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Chung, Kyoung-Yeon

제목 Since her first one-man show in 1981, 등록일 2017.01.05 11:29
글쓴이 david

 

Since her first one-man show in 1981, Chung Kyoung Yeun has been known for two-and three-dimensional works which consist of the systematic and repeated layering of ordinary cotton gloves. The use of gloves is carried on in her most recent works as well. Only her technique has changed. In some cases, there is a more processed feeling; for example, the application of modelling clay, ceramics of bronze to create a whole new ambience.

Together with this transformation in technique and materials, major changes in the layering method have also occurred. In her purely textile stage, when the gloves were suspended on a wall, they always hung down from the force of gravity, and when they were arranged on the surface of a box, they pointed in all directions.

In her most recent works, however, the gloves are piled orderly one on top of another or are arranged evenly along a horizontal surface, perhaps because they are now mode of harder materials or maybe because Chung has become more artistically demanding. While I cannot say thet all these works are effective, I believe that these changes in materials, technique and expression evidence a positive advancement in Chung's art. Of particular note is the unique symbolic dynamic which lies hidden at the base of these changes.

At the beginning of these essay, I mentioned "ordinary cotton gloves." That simply means that the gloves definitely have five fingers. Chung's works are not in the form of a hand, however; rather they are, in a manner of speaking, an accumulation of fingers. Her stress is on fingers. The proof of this lies in the fact that even when Chung's works are in the form of, for example, stockings or a kind of multipede mollusk, there is always a strong sense of fingers, and when the tips of these appendages are dyed or bleached, the "finger"-ness and especially the end of the fingers, is all the more apparent. Thus Chung, Kyoung Yeun's gloves are not simply objects in the shape of a glove, but rather elicit a sharp tactile feeling, much life pain, in the heart of the odserver.

So, whatis this feeling of pain? The finger, in and of itself, is a symbol for the act of indication or illustration, and in the works of Chung Kyoung Yeun, the unique sense of pain is not simply an image in a painting, but rather it is a fresh voice, a living expression which attempts to reveal something in the heart of the viewer.

Thus, Chung Kyoung Yeun's gloves are indicating something. They do not ask what. That is the ultimate issue, because it can not be expressed by substituting it with language. All we can do is feel it, clearly, which is strongly transcendental and invisible to the eye, through the shape of the gloves.

There is here, however, a certain ambiguity. The gloves are not indicating something else. Rather they are indicating their own unique existence, much like a reflexive verb. All art is an expression, and at the same time, is expressed. Because at first glance, the gloves and finger-like shapes seem to simply serve to indicate something, one forgets the ambiguity which I mentioned above. Chung's gloves not only indicate something, but also contain a sprout or seed which seeks its own existence. No, if the indicating function itself is exceedingly strong, then the existence of the indication itself is intensified. This is because (1) ultimately the indication and existence are not two distinct elements, but rather existence only appears through the positive function of the act of indication, and (2) that act of indicating is a response to the demands of existence.

The riddle-like ambience of Chung's gloves seems to arise from the ambiguity which flows from the coexistence of indication and existence. The travelling gloves of Max Klinger and the display of the gloves of De Kiliko together with a statue of Apollo show the artist's fascination with the ambiguity of gloves.

Her attraction to the gloves of Western artists is a distinct feature of Chung's glove collectiong's, and it is there that we find the unique mechanism embodied in the reciprocal detonation between indication and existence. In Chung's work, the significance of the act of indicating is not so much in what is being indicated as in what is indicating. Is this because the function of the theme which is trying to indicate something is more important than the objective, centripetal expression of the purpose? That is, the artist is trying to express the inherent existence of the act of indication within that which is indicated. Or to put it another way, one could say that the theological and aesthetic thesis which runs throughout Chung, Kyoung Yeun's work asserts the idea that "existence is revealed in the very actions of the person who is trying to indicate it"

In the very act of indication, the ardent yearning for that which is indicated(existence) is a desire to unite with a religious of artistic expression, and explains why Chung's works have, with the passage of time, become more three-dimensional and harder and moved in the direction of bronze sculpture. I believe the strength of this artist's desire to indicate existence has ultimately caused her to demand the solidity of existence has always been a significant avenue for the realization of the expression of truth through the formal arts. The art of Chung Kyoung Yeun may have begun in her unique glove technique, but now she has turned in the direction of this new avenue, and she is moving ahead, striving to go beyond this distinction.

 

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