Artist File 2015:
Next Doors is an exhibition
to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and
Japan. Co-organized by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art,
Korea (MMCA) and the National Art Center, Tokyo (NACT), the exhibition presents
contemporary artists from both countries. Through the works presented, the exhibition
surveys the artistic practice of the participating artists and examines the
lives of people in the two countries. The exhibition was initially presented in
Japan (July 29 - October 12, 2015, NACT) with much appreciation by the Japanese
contemporary art scene and the local audience. Continuing the successful
presentation of the exhibition, the MMCA presents its second rendition in
For the current
exhibition, a team of curators from both museums has researched and
investigated artists from the two countries, visiting Europe and the USA as
well as Korea and Japan. A series of discussions were continued to select
twelve artists and two hundred and thirty-four works that can best represent
the contemporary art of both countries. Ranging from artists in their twenties
to those in their forties, the participating artists to the current exhibition
employ various media that encompass painting, sculpture, photography, and
video. For the current exhibition, the artists produced new works. While they
share the identity of being artists that live in the contemporary period, they
also work under two very different sociocultural environments of both
countries. In Artist File 2015 Next Doors, such similarity and
difference will provide the visitors to the exhibition with interesting
perspectives, presenting diverse modes of expression with regards to their
understanding of social issues, aesthetic interests, and artistic approaches.
Born in Seoul in 1969. Lives and works in Seoul.
IM Heungsoon is an artist and a filmmaker who produces
video works that look at the lives and daily routines of the disadvantaged, the
poor, and the isolated under the context of a modern history of Korea. IM deals
with personal histories of his acquaintances on a micro level. At the same
time, however, he delves into ironic stories in the reality that are connected
to the larger picture of the contemporary society. It is prevalent in a number
of his works such as Factory Complex, a film that deals with the stories
of female workers who played crucial roles in the modernization of Korea, and TITLE
Sung Si (2011) and Jeju
Prayer (2012), works based on the stories of the victims of the
4.3 Massacre. IM’s work is distinguished
by the continued ceaseless questioning on the relations between the individual
and the community and history and the present, which are built upon the
artist’s feminist sensibility. In the current exhibition, IM presents Jeju
Prayer(2012) and Next Life (2015), which deal with the issue of the
4.3 Massacre that happened during the Jeju Uprising(1948-49). The works narrate
the tragic afterimages and memories, the current situation in the island, and
the border of life and death as experienced by individuals through beautifully
made moving images. This year, IM won the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale
with Factory Complex.
Born in Seoul in 1983. Lives and works in Seoul.
KI Seulki is interested in physical phenomena or spatial
experience, which she expresses through metaphoric and condensed ways.
Primarily using photography, video, and installation, KI visualizes particular
properties of amorphous entities such as water, color, and light, and subtle
feelings that individuals experience in particular spaces. Her work actively
engages with a sense of tension between contrasting concepts such as planes and
solids, the parts and the whole, and intimacy and alienation.
In Unfamiliar Corner(2012) and Post Tenebrax Lux(2014),
the body of the artist stimulates the viewers’ imagination as it appears in a
fragmented manner or intervenes through impulsive movements that leave traces
in the spacetime. A new work for the current exhibition, The Moment of
Chewing Gritty Sand (2015) is inspired by KOBO Abe's well-known novel The
Woman in the Dunes(砂の女). The work deals
with uneasiness and precarious feelings in people's everyday lives.
Born in Tokyo in
1974. Lives and works in Saitama, Japan.
is an artist that reflects on ordinary objects and language primarily through
video and installation. Since the mid-2000s, KOBAYASHI has been presenting a
series of performances where he deconstructs the functional and conceptual
context of objects, which are accompanied by video recordings. In his work,
ready-made objects are used in ways that slip away from their original purpose.
