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K.NOTe no.32

Jayeon Kwon

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K.NOTe no.32

Jayeon Kwon

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Publisher Total Museum Press Pyungchang 32gil 10, Jongno-gu, Seoul Korea (03004) Tel. 82-2-379-7037 total.museum.press@gmail.com Director Jooneui Noh Editor in Chief Nathalie Boseul Shin, Yoon Jeong Koh Cordinator Hyosup Jung, Taeseong Yi Intern Minseo Park, SeungEun Lee Designer Heiin Son Sponsor Arts Council Korea Date of Publication 2017. 4 Š Author and artist The reproduction of the contents of this magazine in whole or in part without written permission if prohibited.

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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K.NOTe #32 Sleeping Dolls Lee, Eun-Joo Independent Curator, Art Historian In her earlier solo exhibition at Brain Factory, Kwon Jayeon showed works based on motifs of traces left in the residency studio where she had stayed while in New York. Interest in "traces" left by people in specific places and in "documentation" as an objective method to observe such traces is an important axis of Kwon's work. The Sleeping Dolls series featured in this exhibition is within this same context. If anything has changed, it is that while the traces discovered in the artist's previous works revealed encounters with anonymous beings brushing past, the subjects of the traces serving as the motif for the new works are her own daughters. In contrast to the previous works, dealing mainly with public places, the new works deal with the private space of the artist's home. These began as the artist began photographing the traces of her children that she discovered upon her return home. They had put their dolls to bed in various places throughout the house. Seeing the dolls neatly tucked in under blankets and the unskilled handwriting here and there, she discovered a new world built by her children-not as a maternal subject, but as an artist. She says it was not just a pretty world, as one might expect, but a somewhat frightening one. Looking at the subject of "traces" through traces left behind is a characteristic that has been maintained as well in Kwon's previous drawing works, which utilize floor paint or holes in the wall left in the studio. The traces of beings who have been there for a period of time but who no longer exist, do not reveal themselves strongly, but enable us to see the characteristics of the beings clearly in a quiet state of immovability. The objects left behind and the related traces give us a feeling similar to the impression left by the shape of a body imprinted in the clothing that someone has taken off. Naturally,

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this shows how the subject of the traces establishes relationships with the surrounding space. This is exactly what Kwon focuses on. The attitude of estimating the figure while looking at the remaining background after the figure is gone is a characteristic that stands out in her work. She does not intervene in or dominate the area, but stands at the border attempting to look inside. Because there is no direct interaction with the subjects of the traces, Kwon's work always reveals the objective views of the third person. But since it is a method of feeling the currently non-existent, there is essentially a love and nostalgia for a time in the past and the traces of human beings. The degree of this is very slight—-small enough not to shake the objectivity maintained by the artist's gaze—-and it adds a little sentimentality to the documentary nature of the third person's viewpoint. Considering Kwon's previous works, which were mainly drawings, she has always emphasized process rather than results. Her works, which are created through the organic nature of the material itself or the interaction between the material and the place, put the artist not in the center of the work, but on the circumference, while they accomodate the spontaneous elements that come into the work as well. In the Sleeping Dolls series, the role of the artist is more on the circumference and borders. The works, which have captured through photography, over a period of more than 10 years, the specific traces left in the house by the children, are documentation from the observer's view of her own children as the other. Through this documentation, spectators also get the feeling that they, like the artist, are watching this quiet and strange world where dolls are sleeping. In the house, isolated from the outside and without an adult presence, the children have become the owners and have taken over the space. What we can sense here is that humans' experiences are formed through interaction among objects, space and time, and the traces of such experience make us reflect upon the interaction. Interestingly, we can read a certain pattern in the traces left by the children. To Kwon, space is a field 6


that has accumulated certain experiences repeated by those who used the space over time. In other words, it is not a fixed place, but rather an organism that breathes together with humans at diverse levels. Kwon objectively brings into relief the behavior patterns of those who have left traces, through the method of collection, documentation and arrangement of the fragments accumulated throughout the space. Childhood dolls serve as alter-egos to children. By making beds for them throughout the house and covering them with blankets, children are compensated for the uneasiness they feel due to their vulnerable positions. The texts exhibited together with the photographs are direct typings of the memos and writings made by the children. The unexpectedness or weird-but-lovable aspects of these uneven sentences enable us to read not only the pleasure, but also the irrationality and fear of the world seen through the eyes of the children. Video footage taken directly by a child with a camcorder reminds us of what the world is like through their eyes, and that they are also human beings with independent perspectives. It is an interesting experience to look at the bipolar aspects of life, mixed up illogically, through the world of a young child. The distance kept by Kwon Jayeon, neither critical nor sentimental, enables us to see the world of children as it is, from a horizontal perspective. Through the archives of documentation discovered by the artist as an observer, we can meet the world built by little children—the time and spaces that used to be ours once but now have become the unfamiliar other. It is a world that is small but has its own system, a live world of young beings that appears weak but is in fact a mixture of order, violence, love and cruelty.

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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› workroom lajka series published by workroom press ISBN 978-89-959437-3-1 04600

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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› sleeping dolls size variable pigment print edition 7 2008

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Jayeon Kwon Jayeon Kwon studied painting in Rhode Island School of Design (RI, USA) and have earned BFA and MFA degrees in painting at Ewha Womans University (Seoul, Korea). Jayeon’s work is recalling something invisible, hidden, ignored, and forgotten. Thus, her work is more like an extended process of uncovering an already existing space and time, as if that space had a memory itself, awakening the different time fragments, and inter-connecting them. Her long journey of discovering fragments that people leave behind in a specific place, weaving a narrative by randomly laying down elements in that space, invariably starts with “an encounter with places where people have carried on their everyday life.”

Lee, Eun-Joo Independent Curator, Art Historian

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Jayeon Kwon

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Oct 18, 2017

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