Still from Sojung Jun’s (전소정) film Last Pleasure (마지막 기쁨) at Doosan Gallery starting Sept. 4
An important tribute to an inspiring, generous, and vivacious person. I interviewed Crystal a few years ago to help spread the word about China Residencies. Now an incredibly successful program, China Residencies is one small part of the vast legacy Crystal left this world.
Ted Lawson creates drawings of his body with his own blood as medium via an IV (via DesignBoom). His artwork includes many different bodies made of various media such as blood, resin, steel, and found objects. Aspects of Lawson’s work are reminiscent of Choi Xooang’s work.
SAIC’s Conversations at the Edge schedule for fall 2014 was just released. Cao Fei will give a talk on October 23. Among many things, Fei is especially well known for the world she created on Second Life. Here’s a tour of it via Art Forum. I’d love to get to Chicago to hear that talk!
An important diagram for people from the United States to keep in mind. We have so much further to go.
“Why I’m Leaving Gagosian” via Art Market Monitor. In regard to the gallery’s impact on the global art market, the author of the article, Kenny Schachter, says, “To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the collectors continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Gagosian is one of the world’s largest and most important galleries and it is too integral to the global art market to continue to act this way.”
A Journal of the Plague Year. Continental Fear. Islands, ghosts, rebels opened at Arko Art Center in Seoul yesterday. I saw this exhibition last year in Hong Kong at Para Site and highly recommend it. The exhibition features a plethora of artists, some are internationally known like Ai Weiwei. The exhibition, “… departs from and remains strongly connected to an exploration of the events that affected Hong Kong in the spring of 2003: the most significant airborne epidemic in recent years, the SARS crisis, coupled with the tragic death of pop figure and pan-Asian icon Leslie Cheung” (e-flux).
Female cartoonists drawing their bodies. I especially like number 2 by Katie Green and number 8 Lucy Knisley. All of the drawings gave me a sense of camaraderie and mutual understanding.
20 Essential K-Pop Songs according to Pitchfork. K-Pop aficionados, do you agree? Are these essential? My K-Pop favorites like Nobody and Sorry, Sorry are a bit dated.
At the beginning of September, the Leeum and Gwangju Biennale are presenting a forum, “Expanding Experiences in Art.” via e-flux
“Enter Pyongyang” is an observational film of the capital of North Korea created by JT Singh and Rob Whitworth. It’s an interesting watch and does show the capital in a less common light. Though, I can’t help but be distracted by what lays beyond the capital and what isn’t pictured.
Despite not living there anymore, Chicago and the people in it are still close to my heart. In honor of that, check out Zane Davis’s new Tumblr dedicated to a Chicago bridge.
For anyone who is curious, I’m based in San Francisco now.
Image above Lee Seung-hoon’s Plastic Surgery #01 via Korean Herald
Momsal (몸살), literally meaning body ache, examines the body as a site that represents the distress and aches of society. According to the Korean Herald, the exhibition at Sungkok Art Museum (성곡미술관) features six artists four of which are South Korean: Shin Je-heon (신제헌), Lee Sun-haing (이선행), Lee Seung-hoon (이승훈), and Black Jaguar (흑표범), and two from abroad: Sigalit Landau (Israel) and Cui Xianji (China). Above and below are some images of the artwork from the exhibition.
Black Jaguar, Giant–Monster, 2013, 150 x 100 cm, Digital Print
The first image in this post, Lee Seung-hoon’s Plastic Surgery #01, initially drew me to this exhibition. The marks on the people’s faces in the photographs recall battle paint. Cosmetic surgery is in a way a form of battle paint; it distorts the original likeness so that one can achieve greater success, or so they hope. The melancholic expression combined with the quickly painted child-like marks create a layered view into not just the act but also the person. While looking at Lee’s images I came across an opinion piece written for the New York Times by Han Kang about cosmetic surgery in South Korea. Kang describes looking at the before and after images, “Whenever I look at these pictures, it’s the ‘before’ face that I’m drawn to: the face that has been discarded; the one that has disappeared from the world forever.” Read the rest of Kang’s essay here. If you’re interested in more details, here’s some information from the Economist.
Lee Sun-haing, Place to Rest, 2013
It is easy to become distracted by cosmetic surgery when approaching the concept of the body and South Korea. This exhibition appears to have moved beyond that and addressed further corporeal themes. Alongside the images above, there is a bust of Damien Hirst, a video called Mermaids [Erasing the Border of Azkelon], and more. To see further images you can visit the museum website linked above and there is also an essay in Korean about it here.
I initially found this exhibition through The Korean Herald in “Depictions of ‘body aches’ in modern society” by Lee Woo-young.
Read the article on DesignBoom.
