An exhibit as individualistic as every single patron

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An exhibit as individualistic as every single patron

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“Exercise for Everlasting 1” by Yoon Young-seok Provided by Rodin Gallery

The artist Yoon Young-seok describes his works as being psychological rather than conceptual. Mr. Yoon believes that when we look at something, what we see is shaped more by our perceptions than by the physical process of sight.
This could be why he calls his works “psychological objects,” and says that “to see is a psychological problem.”
He also raises questions: How can an artist’s individual experience become a work of art? What is the difference between seeing and being seen, things that are normal and things that are not?
His latest exhibition at Rodin Gallery, “The Realm of 3.5 Dimension,” explores the notion of time and the fleeting nature of existence by playing with the audience’s psyche.
A picture of a basketball court taken hours after the game is over retains memories of the players’ body movements; a picture of an ordinary landscape outside the artist’s studio window in New York is deliberately made to look like old footage of an unfamiliar scene.
He takes photographs or videos of objects in a way that creates the illusion that they are something besides what is depicted. A car’s rearview mirror, a heap of salt, a coffin, guns, a billiard table and a ballerina’s legs are captured in a way that makes them look as if they are moving.
In “Seeing and Hearing, Hearing and Seeing” Mr. Yoo presents a panel on a wall, a stethoscope and a rearview mirror. When someone steps forward to listen through the stethoscope, they are met by a total absence of sound. As they look up in surprise, they see their eyes reflected in the rearview mirror and realize they have been fooled.
One of the most moving works in the exhibit is “Piggy, Piggy Plantation Project,” in which the artist displays an entire wall full of dead, cloned pigs that are zipped into plastic bags. In the center of the installation, however, there is one “surviving” baby pig set apart through the use of light. The artist includes a small sign of hope in the form of feeding tubes, which are attached to each of the bags.
Indeed the artist makes the point that, in the end, art is all about perception, illusion and misinterpretation ― a theory developed by Einstein that says reality is merely an illusion.
“What the artist refers to as a psychological problem is something that has been continuously pursued ― that art is closer to a medical, physiological concept than an aesthetic one,” writes Kim Wonbang, an art critic. “Yoon’s work addresses the totality of the psyche and the body and may be better understood from the perspective not of iconography, aesthetics and hermeneutics, but of pathology, physiology and biology.”


“The Realm of 3.5 Dimension” by Yoon Young-seok runs through April 22 at Rodin Gallery. For more information call (02) 2014-6552.


By Park Soo-mee Staff Writer [myfeast@joongang.co.kr]

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