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Leeum Museum of Art names Cha Jea-min winner of ‘Artspectrum 2022’

Video artist Cha Jea-min (Leeum Museum of Art)
Video artist Cha Jea-min (Leeum Museum of Art)
Leeum Museum of Art has announced artist Cha Jea-min as the winner of “Artspectrum 2022,” the museum’s biennial exhibition that aims to introduce emerging young artists. The exhibition has been a gateway for many Korean artists who enjoy international renown today.

The museum’s first exhibition of the year presented eight emerging Korean artists from different fields of art -- video artist Cha Jea-min, installation artist Kim Dong-hee, participatory artist Kim Mo, installation artist Hyeree Christina Mary Ro, installation artist Smallstudiosemi, video artist An Yu-ri, painter Jeon Hyun-sun and participatory artist Park Seong-jun. Cha is the third winner of the biannual exhibition. While the first ”Artspectrum“ was held in 2001, prizes were established in 2014.

Cha presented her newly created 24-minute video work, “Nameless Syndrome,” that criticizes a contemporary society where a growing number of women suffer from illnesses that are overlooked because of an overreliance on medical science. The artist tells the public that seeing medical technology as an absolute truth or solution neglects the ultimate cause of illness in many cases. Rather, we need to look into “political complexity.”

“Rather than relying on body imaging during diagnoses for such patients, it is more important to listen to the patients’ particular use of language,” Cha wrote on her website.

Cha also showed “Maneuver in Place,” a 10-minute video documentation filmed at a secondhand bookshop where performers make nonverbal sounds, push a cart or collapse a pile of books. The video, which showcases the synergy between the performers, is a consolation to recluses who are forced into isolation somewhere, particularly during the pandemic, according to the museum.

Born in 1986, Cha studied at Korea National University of Arts and Chelsea College of Design and Arts. Her recent solo exhibitions include “Troubleshooting Mind I, II, III” in San Francisco in 2020 where she showed a newly commissioned film, sculptures and drawings.

The biennial exhibition “Artspectrum” was inaugurated with the aim of presenting young Korean artists to the international stage, but was suspended after the last exhibition in 2016. The museum stopped holding new exhibitions following the departure of Hong Ra-hee, wife of the late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee, as director in March 2017 after 13 years. The museum, run by the Samsung Foundation of Culture, resumed normal operations last October.

The seventh edition of the exhibition opened March 2 and runs through July 3. The award winner receives 30 million won ($23,600) in prize money.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)
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