Freddy will always have a piece of my heart. Queen’s “Body Language” (1982).
If I had all the time and money in the world I would apply to participate in these two conferences:
Bodies in Between: Corporeality and Visuality from Historical Avant-garde to Social Media
Deadline for call for papers: February 15, 2014
Conference Dates: 29-31 May, 2014
Location: Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA
Time, Space, and the Body
Deadline for call for papers: April 4, 2014
Conference Dates: 7-9 September, 2014
Location: Oxford, ENGLAND
A performance at SKMU in Norway recreated by Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, How to Break the Great Chinese Wall Part 2: Never Mind Pollock, includes painting with hair and polka dots. Here’s a video.
Her website says, “The weighty wall of art history constitutes a challenge for a new generation of artists. Inevitably, an artist has to clear the relation to his/her precedents and artistic relatives. Cuenca Rasmussen reenacts and deconstructs iconic works and personas of performance art.”
Image from Joseph Maida’s series New Natives (Hawai’i)
Huffington Post’s article, “8 Scantily Clad Reasons To Rethink Your Understanding of Masculinity” written by Priscilla Frank. Reviewing Joseph Maida’s photographs, “Far removed from your typical headshot, Maida’s photos capture the wide variety of men who happen to find shelter on the tropical islands, combining blatant sensuality with traditionally masculine and feminine poses.”
Knife and Fork shared an interesting article about male eating disorders posted on Jezebel, “I’m an Alcoholic Dude With an Eating Disorder. Hi.” written by stand-up comedian Jamie Kilstein. In a comedic but poignant tone Kilstein explains, “I would tell people that if they ever did a Behind the Music-type special on me, it would be the lamest one ever. Instead of a heroin or a crack addiction, it would just be me on the road after a gig, naked in a bathtub, surrounded by stuffed crust pizza boxes sobbing into my phone, ‘YOU DON’T KNOW ME!'”
A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the male body in contemporary South Korean art for Art Radar Asia. I touch upon the urger to prefect the body and ways artists alter the actual human figure through their art.
On a different note, take a look at this man’s collection of Barbie dolls!
As I write this post some artists come to mind such as Dutes Miller, this exhibition, and of course some of these dudes. Speaking of, have you seen Ai Weiwei’s latest? According to Art Radar Asia, “… bloody performances, simulated sex and government repression can still provoke art audiences.”
If you’re interested, here’s some recommended reading regarding South Korea and masculinity: Sun Jung’s Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption: Yonsama, Rain, Oldboy, K-Pop Idols and Stephen J. Epstein and Rachael M. Joo’s article “Multiple Exposures: Korean Bodies and the Transnational Imagination.”
As a compliment to my article, “Supplementary Skins”, my most recent post for Art Radar Asia, “Giant cyborgs and miniature humanoids: male nudes in South Korean art” reviews work by Lee Yongbaek, Choi Xooang, Dongwook Lee, Hyungkoo Lee, and Kim Joon. See an excerpt below.
Korea is the male make-up capital of the world and cosmetic surgery for men is becoming increasingly prevalent. For business or for pleasure, Korean men are willing to augment their bodies through means beyond pumping iron and following a stringent diet. This sea change in attitude towards acceptable masculinity has not escaped national or international critical comment: Sun Jung’s book Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption: Yosama, Rain, Oldboy, K-Pop Idols digs deeper into changing Korean masculinity, as does Stephen J. Epstein and Rachael M. Yoo’s article “Multiple Exposures: Korean Bodies and the Transnational Imagination.”
Dongwook Lee’s Vitamin from 2003 via Doosan Gallery
From the press release of his solo exhibition Love Me Sweet at Arario Gallery, “As figure who represents the Korean new wave sculptors early in the new millennium, Lee has contrasted perfect beauty to the violent, uncanny situations that lurk beneath through elaborate and realistic sculptures made of a material called Sculpie. The composition of his works, perfectly modeled and exposed under precise containment, reflect Lee’s tendency to push himself to the very boundaries of controllability.” via Art Forum
Mioon’s Lead Me to Your Door from 2011 via Neolook
Mioon is a collaborative between Min Kim and Moon Choi. I first saw their work in the Korean Eye Catalogue which states of the artists, “In their reading of today’s cultural landscape they reveal the fictional and ideological mechanisms that pervade underneath the surface of things in various forms.”
Hyungkoo Lee’s Face Trace 003 from 2012 via AKIVE
Part of Gallery Skape’s press release for Face Trace, “The artist captures his own various facial expressions and intentionally fragments into several parts. By reassembling them according to the studies of physiognomy, he composes totally different figures. Face Trace is created by overlapping skull structures of several human races and different parts of artist’s multiple facial expressions. This process follows the method of facial reconstruction used in forensic science.” via Art Agenda