|▲ “N ARTIST 2021: Working with Uncertainties” exhibition. (Source: The Gyeongnam Art Museum)|
From March 4 to June 6, the first exhibition of 2021, "N ARTIST 2021: Working with Uncertainties" is being held at the 3rd floor exhibition hall of the Gyeongnam Art Museum. Launched in 2016, ‘N ARTIST’ focuses on discovering and presenting young artists from the Gyeongnam region. The capitalized ‘N’ in the title of the exhibition is an abbreviation with multiple layers of meanings, which can indicate ‘new’, ‘neo’, ‘non’, or ‘next’ among others. The display as a whole is designed to focus on the artists who present fresh perspectives through their practice and dare to take on experiments without hesitation.
The Gyeongnam Art Museum, which is hosting the third exhibition of N ARTIST, focuses not only on introducing local artists in the art gallery, but also as its role as a platform that supports young artist’s sustainable creative activities. This in turn affects the artistic landscape of the Gyeongnam region. So the museum has to be prepared to respond quickly to these changes. Therefore, “N ARTIST 2021: Working with Uncertainties” maintains its format while adding the inspection of progress, process, and method. First of all, the scope of artist research was expanded to find new artists. In addition, the museum helps by facilitating communication between artists and critics who are actively working in the field, exposing the participating artists to a broader audience. The goal of this year’s N ARTIST program is to enrich the perspectives on the artists’ practices. A series of artist interviews and dialogues have been organized to help reach this goal.
The four participating artists to “N ARTIST 2021：Working with Uncertainties” are Ru Kim, Eom Jeong-won, Lee Sung-lyuk, and Choi Seung-joon. The English subtitle of the exhibition "Working with Uncertainties" is also read as "Songs by Stones in Disbelief". ‘Disbelief’ and ‘songs by stones’ are combination of words that represents the sensibilities of artist’s artistic attitudes. ‘Disbelief’ is the essential driving force behind creative activities, refusing to accept them as they are given, and thinking outside of the box. Also, ‘Songs by stones’ is a metaphorical expression about constantly questioning and continuing to spread the feelings behind the world surrounding them. So what does each artist's work mean?
The first artist, Ru Kim, collects data based on social theory and reproduces them as visual art. Ru Kim considers inequality toward social minorities, such as race, gender discrimination, and homophobia as remnants of colonial imperialism and ideology. So Ru Kim has continued to present these social issues to audiences through art. In this exhibition, people can also see new work dealing with 'regionalism' in Korea. Also, a new work presented by artist Eom Jeong-won is said to be a reconstructed work based on the experience of accidentally coming across a mirage on the sea. Eom Jeong-won talks about the relationship between human senses, experiences, and perceptions through objects that fade and distort the more someone looks at it. Eom Jeong-won's work, which challenges the world’s perception and breaks down the boundaries between reality and surrealism, will stimulate the imagination of viewers. Another artist, Lee Sung-lyuk expresses language through a variety of media such as words, letters, and videos. Lee Sung-lyuk is concerned about his role as a young artist in society, the art system, and even art itself. He includes the nature of relationships and harmony that he has identified through collaboration with many artists. The final artist, Choi Seung-joon, reconstructs several paintings on a large canvas to create a work or to dissolve one work in a variety of directions to awaken new senses. In addition, he expresses his curiosity and playfulness in art, which is judged simply as ‘art’ or explained through theory.
“N ARTIST 2021：Working with Uncertainties” provides an opportunity to see the new trends and possibilities of Gyeongnam art. This exhibition does a lot for the Gyeongnam art world. Through the works of this exhibition, viewers can remind themselves of surreal moments when a small stone-like being sings without a sound.
By Jung In-hee, cub-reporter email@example.com
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