Two female Korean artists showcased at 59th Venice Biennale
VENICE, Italy — Two female Korean artists who rebel against conventional thoughts through art, traveled to Italy to showcase their works at the 59th Venice Biennale.
“The Milk of Dreams,” which is the name of the 59th International Art Exhibition, features 34-year-old Mire Lee, who is based in Seoul and Amsterdam, and 42-year-old Geumhyung Jeong, based in Seoul, among 213 artists from all over the world.
“The Milk of Dreams” was curated by Cecilia Alemani, a 45-year-old Italian curator based in New York City. She is the first Italian woman to become the artistic director of the central exhibition of the Venice Biennale.
“The Milk of Dreams” is based on Mexican surrealist painter Leonora Carrington’s (1917-2011) book of the same name, “in which the Surrealist artist describes a magical world where life is constantly re-envisioned through the prism of the imagination,” Alemani stated on the biennale’s website.
What makes it more significant is the fact that a majority of the artists who took part in “The Milk of Dreams” are females, contrary to past editions.
It is not an understatement to say Lee’s piece stands out among the others due to its explicitly gory form.
Her new kinetic art installation, titled “Endless House: Holes and Drips” (2022), shows what appear to be skeletons with blood oozing out from hoses on steel racks. The skeletons are ceramic and the blood is a type of glaze, Lee told reporters at the exhibition on Wednesday.
“The trickling glaze is the process of painting the ceramic pieces,” Lee said. “After the exhibition is finished, I plan to fire it a second time — as the new color will harden the way it was, representing the trace of the exhibition.”
To make this rather bizarre sculpture, Lee said she found inspiration from videos on quitting smoking, which was a topic of interest to her.
Jeong’s “Toy Prototype” (2021), which displays numerous robotic sculptures laid across a wide table, is different from her previous works. She is better known for her performances, in which she engages in gestures that suggest sexual tension to explore voyeurism and the power struggle in sexual relationships.
With “Toy Prototype,” Jeong aims to portray the “uncanny relationships” between people and machines. For instance, there are robotic parts replacing the nipple area of a human torso mannequin.
“The Milk of Dreams” is being held at the Arsenale Corderie and runs through Nov. 27 this year. For more information, visit www.labiennale.org
BY SHIN MIN-HEE [email@example.com]