s e l g n A d e n i l c n I : 1 0 s e s n e S d Situate erim llery Int a G i m n Ha
Hanmi Gallery First Interim Exhibition Situated Senses 01: Inclined Angles 20th May - 5th June 2011
‘Time and space occupied by Situated Senses’ Curated by Jay Jungin Hwang
“Space exists when one takes into consideration vectors of direction, velocities and time variables. Thus space is composed of intersections of mobile elements. It is in a sense actuated by the ensemble of movements deployed within it. Space occurs as the effect produced by the operations that orient it, situate it, temporalize it, and make it function in a polyvalent unity of conflictual programmes or contractual proximities.”- Michel de Certeau, ‘Space and Places’ (1980) Situated Senses introduces contemporary artists who focus on the theme of space, in particular site-specificity. They present experimental form of artwork closely related to the specific feature of a space which is differentiated from the typical form of exhibit spaces. The title of the project, ‘Situated Senses’ is partly inspired by the notion of a space as defined by Michel de Certeau. As shown in the opening quotation, spatial relations are the cores of the project. As participants of the project, the artists focus mainly on the interpretation of the space as a place for their artistic experiments and challenges, and the way in which each artist expresses his senses around the nooks and crannies of various art forms. The notion of the title, ‘Situated’ gains importance in terms of the contexts, in which artists expose their senses in relation to the space. As its literal meaning suggests, this notion originates from the texts of the 1960s movement, the Situationist International (SI). According to the SI, the situation is a created and an organized moment, seeking to find artistic productions the constructed situations, which is relatively durable in comparison to the ephemeral and unique instant. Therefore, the ‘Situation’ refers to an intermediary stage between instant and moment, that is, particularised and unrepeatable. In this vein, Situated Senses presents two prominent contemporary Korean artists, Shan Hur and Soon-Hak Kwon. Hur and Kwon have created a unique situation in a void space where its original use was far removed from the traditional meaning of exhibit spaces. The space was built to be a design office in the 1980s and there are plans to transform it into a gallery space (HANMI GALLERY) in the near future. In the meantime, the plan is to use this space for artistic trials and experimentations by talented young artists. In this way, the empty space becomes a laboratory and the artists become practitioners.
The project unfolds with two distinct solo exhibitions. Each artist shows the coexistence and collision of contradictory states in the spaces of daily life (Shan Hur) and the interrelationship between a sense of distance and space originating from the psychology of visual experience (Soon-Hak Kwon). The works outgrowth was generated from a penetrating observation about the space during the preparation for the exhibition. Hur has constructed two huge installation works which embody the site-specificity by deploying pre-existing construction materials and the structure of the space. Hur has created a slightly slanted angle from the wooden floor of the space and achieved a delicate situation by building subtle distinctions with the unstable floor. While Hur concentrates on the structure of the space and the uniqueness buried in everyday life, Kwon deals with the history of the space which covers a narrative meaning of site-specificity. Kwon has created two double-layered spaces by installing hyper-real photographic images on the walls. These images are closely related to the past and the future of the space in which the works will be displayed. With regard to the concept of the works, Kwon developed his idea based on the contextualization of the past (as a design office in the 1980s) and the space’ future uses (as a gallery space) and produced coexisting states of different time tenses in the same place. Overlapping situations in a perspective, these spaces delude viewers within the illusionary space. To particularise the space, each artist has created inclined angles between the walls and the artworks, which are intentionally distorted to arouse a sense of strangeness and curiosity. The inclined angles, which are created and disguised by both artists’ creative senses, are the point where artistic senses are most prominent. The artists address their visual identities raised by the site, and those hidden senses can be ascertained by the viewers’ faculties of observation and perception. This is reminiscent of Robert Morris’ concise statement on the relationship between art and its situation within: “Art is primarily a situation in which one assumes an attitude of reacting to some of one’s awareness as art.” Unwittingly encountering the ways in which each artist created specific situations by articulating spatial relations, viewers might come to realise the meaning of site-specificity and identify its crucial role in the two artists’ works, both consciously and unconsciously. Situated Senses does not seek to present works of art in spaces. It rather finds the ultimate meaning of existence or raison d’être, as a situational artwork and its concept derived from a consideration of the place. This project will continue to develop its experimental movement to arouse viewers’ latent senses that situates within their inner world, and to touch viewers daily lives through active participations of their movement in the space, which is occupied by the artists’ existing senses.
