Park in­vites view­ers ‘be­yond doors’

The Korea Times - - CULTURE - By Kwon Mee-yoo [email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

Artist Park Yoon-young presents new pieces at her solo ex­hi­bi­tion “YOU, Live!” at the Ilmin Mu­seum of Art in down­town Seoul. This is the artist’s first ex­hi­bi­tion in Korea in nine years.

Park ma­jored in Ori­en­tal Paint­ing at univer­sity, but ex­plored new cre­ative out­lets by di­rect­ing films and writ­ing sce­nar­ios. She re­ceived the Her­mes Foun­da­tion Misul­sang in 2009.

“Twelve Door Han­dles” is a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary piece that in­cor­po­rates writ­ing, video, sound, draw­ing, sculp­ture and more. Vis­i­tors ex­plore a whim­si­cal set­ting, fol­low­ing a script of 12 mixed time­lines.

The artist said her back­ground in­flu­ences her work.

“I stud­ied Ori­en­tal Paint­ing and I come from a Chris­tian fam­ily. I read the Bible ev­ery morn­ing and evening and it is nat­u­ral for me to take an in­ter­est in Ar­maged­don,” Park said. So she re­searched mod­ern issues such as the Ch­er­nobyl dis­as­ter, the 2011 To­hoku tsunami and the United King­dom’s in­ter­ven­tion in Libya.

“There are some im­ages that linger even af­ter time goes by. It could be a scene from a movie, a line from a book or a mar­ble my niece gave me. Such im­ages are jum­bled to­gether in my head and I some­times have to or­ga­nize them any­how. It could be text or im­age,” Park ex­plained.

“Some im­ages strike up a con­ver­sa­tion with me. In this case, I started to write a tale of me and a whale af­ter see­ing Tacita Dean’s The Story of Minke the Whale. Then I saw the im­age of Alan Kurdi and in­ter­views of his par­ents. I re­placed my­self with a child named Noah and they be­gan to talk to each other as the whale came out from the sea.”

The mu­sic played through­out the ex­hi­bi­tion space is also in­spired by Park’s re­search. She got the idea from Oper­a­tion El­lamy, the co­de­name for the United King­dom’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 2011 mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion in Libya, and trans­formed it into tetra­chord, the an­cient Greek mu­sic scale, and per­formed it on cello.

On the first floor, vis­i­tors can take part in a post­dra­matic theater piece ti­tled, “Your Sup­per,” cre­ated by Im Hy­oung-jin of the Theater­raum: der philoso­phierende Kor­per, in­spired by Park’s sce­nario.

Per­formed ev­ery 30 min­utes dur­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion pe­riod, 12 par­tic­i­pants are asked to wear head­sets and fol­low in­struc­tions from the au­dio guide.

The par­tic­i­pants can take a look around the set and an­swer sim­ple ques­tions such as whether they pre­fer cig­a­rettes or al­co­hol and use soap or shower gel.

Those who don’t want to join the per­for­mance can watch the par­tic­i­pants through mon­i­tors.

Im said he took in­spi­ra­tion from some of the main mo­tifs from “Twelve Door Han­dles” — war, chil­dren and daily life.

“I tried to look for links be­tween my work and Park’s sce­nario. Alan Kurdi’s pic­ture also made me think a lot. We know how we should live, but how we ac­tu­ally live can clash with the ideal. I want peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence such mo­ments,” Im said.

The items men­tioned in the ques­tion­naire are pro­duced us­ing child la­bor. “As I looked into child la­bor and war issues, I re­al­ized that we should re­spect chil­dren as hu­mans, not just pro­tect them be­cause they are young and weak,” Im said.

Cho Ju-hyun, chief cu­ra­tor at Ilmin Mu­seum of Art, said this ex­hi­bi­tion is com­pleted by vis­i­tors’ par­tic­i­pa­tion. “It is so­cial art, com­bin­ing games and pol­i­tics,” Cho said. The ex­hi­bi­tion runs through Jan. 12.

Cour­tesy of Ilmin Mu­seum of Art

Park Yoon-young’s “Twelve-Door Han­dles,” left, and “Twelve-Door Han­dles” are on view at Ilmin Mu­seum of Art in Seoul.

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