has paintings, sculptures, installations, photography and video art by 12 artists: Young Whan-bae, Chang Jia, Choi Min-hwa, Gim Hong-sok, Hyeon Tae-joon, Lim Min-ouk, Oh Hein-kuhn, Park Area, Suh Do-ho, Yang Man-ki and artists who go by the names flyingCity and YP771207001@.
“In the course of its formation, modern Korean society has experienced schizophrenic changes and moral confusion as well as numerous fissures and conflicts in various areas. These are far from the kind of maturity one may expect of a society with a history of more than 5,000 years,” commented Ahn So-yeon, the chief curator of Leeum.
A video installation by Chang Jia shows a single-channel video of a woman on screen being tortured by an anonymous hand, with her hair and head being grabbed and having eggs thrown at her. “Through the video, Chang expresses that the process of becoming an artist is compared to surviving the criticisms and beatings of the viewers and critics,” said Huh Yoo-soon, the docent at the gallery.
Adolescence as submission can also be seen in six black-and-white photographs by Oh Hein-kuhn. In his pictures, schoolgirls in uniform are shown in an oddly sensual, yet vulnerable way. One photo shows two young girls holding hands, another shows a girl coyly crossing her legs. The artist, who earlier created an ajumma (married woman) series, has recently featured girls caught between childhood and womanhood.
by Cho Jae-eun