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


“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.”


“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.


“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

By Cho Jae-eun []

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

찰칵, 아세안 앵글로 아세안 봤더니…

서울서 10개국 작가 현대사진 미디어아트전

세계의 시선이 아시아로 몰리는 시대라지만 우리 시선은 동북아나 멀어야 인도쯤에 머물러 있다. 브루나이·인도네시아·캄보디아·태국·필리핀 등 동남아국가연합(아세안) 10개국은 가깝지만 오히려 먼 나라다.

이들 동남아의 정서와 문화를 이해할 첫 걸음으로 시각 매체 중에서도 접근이 쉬운 사진과 미디어아트 전시가 열린다. 한국과 아세안 10개국 작가 30명을 불러모은 ‘마그네틱 파워-한·아세안 현대사진 미디어아트’전이다. 올 3월 창립한 국제기구인 한·아세안센터가 주최한다. 6월 초 제주에서 열리는 ‘한·아세안 특별정상회의’ 개최에 즈음해 20일부터 6월 6일까지 서울 시내 전시장 9곳에서 전시를 연다.

참여 작가는 캄보디아 반디 라타나, 말레이시아 이이란, 미얀마 퓨몬 등 아세안 10개국별로 2명씩이다. 한국 작가로는 구동희·노순택·김옥선·이재이·정연두씨 등 10명이 참여한다. 아세안 작가 중 캄보디아의 반디 라타나는 전쟁으로 많은 기록이 소멸한 캄보디아의 사회 유산을 사진으로 담은 ‘자화상’ 시리즈를 내놓고, 말레이시아의 이이란은 이 나라의 전통을 상징하는 물소가 사라지고 있는 현실을 대형 사진으로 나타낸 ‘케르보’ 연작을, 태국의 몬트리 토엠솜밧은 소수 인종을 상징하는 인물 10명을 찍은 초상화 시리즈를 각각 전시한다. 뉴욕에서 활동하는 한국작가 이재이씨는 서울 강북 지역 작가 스튜디오 제공 프로그램에 참여하던 중 다닌 대중목욕탕의 키치적 벽화에 주목했다. 백조가 떠다니는 한가로운 풍경, 나이아가라 폭포의 장대함 등을 타일에 그려넣은 사라져가는 목욕탕을 찾아다니며 사진을 찍었다. 이상현씨는 100분 짜리 영상 ‘조선왕조의 몰락’을 상영한다.

이번 전시를 기획한 독립 큐레이터 김유연씨는 “동남아 현실을 담은 사진과 미디어 아트가 자석이 끌어당기듯 공감을 일으킬 것”이라고 말했다. 전시작은 작가별로 삼청동 주변 리씨갤러리·김현주갤러리·갤러리진선·한벽원·선컨템포러리·도올, 대학로의 대안공간 정미소와 강남구 신사동 코리아나미술관 등 9곳으로 나뉘어 선보인다. 무료. 02-2287-1115.

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