‘Digital trash’ transformed into video artwork

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‘Digital trash’ transformed into video artwork


Artist Shingo Francis’s video work “Visions of Color” looks like a moving abstract painting. It was a broken streaming video of a beach that he found from an abandoned website for surfers. He brought it to the gallery as a “digital version of ready-made,” along with the mixed-media work “Color Flow,” right, based on the video.

A video piece that looks like a moving abstract painting of beautiful blue and magenta hues is hanging on the wall of Space BM art gallery in central Seoul. Surprisingly, the video was not initially made as an artwork, but it is an art piece now.

“It was a digital video streaming from a web camera installed at a beach, which I found at an abandoned web site for surfers, which was not updated since 2013 ... digital trash in a sense,” artist Shingo Francis told reporters earlier this month.

“It was a good example of digital image streaming that was completely broken down, compressed and pixelated ... but it was trying so hard to constantly stream the image. Of course it was useless, but, for me, as painter and artist, it was very interesting. It revealed to me the material of digital streaming.”

Like French artist Marcel Duchamp, the pioneer of conceptual art, who signed a urinal and titled it “Fountain,” making the found object into an artwork, Francis “re-formatted and re-contextualized the video in the Duchampian sense of ready-made” and titled it “Visions of Color.”

This “digital version of ready-made” is a new kind of work for Francis, who has been known for his abstract paintings. He also created a series of mixed-media works based on the video piece. They look just like abstract paintings but actually are digital prints of the video images on canvas, adjusted by the artist by bleaching and other procedures.

Francis may have been inspired by his parents - the famous American abstract painter Sam Francis and Japanese video artist Mako Idemitsu.

The works are part of Shingo Francis’s first-ever solo show in Korea.

BY MOON SO-YOUNG [symoon@joongang.co.kr]

The exhibit runs through July 1. Admission is free. Take bus Nos. 143, 401, 406 or 730 and walk 10 minutes from the Crown Hotel stop. For details, visit spacebm.com or call (02) 797-3093.
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