Artist Jeong Ki-hoon spent eight hours a day from 9 to 5 like any other office worker, sitting at a desk doing an assigned job ― he repeatedly ground nails until they were too short to use; broke soju bottles and crushed them until they became fine glass powder.
“Wood, Big Nail, Volleyball, Brush, Soju Glass, Spoon, Cloth, Table and Name Tag” by Jeong Ki-hoon. (Kumho Museum of Art)
This seemingly pointless act is what the artist committed to do for months for his performance that attempts to portray routines and rules of society.
The end products of his repeated acts ― shortened nails and glass powder ― are on exhibit with a film that documents the eight hours of labor at the exhibition of young artists at Kumho Museum of Art. At this exhibition, the process of making art counts more than end products.
The repeated toils in making art is also explored in an abstract pastel painting by Hwang Su-yeon. She put layer upon layer of pastel colors on a canvas until different colors achieved the same brightness. She checked the consistency in brightness by taking black-and-white pictures of her painting.
“These artists highlight the laborious process of every work, including their art-making,” said Kim Youn-ok, curator of Kumho Museum of Art.
The residue of pastel colors from sketching and coloring is left on the floor as proof of the repeated acts to complete a single painting.
The process of art is what Kim Sang-jin intends to show in the exhibition.
“Air Purifier” by Kim Sang-jin (Kumho Museum of Art)
The artist set up a transparent glass box filled with fresh flowers and an air purifier. The decomposing of the flowers is accelerated by the air purifier, which mistakes the scent as pollutants to get rid of.
A book series by Jihee Kim is based on her experience of collecting second handbooks. She finds evidence inside books that tell about the previous book owners. Then she extends her imagination and presents them in drawings and collages posted on the book pages.
“You find a lot of stuff hidden in book pages, including dried flowers. My work is based on such experience,” Kim said.
The exhibition convenes young talents under 40 who have been part of the museum’s artist-in-residence program for the last decade. The residency program is one of the earliest support programs for young artists, offering studio space and opportunities to exhibit their works. It has supported more than 60 graduates whose works contributed to diversifying the Korean art scene.
“Painting for Equal Temperament” by Hwang Su-yeon (Kumho Museum of Art)
“Your Garden 4” by Jihee Kim (Kumho Museum of Art)
The exhibition “Un Certain Regard” continues through March 22 at Kumho Museum of Art. For more information, visit www.kumhomuseum.com.
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)