Chung Seoyoung

Chung Seoyoung

Ilmin Museum of Art

Chung Seoyoung, Clay Tower, 2013. Pigment print, pencil, 29.7 x 21 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

September 11, 2013

Chung Seoyoung
The Speed of the Large, the Small, and the Wide
September 13–November 17, 2013

Opening: September 12, 2013, 5pm

Ilmin Museum of Art
139 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu, 
Seoul 110-050, Korea 
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm; 
Friday 11am–8pm

Chung Seoyoung Solo Exhibition: The Speed of the Large, the Small, and the Wide
This fall, the Ilmin Museum of Art will present a solo exhibition of contemporary artist Chung Seoyoung, The Speed of the Large, the Small, and the Wide. Chung was at the forefront of the artists whose work truly began to show the symptoms of change in South Korean contemporary art in the early 1990s, and she has been consistently working in varied genres including sculpture, installation, drawing, and performance to create a body of work that reveals the underlying thought and reflection behind form. For this exhibition, the artist has attempted to overcome the limitations of sculpture through a body of work that raises the fundamental, epistemological question of what it means to create work as a sculptor. This is, one could say, the politics that Chung reveals through what is often considered a traditional genre.  

An epistemological approach to the being of sculpture 
In addition to sculpture, the artist also uses other genres and media to investigate and give form to the idea of a “sculptural dimension.” The 16 works featured in this exhibition include video installation, drawing, photo collage, and sound-based performance. One of the artist’s previous works, the performance The Adventure or Mr. Kim and Mr. Lee from a 2010 project at the LIG Arthall, will be reconstructed and installed as a three-channel film in the first-floor exhibition hall. Though diverse, all of the questions investigated by these works present us with the artist’s ruminations on matters of sculpture. This is also what the exhibition’s title, The Speed of the Large, the Small, in the Wide implies. This is a vague phrase through which it is difficult to clearly judge how large, small, or wide; or how fast or slow the speed; or indeed what kind of physical or imaginary motion is being described in the first place. However, we can understand that the phrase indicates a situation in which the physical dimension of some object or thing of a certain size and shape is moving, either slowly or quickly. Thinking about this in the context of the artist’s work, one might say that this is situation implied by the speed of creating—that is, the situation and moments of bringing a sculpture into existence.  

Unlike the genres of film or performance—which employ time, sound, and movement and whose nature is dynamic and immaterial—sculpture is by nature quiet and physical. However, there is another dimension of sculpture that challenges this “nature”; this dimension appears in the ontological time of sculpture, the moment of sculptural performance, and the process of cognizing the physical world of sculpture. It is in this dimension of sculpture that we find the duration of indecisive time involved in sorting through a sculpture’s small elements and details and considering the relationships among them. This is a spatial world imbued with an exciting tension that oscillates between tranquility and motility.  

Thus, even though Chung has expanded into performance, sound installation, and text drawing over the past several years, these diverse methods ultimately continue to construct the artist’s idiosyncratic sculptural language and the epistemological domain of her sculptural world. This exhibition not only seeks to introduce the profound and purposeful work of Chung Seoyoung, unbound by the limitations of genre, but also to show its singular aesthetic materialization. 

Artist Chung Seoyoung
Chung Seoyoung earned her BFA and MFA in sculpture from the Seoul National University School of Art and researched at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart, Germany. She has received artist’s grants from the Baden-Württemberg Art Foundation in Germany and has been awarded the Kim Se-jung Young Artist Prize. Her nine previous solo exhibitions include Apple vs. Banana (the Hyundai Cultural Center model house, 2011), The Adventure of Mr. Kim and Mr. Lee (LIG Art Hall, 2010), Monster Map 15 min (Gallery Plant, 2009), On top of the table, please use ordinary nails with small head. Do not use screws. (Atelier Hermes, Seoul, 2007), and Leave the Campfire There (Portikus, Frankfurt, 2005). She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, including the 4th Gwangju Biennale (2002), the 50th Venice Biennale (Korean Pavilion, 2003), the 7th Gwangju Biennale, Countdown (Culture Station Seoul 284, 2011), Deoksu Palace Project (Deoksu Palace Art Museum, 2012), and Playtime: The Waiting Room of Episteme (Culture Station Seoul 284, 2012). 

Ilmin Museum of Art 
The Ilmin Museum of Art has been a center of contemporary visual art and culture since 1996. It has been a major force in developing the discussion of visual culture and the humanities in Seoul, offering exhibitions, lectures, documentary film archives, screenings, and publications on the diverse modern and contemporary visual art. The museum is located in Gwanghwamun, where contemporary urban skylines live together with old palaces of the Joseon Dynasty. Not only is the museum located at a geographical intersection of past and present in the heart of Seoul, its building is symbolic of the modern history of the Gwanghwamun area, constructed in 1926 and the museum building was designated as one of Seoul’s ten cultural assets of modern architecture in 2010 for its historical significance. In 2012 the Dong-A Ilbo’s newspaper museum, Pressium, moved and re-opened on the fifth and sixth floors of the museum, creating a new, expanded art museum complex. Through curating and organizing a variety of exhibitions that embrace contemporary visual art with local and international interests, the Ilmin Museum of Art seeks to create a dynamic space to lead contemporary discourse and aesthetics.

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