the show must go on: Speed date with Korean Artists

the show must go on: Speed date with Korean Artists

Lecture Theater - Chelsea College of Art & Design, London, England
September 27, 2012, 17:00~19:00


hyungmin MOON

The artistic practice of Hyungmin Moon cannot be defined by one genre as it encompasses various fields from painting, photograph, installation, and sculpture to video art. Though it isn’t new that an artist works in different genres, retaining the characteristics of his or her own style throughout the whole practice is unusual. Hyungmin Moon is one of those artists who are keeping his balance in two different qualities, and this is possible as he works within a common pattern of ‘contradiction between form and content’ and ‘black humor’.

The theme of ‘contradiction between form and content’ is a basic element in his work. Reflecting virtues required in each genre, well painted pictures and sophisticated photographs of neat composition are the elements drawing viewer’s attention. But the stories that each work contains is demanding or complicated. As he says he is not painting but ‘producing’ a painting, each work captures disparate or unexpected stories rather than validating formal traits of each genre. Like an identity of contemporary art, a range of contents unattainable just by looking at the surface of the work, is created through common process of research and module system, talking back as they continuously collide with images behind images. In this sense, his practice is meta-contemporary art and conceptual art.   
Another important quality of Hyungmin Moon’s practice is black humor. Despite the fact that he is not judging values or taking critical position, black humor of which is produced in the process of maximizing the ‘contradiction between form and content’ makes the viewers question fundamental aspects of situations revealed as a result of discrepancy between image and contents that they are watching. Hence his black humor calls attention to social regulations and conventional notions upon which general public follow unconsciously. It is the responsibility of the viewer to read what’s behind the image or the bitter humor of the artist. The artist is simply asking the feelings and thoughts regarding his work and existing situations. 

As previously stated, while the ‘contradiction between form and content’, black humor resulting from that, and questioning viewers are basic rules to understand Hyungmin Moon’s work, it should be done within the context of bigger prospect. This is the reason that he is not satisfied with individual work but does varied body of series works. He acknowledges that a work of art can be interpreted in so many ways depending on the situation and the time as if putting the puzzle together. That is why the meaning of his work is always fluid and can be translated anew.



Prelude group exhibition
Space Cottonseed, Singapore

September 14 - October 21, 2012

Sema 2012


by numbers series: Seoul Museum of Art 2001 - 2012
installation, Sema 2012, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea, 2012

+ click pix!

Sema 2012

Sema 2012

by numbers series: Seoul Museum of Art 2000-2011

by numbers: Seoul Museum of Art 2000-2011 is of ‘by numbers’ series site specifically designed to install in the context of Seoul Museum of Art. While previous painting version involves colors and words from magazines like Art in America, New Yorker, Vogue with 10,000 squares, now the entire walls of the exhibition space are filled with diagonal color strips.

In the same way, 48 exhibition catalogues of Seoul Museum of Art from 2000 to 2011 were scanned and computed 10 words and colors were visualized in the exhibition space. Ten words and ten colors were selected among 1,018,164 words in 80,258 sentences written in 7,811 pages from 48 catalogues, and the space of 174.1 m² is divided according to the rate. The resulting appearance of this work is similar to that of Daniel Buren. The visual outcome seems direct employment of image appropriation that recurs in contemporary art, and yet the process behind the image makes a clear distinction. Through rigorous process of mathematically and statistically abstracting museum exhibition documents (history, data), the work goes beyond simple visual repetition or appropriation.       

This ‘by numbers’ series opens up layers of different interpretation possibilities of ‘painting’ in contemporary art as one realizes that the vibrant geometric color fields in this series of ‘by numbers’ imply contemporary culture .

Sema 2012

<by numbers: 서울시립미술관 2000-2011>는 기존의 ‘by numbers series’를 서울시립미술관과 전시공간에 맞춰 재구성한 작업이다. ‘by numbers’시리즈는 <Art in Amarica>, <New Yorker>, <Vogue> 등의 잡지를 1년 단위로 컴퓨터로 스캐닝한 다음, 그 결과를 분석하여 각 잡지별로 가장 많이 사용된 10개의 단어와 10개의 색을 선택하여 단어와 색채의 조합을 만들어 낸 다음, 만개로 분할된 정병형에 각 단어의 빈도수에 따라서 색깔을 입히는 작업이다.

