Young Asian artists draw on digital tech to show visions of future

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Young Asian artists draw on digital tech to show visions of future

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“This Might be the Last Time” depicts Hassnal Adam Raasalhague Sulaiman’s bleak view of the future


The influence of digital technology on the lives of young artists is represented in a new exhibition of photography and video art at the Palais de Seoul gallery in Seoul, which features the best works of 20 young artists from Asean countries and Korea.

“Future Image” includes 11 winning pieces from this year’s 2011 Asean-Korea Multimedia Competition. They were whittled down from around 900 entries submitted earlier this year by 11 leading curators in Asia.

The winners include Thailand’s Chanathip Keawsuk, Brunei’s Hassnal Adam Raasalhague Sulaiman, Poe Sandar Lin from Myanmar and Ahn Sung-seok from Korea. The other nine featured artists finished as runners up in the competition. All are under 30 years old.

“It is obvious that the use of video and photography is no longer anomalous for this generation,” said Agung Hujatnikajennong, the curator of Indonesia’s Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, who also served as one of the judges for this year’s competition.

“It seems that they have been raised and living with digital technology, hence the language of this medium has been inherently embedded in their artistic expression.”

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“CIMED 15” a self portrait by Willis Turner Henry


The exhibition aims to broaden interest in Asian artists beyond the traditional heavyweight countries of China, Japan and India.

“The contemporary Asian art scene has centered on China, Japan and India for a long time,” said Suh Jin-suk, the director of Alternative Space Loop, which organized the show with the Asean-Korea Centre.

“This exhibition aims to shine a spotlight on emerging artists from other Asian countries that are less prominent in the art market, so we can see their unique interpretations of what the future holds for this part of the world.”

In the eyes of Hassnal Adam Raasalhague Sulaiman, the future looks desperately bleak as mankind’s growing carbon footprint takes a heavy toll on the natural world.

His photograph, “This Might be the Last Time,” depicts the artist wearing an oxygen mask as he reaches out to touch a horse in a forest setting. The trees are silhouetted, and the horse is lit in such a way as to present it in an ethereal, almost painting-like manner, as if to suggest that the animal is but a ghost, or remnant of the past.

“I decided to touch specifically on pollution, and how people still harm Mother Nature on a daily basis,” the artist writes in the exhibition prologue.

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“Bubble #1” by Jo Kyu-sung Provided by the gallery


For Poe Sandar Lin, who presents a series of untitled photographs, the future is a blurry haze of light.

“The future is something we cannot see. It’s always blurry,” writes the artist.

“Light and [the] future are inextricably connected. Their close relationship always comes vividly in my eyes as a metaphor of the sun [in] darkness.”

Indonesian photographer Willis Turner Henry’s series of self-portraits explore her identity and feelings of alienation from mainstream society. They show her in various settings and poses, with one in particular depicting her wrapped in plastic wrap as she reaches out to touch the other side.

“Incubated from my personal experience as a Chinese-Indonesian [who comes] from Medan, I seek to get deeply immersed in the emotional crisis to explore the idea of the split between how I feel and how I appear,” the artist writes.

*The “Future Image” exhibition runs until Aug. 14 at the Palais de Seoul in Jongno District, central Seoul. Opening hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays through Sundays. Admission is free. For more information, please call (02) 730-7707 or visit www.palaisdeseoul.net.


By Cho Jae-eun [jainnie@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

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