GMA Young Artist Invitation Exhibition Gwon Seung-chan
- 2018.10.08 ~ 2018.12.09
- Admission Fee
- Ha Jung-woong Museum of Art(GMA), Mudeung Kiln
- Gwangju Museum of Art
Number of Works
Installation, Photography, Media, 20 art works
In 2012, Gwon Seungchan was selected as one of the invited participants to Ha Jung-woong Young Artist Invitation Exhibition. He was celebrated for this artistic potential and capability. Gwon Seungchan – CONNECTED is an exhibition to examine and project the artist’s development since 2012 and his artistic path. The current exhibition is organized as part of GMA Young Artists Invitation Exhibition 2018.
The current exhibition highlights ‘confirmation of boundaries and their connection.’ Gwon Seungchan sees the root of problems in the modern society lies in the disconnection of time and place. This leads the artist to employ the Internet and CCTV to connect Ha Jung-woong Museum of Art, a site located in the city center of Gwangju, and Mudeung Ceramics, which is in the outskirt of the city, in real time. Such a connection is employed to satirize our rootless condition where we are disconnected from the past by merely considering it as being obstinate. He pays homage to Cho Gi-jeong, who established Mudeung Ceramics, in a number of instances throughout his work. Such tribute, in turn, emphasizes the permanence of the community of which we are part and stresses the solidarity of society. In addition, a multitude of light sources and digital technologies are combined to express the artistic theme through ironies.
The TV tower installed at the entrance of Ha Jung-woong Museum of Art feels somewhat disparate. It looks like a totem at the entrance of villages, but it also keeps its position as if it is just a plastic object that does not draw any familiarity or a sense of fear. The monitors at the top quietly illuminate the kiln for baking ceramics outside the city, and the monitors at the bottom emit dark, dusty spaces. Because TV is a familiar medium, the gaze of passers-by naturally stays on the screen to see what it is about. Through subtle changes in light and movement, and counting of clocks at the bottom of the screen, the viewers recognize that the screens show real-time images. Displayed on the screens are texts without any context and colored fluorescent lights, randomly blinking as they generate a sense of disparateness. These places are alienated spaces that are forgotten in the city, in the minds of people, and in the museum filled with constant comings and goings of people. As a matter of fact, it is difficult for visitors, as a third party, to comprehend how the atmosphere of the space is, how the space is structured, or what history it has. About the time when such questions arise, neon media texts, blinking in resplendent colors, appear at the bottom of the monitor. The saggars filling the first gallery of the exhibition induce a sense of rules and order with their innate regularity and weight. Hung beyond the saggars are light bulbs arranged by the artist, randomly placed without any order. In addition, these loud fluorescent lamps float in the air with precarious electrical wirings. However, seen from a distance, one can find a regular pattern in this mindlessness. One can also recognize that the saggars, which give a sense of order, are somehow arranged out of joint, unintentionally. In order to draw such a sentiment, the viewers are invited to walk through the exhibition in order and disorder via brilliant light sources. The naturally constructed path feels as an unintended time of leisure. At the moment when the viewers feel the combination of the damp and old smell of earth from artworks, the musty smell of charcoal, and the weight of accumulated time in saggars, they encounter a blinking neon that reads, “All of a Sudden, Inspiration Flows the Mood Like a Mirage.” The heightened sense of tension is resolved at once.
The second gallery of the exhibition shows the two-dimensional photographic images of artifacts in the previous space. The artworks have a sentiment of heaviness, which is different from the works in the previous space. Although they are color photographs, they give a sense of monochrome thanks to the contrast the resembles chiaroscuro. At times, they generate a sense of illusion as if the viewers are seeing Dutch still life paintings in the 17th century. After being captivated by this mood, one realizes that such a sentiment is out of context. The photographed objects are works by Cho Gi-jeong, which are reproductions of celadon ceramics from Goryeo period; celebratory objects for citizens; or collaborations with other artists. Placed in these objects are baguette bread, a brown-colored bottle of sake that does not get along with them, or a wine glass filled with sake instead of champagne. More than that, a lump of ham obviously showing the label of its brand or a fragrant candle from America is seen along with the objects. One can see that everything is in disharmony. They reject their original function, and they present kitsch elements that are too general so that they induce a giggle all of a sudden, along with the works by a masterful artist. This is done in a very earnest manner. In addition, as if the artist tries to tease the viewers, he places himself among the artworks while standing in an awkward posture. This naturally leads one to think that the works are done in the manner of Gwon Seungchan’s continued artistic practice: He tries everything to draw attention by shouting in every way he can, but the viewers are invited to laugh thanks to the seeming lightness of his work. The third gallery of the exhibition shows a reconstruction of Cho Gi-jeong’s lifelong creations of ceramics and collections of artifacts, done with a peculiar sensitivity of Gwon Seungchan. As seen in the previous exhibition space, one corner of the space has a glowing neon light that reads, “I Was Unknowingly Fearless and Had a Robust Appetite.” The calmness and strangeness of green neon suppress the vibrancy of various artifacts laid on the floor: from the celadon ceramic pieces that might have emitted lively colors and ceramic pieces for experimenting with chemicals and pigments – which are the result of Cho Gi-jeong’s spirit of experiment, to the urn with a narrow neck from the Three Kingdoms period.