이번 시립미술관 전시를 위해 새롭게 제작된 <by numbers series: 서울시립미술관 2000-2011>은 2000년부터 2011년까지 서울시립미술관에서 개최되었던 48개의 전시 도록을 컴퓨터로 스캔하여 가장 많이 사용된 10개의 단어와 가장 많이 사용된 10개의 색을 선택하여 이를 전시공간에 시각적으로 재구성하였다.

기존 작업이 만 개의 정방형에 색깔을 입혔던 것과는 달리, 이번 작업에서는 전시장 벽면을 가로지르는 사선의 색띠 작업을 했다. 이를 위해 사용된 48권의 도록 총 7811페이지에서 80,258개의 문단과 1,018,164개의 단어 중 10개의 단어와 10개의 색이 선정되었으며, 총 174.1 m2 면적을 단어의 빈도수 비율에 따라 공간분할을 하여 채색하였다. 특히 이번 작업의 결과 나타나는 사선의 색띠는 즉각적으로 다니엘 뷔랭의 작업을 떠오르게 한다. 이러한 시각적 효과는 현대미술에서 빈번하게 거론되는 이미지 차용을 직접적으로 들여오는 것인 동시에, 작업과정을 통해서 차용해온 작가들의 작업과 분명하게 구별된다. 특히 미술관 전시의 기록(역사, 데이터)을 수학적, 통계적으로 추상화시키고, 이를 공간에 재구성하는 과정을 통해서 작품은 단순한 시각적 반복이나 차용을 넘어선다.

‘by numbers’ 시리즈의 작품들이 가지고 있는 특징이나 새로움은 처음에는 그저 화려한 색채의 미니멀리즘처럼 보이는 회화작품이 제작프로세스를 이해하게 됨으로써, 일반적인 그림이 아니라 당시의 사회적 풍경을 함축하고 있음을 깨닫게 되다는데 있다. 뿐만 아니라 오늘날 현대미술에서 ‘그림/회화’라는 매체가 가지고 있는 다양한 해석의 층위를 열어준다.

Sema 2012


SeMA group exhibition
Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

April 10, 2012 - May 17, 2013

Nomadic Report 2012: Part 2: China: Two Weeks’ Vacation


Nomadic Report 2012: Part 2: China: Two Weeks’ Vacation group exhibition
Arko Art Center, Seoul, Korea

March 23 - April 15, 2012

love me two times #02


love me two times #02
icing sugar
10 x 10 x 40 cm (4 x 4 x 16 inches)

love me two times:

The title ’Love me two times‘ is a song by The Doors, meaning a confession that a navy or a sailor makes on his last day with his girlfriend before shipping out to Vietnam. Of two symbolic characters representing the America, Mickey Mouse and the General MacArthur question what happens when the real truth of those planted double entendre is revealed.

The Mickey Mouse, often times as of America itself, is a character of bright and cute image which is the first to be called upon when it comes to implanting the order of America in neighboring countries. Made of an amalgamation of beeswax and sugar, the statue of Mickey Mouse melts and collapses when it is lit up giving out a sweet scent. This makes the viewer reconsider the notion of power which is transient in the long-term historical perspective. And it also questions fundamental system of enjoying art between the viewer and the artist. In other words, it is to enlighten the public to see the intention of the artist hidden under the soon to be collapsed materiality of the work.

Along the same line of thoughts, the statue of the General MacArthur is made by freezing icing sugar. As the ants gather around and eat the statue up, it will eventually fall down. This is about the existing statue of the General MacArthur in Wolmido which is almost a religious figure of the extreme right power of South Korea. Though it is not possible to tell he was a destroyer of civilization or a savior of good will, the artist tries to demonstrate that the belief system of public is strange.

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