August 15, 2014 - National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea - 2014 Korea Artist Prize
August 15, 2014

2014 Korea Artist Prize

Clockwise from top left: Chang Jia, Beautiful Instruments 3 (Breaking Wheel), 2014. Mixed media installation, dimensions variable. Noh Suntag, Sneaky snakes in Scenes of Incompetence #P-XIV010601, 2014. Pigment print, 100 x 147 cm. Kim Shinil, Mind, Belief, Ism, 2014. ABS, Photograph print on translucent panel, dimensions variable. Koo Donghee, Way of Replay, 2014. Mixed media installation, dimensions variable.

2014 Korea Artist Prize
August 5–November 9, 2014

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art,
Gwacheon (MMCA Gwacheon)
313 Gwangmyeong-ro Gwacheon-si Gyeonggi-do 
427-701 South Korea
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm, 
Saturday 10am–9pm

T +82 2 2188 6000

Co-sponsored by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea and SBS Foundation, Korea Artist Prize is in its third year to identify and support talented artists who represent the vast potential and future vision of Korean contemporary art. The 2014 Korea Artist Prize adheres to its mission of promoting a vibrant art scene and presenting new trends and discourses within Korean contemporary art. This year’s finalists are Koo Donghee, Kim Shinil, Noh Suntag, and Chang Jia. In consideration of each artist’s qualifications and contribution, one artist will be chosen by the panel of judges to receive the 2014 Korea Artist Prize during the exhibition period.

Koo Donghee: Way of Replay
Koo Donghee’s (b. 1974) installation for this exhibition, Way of Replay (2014) is based on her own memories of the nearby Seoul Grand Park, as well as her impressions of some recent accidents and incidents. When asked to plan an installation for the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Koo immediately thought of the roller coasters from Seoul Land amusement park. Thus, she created and installed a large twisting track—reminiscent of a Möbius strip—as a way of encouraging audience participation within the rectangular symmetrical space. Koo’s work implicitly realizes visual elements in a quite playful manner, but at the same time, holds the possibility of multiple interpretations and irrationality of Life.

Kim Shinil: Ready-known
For this exhibition, Kim Shinil (b. 1971) combines his letter sculptures with video works to render the gallery space as a single structure. Kim impedes the semantic function of words and letters and reconstitutes them as purely visual elements. Kim visualizes the acquisition of men’s true autonomy through light, emphasizing intuitive nature over the rational mind. Only by subverting concepts inherent to reason in favor of instinct can we begin to grasp our true nature. Through his myriad experiments with visual perception—integrating drawings, sculptures, and videos—Kim Shinil conducts experiments on visual perception by crossing over drawing, sculpture and video to broaden our scope of comprehension with realization of the simplified visual language.

Noh Suntag: Sneaky Snakes in Scenes of Incompetence
Noh Suntag (b. 1971) questions the daily operation of Korean society, and particularly the increasing role of cameras within that operation. The exhibition’s title, “sneaky snakes” refers to the somewhat insidious yet explosive attributes of photography, which has quietly revolutionized media within its relatively short history. The “scenes of incompetence” are unfortunate incidents and events that initially seem to be evidence of cruelty, but are more likely the result of mere incompetence, making them immune to moral action or outrage. While photography purports to convey the objective truth, it can subtly and shrewdly distort facts by presenting only a framed and superficial landscape devoid of context. The works in this exhibition demonstrate that Noh is deeply concerned with a photographer’s duty and attitude towards photography, particularly at a time in which the medium is changing so rapidly.

Chang Jia: Taboos Stimulate Hidden Desire.
Utilizing the human body to address social taboos, Chang Jia (b. 1973) deals with the body as both a sensory system and a person’s innermost essence, rather than as a cultural product, reflecting the social view. Her works exist at the point of intersection between various extremes—pain and pleasure, violence and beauty. For this exhibition, Chang is introducing the new installation Beautiful Tools III (2014), which she has been planning for the last six years. A large white curtain is installed to demarcate a “sacred space,” which is occupied by twelve female performers sitting atop large wooden wheels, like those used for old wooden carts from China. The wheels were purposely chosen in accordance with their possible function as instruments for torture. Each performer sits on an unusual saddle studded with protruding crystals and a hole in the middle, where the attached feathers rubs against the performer’s genital region. Thus, while pedaling the wheels, women are simultaneously subjected to both pain (from the crystals) and pleasure (from the feathers). Furthermore, through this odd combination of sacred ambience and a secular act, the museum becomes a site of transgression.


National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea presents 2014 Korea Artist Prize
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
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