Hee Seung Chung’s exhibition titled will be held at Sindoh Cultural Space. Chung, who was included in the list of artists selected at the 8th SINAP(Sindoh Artist Support Program), graduated from the department of painting of Hongik University and earned an MA in photography from the London College of Communication in the UK.
▲ Copied_C, 2019, 48x64cm, Archival pigment print
Chung specializes in photography and contemplates on the reproducibility and limitations of photos. She has been attempting to expand the boundaries of photography and experimenting with it through books, objects, and installation art. She explores the nature of objects and hidden significances of the objects in his photo art, with focus on composition, alignment, and arrangement of spaces and places. She exposes and hides the nature of photos as a tool of imperfect reproduction while exploring their limitations and possibilities. Her works make us critically think about nature vs. surface, image vs. text, and concealing vs. exposure.
▲ (Left) Copier_A, 2019, 48x64cm (Right) Copier_E, 2019, 48x64cm, Archival pigment print
The COPIER series to be displayed expresses Chung’s artistic value of photographs in the reality where large quantities of images are routinely consumed.
This exhibition is intended to provide us with an opportunity to think about the value of photos in today’s reality where images are consumed in large quantities on a daily basis. Under the sponsorship of Sindoh, a copier was chosen as a vehicle for exploring the reproductive art of photography. The COPIER will show works featuring copiers, images of copied copiers, lights that make copiers work, and objects printed out by 3D printers.
Each of these items is slightly varied into 5, the number that Chung normally uses for his editions of photo arts. Note, however, that these 5 varied images will be compiled into a unique edition so that it carries special value as the one and only. By doing so, Chung poses the question of how photos as a form of art can acquire its unique value in today’s reality where images are circulated, distributed, and consumed in massive quantities on SNS.
▲ Copying_D, 2019, 48x64cm, Archival pigment print
Chung’s world of artwork can see through her Artist’s Note.
One of my favorite artists, Mark Manders of Belgium, talked about how cups evolved in several interviews. Cavemen and women in prehistoric times probably held their two hands together to drink water from. Perhaps, they later started to use tree leaves, then made bowls with clay, and finally created what we call cups with a handle. This is when a cup reached perfection, with anything beyond it merely decorative.
In my opinion, photography as a form of art was completed by the Germans in the early 2000s when photos were largest and heaviest. Since then, photos have lost much of their weight and their significance. In this age of information and technology, how can we define photos?
How can I distinguish my photos that I call art from those square, unbearably light, lovely images posted on Instagram? Can my photos in frames still prove their value by the weight?
At this juncture, I think of Kafka.
“(Kafka’s) question is not about the inner motivation that determines human behaviors. He is asking what possibilities humans are left with when in today’s world, external forces are so overwhelming that inner motivation carries little weight” (Milan Kundera, “Art du Roman” translated by O-ryong Kwon, p.39, Minumsa, 2008).
The same can probably apply to today’s photos. In other words, when photos have lost all of their weight and what matters only is how fast photos can be processed, not how they can be appreciated and interpreted, what possibilities do photos still have? This is the question we should ask now.
- From Artist’s Note, by Hee Seung Chung
Chung has been working as a visual artist in Seoul since 2008. Chung uses photos as her main tool and contemplates on the reproducibility and limitations of photos. She has been pushing the limits of photography as a tool of art and experimenting with it by incorporating different items into his works including books, objects, and photo installation. Since Chung and Yeonju Park co-founded Hezuk Press in 2014, they have been working with other visual artists on the publication project Float Series and have published the 11th edition so far. In this project, Chung views books as organic interactions between images and text and between structure and materials.
Sindoh Cultural Space Hee Seung Chung Solo Exhibition <COPIER>
Place: Sindoh Cultural Space (3, Seongsui-ro 24-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul)
Date: 2019.1.9 Thu ~ 2019.3.5 Thu
Opening Hours: 10:00 am ~ 5:00 pm (Closed on weekend, public holidays)
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