Shan Hur Through the installation artworks, Shan Hur creates a context which includes contradictions in daily life, noise in silence, strain in serenity, change in stagnation, and strangeness in familiarity. They coexist and collide at the same time. His works such as collapsed ruin and cracked column are put into extremely ordinary space of everyday life which has been flawlessly put together. This unusual combination arouses uneasiness in viewers mind. Thus, this meaningless and empty space is instantly transformed into a narrative room that is filled with questions and curiosity. At this moment, viewers can use the scars artist put in space as indexical signs to analogize circumstantial reality which would have happened there, just like a tiny scratch on smooth fair skin. In his intallation works, tensions created by fallen wall and its ruins and the situational factor where they were found, contribute to the overall theme of the work. That is why site-specificity plays such a crucial role in his works. What we need to pay attention on his works is the set context that occupies space beyond constructed forms. Hur uses ruins at the construction site as motives to effectively display contradicting concepts such as uniqueness buried in everyday life, imperfection hidden inside perfection, or stagnation and change. Therefore, the artwork plays its role not merely by having disguised objects that are destroyed and transformed, but the contracting concepts appearing in the space and the tense atmosphere altogether. Especially, the sensual impact in these situational settings becomes maximized by the objects that appear from hidden to be spotted by the viewer’s movement. At the same time, they seem to have existed in the given space already. In this way, dimensional scars left by traces of demolition give rise to tension in flawlessly stable space and trigger curiosity about changing conditions and by doing so, they open the viewers’ eyes to dormant senses inside the viewers’ inner world. - extracted from ‘Shan Hur_The emotional sensation evoked by ruined traces’ written by Jay Jungin Hwang(Independent Curator) “When I see closed shops or construction sites in the city, look at them carefully. You can easily find these scenes. They are vague and attractive because the space used to be different - it is being changed into something new. Walking through the debris I have feelings that are neither positive nor negative because certain things have already happened and are progressing in a certain direction. Such scenes interest me as they temporarily sidestep into silence and incompleteness. I like the way something is revealed in this gap. Sculptures which are bigger than human scale seem to be exaggerated. One of the issues I have focused on is how to reduce the burden of the volume of sculpture. I then connect this mass to its surroundings, but not just as a part of the whole. I think sculpture should communicate with its circumstances... I trace the relationship between the crack and the space. Sometimes, I encounter the personal experiences or inner emotions through the overlapping images.”- Shan Hur Shan Hur (b.1980) graduated from Seoul National University with B.F.A in sculpture and Slade School of Fine Art with M.F.A in sculpture. He had one solo exhibition and participated in several group exhibitions in London. He won 1st prize in The Open West (Gloucestershire, UK, 2011) and was awarded in Brighton University Art faculty Prize (UK, 2007). He works and lives in London.
Shan Hur, Tilt, 2011, Wooden Floor, 525 x 412 cm
Shan Hur, The acrobatic ant, 2011, Print on board, 97 x 71 cm A timber in the corner, 2011, Timber , 320 x 8 cm Work for next show, 2011, Cardboard Box, 120 x 102 cm
Shan Hur,, Molehill, 2011, carpet , 49 x 49 cm
Shan Hur,, Pink panther, 2011, print on board, 90 x 75 cm
kwon Shan Hak Soon-Hak Kwon deals with the history of the space which covers a narrative meaning of site-specificity and shows the interrelationship between a sense of distance and space originating from the psychology of visual. His works’s outgrowth was generated from a penetrating observation about the space, in particular the surface of the walls of gallery spaces. His works delude viewers within the illusionary space. - extracted from ‘Time and space occupied by Situated Senses’ written by Jay Jungin Hwang(Independent Curator) “ ‘History of ’ is a series of photographs of blank walls surrounding our interior space, particularly gallery walls, which are often white as they are intended not to be seen. Accordingly, in a strict sense, we are oblivious to the wall. Seeing the wall is only possible if we could purely see, as an infant would observe the world. Therefore, the image of white walls presents the moment before one identifies the world of things. The image of the wall resembles an empty screen at first sight, but upon closer look it becomes hyperrealistic because every texture of the wall is represented with super-high-resolution. I shoot hundreds of photographs at a close distant from the surface of the wall, more like a scanning process rather than a shooting process, and digitally stitched it together in order to depict, in a way, all the details more realistic than reality. I want to provide a sense of paradox as I am presenting the non-thing to some-thing and breaking down the boundaries of photography, printmaking, painting and installation. The idea of the project, to create a ‘photograph without subject, yet a subject itself ’, provides an illusionary experience between the work and the space where the work is installed. The photograph is not only the same size of the wall where it is installed,but also the objects represented inside the photograph are nearly at life scale. The intention of the work was to awaken the viewer, so that one could see a usual space as instead an interesting space, and furthermore, an uncanny space. In the sense that the work presented in the exhibition was a representation of the preparation of an exhibition conflicts with the perception that an artwork should represent an ideal of what is assumed to be faraway; hence it is a praise of the here and now. Through my own experience of a hypnagogic phenomena, the so-called Isakower Phenomenon, which remains as a strong memory from my infancy and drove me to this project, I had somehow revisited the former stage before one identifies the world. The confusion of measuring the sizes of objects through the Isakower Phenomenon was because there was no such ultimate object yet to recognize the perception of the external world in this early stage of life. The infant’s visual experience here is purely by means of seeing. The sequelvision after the cognition stage, in the strict sense, is not seeing but recognizing the object. The inability to identify the objects that arose from the phenomenon means that I could not understand the sense of paradox. In other words, the real (i.e Paradise) is the state observing the world as a new object. Seeing the wall as an object is only possible if we could see the world through the eyes of a child, in other words, if we truly speculate in the belief of paradox, which means seeing through unprejudiced eyes.” - Soon-Hak Kwon Soon-Hak Kwon (b.1979) graduated from University of Incheon College of Fine Arts with B.F.A in painting, Hongik University with M.F.A in photography and Royal College of Art with MA in photography. He had four solo exhibitions and participated in several group exhibitions in Seoul, London, and Paris. He won gold prize in 9th Competition of Chang-Jark Arts’ Association (Korea, 2004), a prize for selected artist in 8th Joong-Ang Fine Arts Prize (Korea, 2006). He works and lives in London.
Shan Hak Kwon, Wonder Wall (installation view), 2011
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Image credit by the artists