The narrative develops through the artist’s own monologue or conversations with
In Artist File 2015 Next Doors,
KOBAYASHI presents an installation composed of objects and videos, created in
collaboration with a literary critic and a choreographer. Fifteen objects are
installed in the exhibition space, which are based on fifteen sentences created
by the artist and his two collaborators. The start and end of each sentence are
connected with those of other sentences. Accompanied by the objects is a video
of a performance where the objects and sentences are used, presenting a
conversation among the three creators that try to generate new meanings from
objects presented in the exhibition space. Through these, the work expands
itself as meaning and form cross-reference with each other in a repetitive
Born in 1981 in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do. Lives and works in
LEE Hyein works with diverse media that include
installation, video, and performance. Primarily working with painting as an
expressive medium, LEE produces works that delve into the issues of changing
landscapes and the solitude of individuals, which are based on her reflections
on the surrounding environment and personal memories. In particular, LEE
reflects her concerns and experiments with regards to the expressive methods of
painting as a genre with a long history. In her painting, outdoor sketches and
traveling work as important elements. It is because the artist thinks that
limitations and accidental situations in the uncontrollable environment outside
the perfectly controlled studio provide freedom to the act of drawing pictures.
In the current exhibition, LEE presents Empty Address_
The field in front of Neunggok Station (2010), Summer Midnight in Berlin
(2012), along with a new series A Suspicious Camper (2013, 2015)
Born in Seoul in 1977. Lives and works in Seoul.
LEE Sungmi creates sculptures using transparent and
variable materials such as shards of broken glass, Plexiglas, and light and
shadow. In particular, glass fragments collected from car accidents function as
an important material for her work that delves into the anxiety in one's
ordinary life. Materials that convey traces of wounds and mishap are reborn as
transparent and beautiful objects through the artist's careful and repetitive
manual labor. The long time devoted to producing works and the repetitive and
tedious activities for creation, which almost resembles a kind of ascetic
practice, involve the meaning of cure by themselves. At the same time, they
stress the innate quality of materials being used in the artist's work.
Diary of 2015: My Wish Tree is an installation produced for the current exhibition. Using
shards of glass, the work visualizes the memory of love that has ambivalence of
wound and cure as well as prayers and wish as personal rituals that enables one
to stand the everyday life filled with anxieties.
Born in Suncheon, Jeolllanam-do. Lives and works in Seoul.
Reflecting on ordinary objects and spaces, LEE Wonho
deconstructs concepts associated with them and transforms the concepts into
situations that exist in a completely different dimension. For example, in one
work, LEE deleted all the white lines from a playing field and created a "white
field" made up of the lines. In another work, he sent letters without any
recipient, recording the process in which they were returned using recording
devices put in the letters. Through such a process of subverting the social
rules and common knowledge, the artist proposes a different attitude of looking
at things around us and an alternative perspective for understanding the hidden
side of the world.
For a newly-produced work for the current exhibition, Floating
Real Estate (2015), LEE purchased cardboard boxes from homeless people in
Korea and Japan. He then constructed a large house in the exhibition space
using the boxes he had purchased. The process of purchasing the boxes through a
series of bargaining is recorded in the form of video, and it is completed with
the signing of a purchase contract. Through this process, the work draws the
viewers to reflect on the meaning and value of houses, which became an asset
than a place to live.
Born in 1972 in Tokyo. Lives and works in New York and
MINAMIKAWA Shimon has been creating works that deviates
from the conventional forms and boundaries of painting. He constantly continued
various attempts, such as transforming a blurry portrait into an abstract
painting by adding a dense fluorescent color on it; painting an easel and
presenting it as an art work; or collaborating with performance artists to
create works that move beyond the boundaries of different genres. By producing
different works that employ different formats, the artist redefines the
meanings of individual works and elevates the spaces surrounding the works to
become art. In recent years, MINAMIKAWA focuses the urban life as an important
subject of his work, using elements that are appropriated from art history,
design, and popular culture.
In the current exhibition, the artist presents INDEX
series, a new work that rearranges images taken from newspapers in Tokyo and
Berlin to refine the cities into abstract forms.
Born in 1988 in
Tokyo. Lives and works in Tokyo.
Through her work, MOMOSE Aya raises
questions on the essence of video images and the meaning of appreciating such
images. In her video work, gestures, voices, and dialogues of actors are very
important elements, expressing the misalignment that interrupt the
establishment of relations and communication with others and ultimately
exposing the violence and immorality of the act of shooting videos.
