Artist Statement, Gwangju Museum of Art "Light 2016", 2016-2017


Art Work of Light 2016 - Click

The themes of this installation space mainly consist of family and school. These two themes as well as individuals' identities and relationships within their respective communities, regarding such are diverse. Such contents apply to the artist, too and the artist psychologically sympathizes with her subjects through her main media of photography and video, and forms relationships with her subjects while introducing and overlapping her own experiences onto their scenes of life, this space values the process of communication, and is the final result of the filmed and photographed images, objects, and sounds.


SPACE I SAIESEO: between two Koreas and Japan

The first space is a story about families in the Zainichi(Koreans who immigrated to Japan during the Japanese colonial era, and their descendants who remained in Japan) community, as the artist herself was born into and grew up in a Zainichi community. The Zainichi have spent prolonged time in between the three countries of North Korea, South Korea and Japan. Although outsiders tend to consider the Zainchi to be homogeneous, the artist seeks to reveal how diverse identities exist within Zainichi communities, just like in any other community, through the personal histories of several Zainichi families. The artist conducted interviews with different families about their histories in order to individualities to life, extensively engaging in conversations to determine her main characters and contents, and met with her subjects face-to-face in their living rooms, with camera in hand. Fourth and fifth generation Zainichi people are being born now, and one will be able to inspect each generation's views on marriage and education, and identities as the Zainichi continue to balance three different cultures.


SPACE II The Real Wedding Ceremony , Come on Ceremony 

The second space is a story about the expanding family. Since antiquity, wedding ceremonies have been involved in the formation of new families. Having originated from various cultures, the forms of weddings evolve with cultural changes in any given society. As a granddaughter of Korans who immigrated to Japan in the 1920s, the artist has attended many different kinds of weddings, before and after moving to the Republic of Korea in 2003.

The formalities and foods will vary between a family festival (a gathering of relatives before a wedding, a tradition in Jeju-do) at a Japanese restaurant, a ZAINICHI style wedding reception at a Chinese restaurant, a traditional Korean wedding ceremony, a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony, weddings in churches and Weddings in Korean wedding halls, etc. With an interest in how these various forms share the significance of the birth a new family, the artist has created a new kind of ceremony based on the wedding cultures she had thus far experienced, performing her own wedding as art on two separate occasions. The communities surrounding the bride and groom gather for a new ceremony and form a family in it.

In the Screened video, The Real Wedding Ceremony, are shown attendees of a wedding, each with their own role to perform transforming into one big family while experiencing one another's cultures, traveling between the spaces and times of Korea and Japan, and between reality and production.

Come On ceremony plays on a monitor, and its backdrop s an urban HanOk(traditional Korean architecture) village in SeongBuk-dong, which was built through Japanese-style zoning and Koran architecture. As SeongBuk-dong is a neighborhood of tight-knit communities, the artist was able to borrow furniture from locals there to use as props in her video. Wearing a bridal gown made of vintage HanBok(traditional Koran clothing) cloth in a house thus decorated and with Korean and Japanese foods and beverages such as Buchingae(Korean pancakes) and Okonomiyaki(Japanese pancakes), MakKori(Korean rice wine) and Sake, the artist held a feast reinterpreting Jeju-do's family feasts and their Japanese incarnations.



SPACE III   sweet hours

The third space is a story about schools and the diverse individuals who attend them. The school here refers to the education site One experiences while growing up as a child and teenager. Although every individual, generation and culture will have different memories of school attendance, will have different memories of school attendance, the school generally influences our individual identities, and functions as a social setting where one can enjoy truly congenial friendships, in schools, and every member of a school has and will continue to have an infinitely unique experience day in and day out.

This piece is a space in which the artist's memories of her adolescence and fragments of children's daily lives are collected for peaceful everyday life to be accumulated, and consists of the photographs and sounds the artist has collected since 2001. One may hear the sounds of a school, including children's chatter, by putting an ear to the de installed at the center of the space.

Kita Osaka Korean School celebrates its sixtieth year in 2017, but ten or less students are currently enrolled in each grade, except for the twenty-four-student ninth grade at the school. This artwork, fifteen years in the making, is about the artist's, and our, schools, which are gradually changing in step with broader social transformations.


16th HA Jungwoong Young Artists Invitation Exhibition Light 2016 Click