A new work for the current
exhibition, Fixed Point Observation (With a Friend from a Camp)(2015),
the artist directs her friend who serves in the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to
continuously read out answers to a questionnaire. At a glance, it seems as if
the answers are done by one’s own will. However, the process in which the
enumeration of answers generates certain meanings exposes that the artist
elaborately embedded her intention when she devised questions from the first
place. At the moment when the viewers realize the subtle manipulations by the
artist, they recognize the political nature and authority that video inevitably
possesses as a medium that goes through a number of stages such as planning,
shooting, and editing.
Born in Tokyo in
1976. Lives and works in Berlin.
TEZUKA Aiko creates images that cross
the boundary of flat surfaces and sculptural objects by deconstructing textiles
in her work. While studying oil painting in the University, the artist tried to
embroider the canvas instead of using colors. This has led the artist to shift
to three-dimensional works that employ textiles. The textiles deconstructed in
her work range from antique accessaries from the early twentieth century and
scarves manufactured by fashion brands to custom-made textiles that the artist
has ordered. By designing symbolic images and combining them with the textiles,
TEZUKA adds a new layer of meaning to her work. Certainty/Entropy (England
6), a work for the current exhibition, is an example of such artistic
creation. In the work, the artist dramatically stages the circulation of
construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of symbolic images through an
installation that presents both sides of a textile on which modern symbols that
indicate organic farming, recycling, peace, and nuclear danger are embroidered
using a golden thread.
Born in 1973 in Niigata, Japan. Lives
and works in Tokyo and New York.
TOMII Motohiro investigates and expands the meaning of
sculpture as a medium, using ready-made objects as a primary material for his
work. Studied sculpture in the graduate school, he initially produced small
plaster sculptures that took stairs, houses, books, and different figures as
motifs. While creating such works, he came to have an interest in the
relationship between art works and the environment around them, such as pedestals
and spaces in which works are placed.
works are composed of ordinary objects that emphasize their forms that do not
have to do with their functions and records of sculptural elements that are
discovered in the ordinary landscape. In the current exhibition, the artist
presents new works that appropriate diverse ready-made objects that ranges from
jeans, paper towels, screws, and shopping bags. Meanwhile, Today's Sculpture(今日の彫刻), an ongoing work
since 2011, is a work that exists on
Twitter and as a printed material. He has been recording sculptural situations
he encountered in his everyday life. Such persistent attempts to discover
sculpture in different situations of urban life show the artist’s constant
reflections on the categories that divide art and the system that defines art.
Born in 1982 in Seoul. Lives and works in Seoul.
YANG Junguk creates texts and moving sculptures from the
fragmentary thoughts on his everyday life, which are based on his observations
and experiences. YANG writes short poems, sentences, or short novels, which are
then transformed into moving structures that correspond to the texts in a
synesthetic way. Involving many handicrafts in the process of production, his
sculptures directly expose the simple yet organic working principle. Light and
shadow, sound, and repetitive mechanisms arouse a very poetic sensibility.
The Minds of Yours and Mine Are the Thoughts of Someone, the artist’s work in the current exhibition, takes
different feelings and situations that the artist feels while he communicates
with others. In this work, the complexity of establishing relations is realized
through an organic combination of the movement and the creaking sound of wooden
structures operated with a motor and the esoteric mood generated by light and
Born in Tokyo in
1966. Lives and works in London.
YOKOMIZO Shizuka investigates various relations
between one’s self and others using the characteristics of the medium of
photography. In the current exhibition, YOKOMIZO presents his Phantom
series(2006-7) with a newly-produced video version. In the video, actors who
have experiences of seeing ghosts tell their experiences while being asked to
personify the roles they have played in the past. Through these, the work
presents various questions on the relations between time and space, experience
and memory, and image and others. Effigy(2014), another work of
importance in the current exhibition with Phantom, is an installation
composed of a mirror and cowry shells. Cowry shells are known to have been used
in the first miniature human figures produced by the human race. The shells,
which emblemize human eyes, and the reflection of the face of a viewer are
combined on the mirror, telling the narrative of an image that exists as part
of itself and accumulates the Otherness at the same time.