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LIG Art Space
19 Yanghwa-ro
Mapo-gu, Seoul
121-888 Rep. of KOREA   map * 
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Space Amusement
by LIG Art Space
Location: LIG Art Space
Artist(s): GROUP SHOW
Date: 10 Jul - 14 Aug 2014

Margaret Wertheim in her book A History of Space addresses a cultural history of profound space, from Dante to cyberspace, using the logic of consilience ranging from aesthetics to physics. She asserts that our understanding of space since the Middle Ages has altered from dualism between matter and soul to monism of matter. The space of spirit and soul has been revived in contemporary humans, used to seeing the world as only physical space; trapped in the monism of cyberspace comprised of 0 and 1.

Wertheim properly quotes “art history” from her unique perspective conceived to elucidate the cultural import of space, thereby consolidating her assertion. The Apocalypse Tapestry in Angers woven to portray a heavenly Jerusalem is loaded with the world view of early Christians, in which death is not the end but the beginning of a journey of arriving at Jerusalem. The fresco – also painted inside the Arena Chapel, where Giotto portrayed the life of Jesus with ingenious brush touches, can be seen as a rough sketch of hypertext today, in that all narratives are linked together in a conceived, independent imaginary space. Triggered by Giotto and consolidated by Albrecht Dürer, perspective was a revolutionary conception in which the spiritual imagination was replaced with the material imagination. Painting rendered by perspective positioning the eye of the painter-and-observer within the painting, also locates the eye of the appreciator within it. As the position of an observing body is within the painting, the way of reproduction as well as the way of accepting it may be altered by bridging the painting’s virtual space to the observer’s material space in a formal manner. Flesh of physical space was added to flesh of spiritual space in the framework of Western art since perspective, which can be referred to as a transfer from medieval painting to Renaissance painting. An era came to an end and a new age opened with the generation and movement of the eye toward space. As such, the motif of “space” eloquently demonstrates a way of expression intrinsic in art.

As of 2014, space is still one of the most talked about topics in art. Whatever the reason, artists always try to broaden the horizon of their work, anchored in the concept of space. While space can be considered as stability and settlement in the mundane world, it can be used to testify to survival in the territory of art: a comfortable site for some may be a place of exile for others. This is probably because we have realized we can practice art only through our instinctive intuition even through it cannot generate any specific strength. This is an attitude of life we have to remember in a variety of spaces where our lives go on.  The exhibition, Space Amusement, in which six artists unfold their worlds, is expected to be the “space-time of reinvention” that makes us see space or our lives in a classical way.

What they underscore through their work is our imagination of space. Kim Suyoung presents a pictorial representation of the relationship between art and urban architecture by repetitively painting the surfaces of buildings. Her architectural images created through an interaction of pared-down geometric elements and homogeneous flatness display profundity, exuding even an abstract spirituality. Kim Youngkwan’s work brings forth spatial illusions by blurring the boundaries between the front and the rear, plane and solid, questioning horizontal structures made by lineal perception.

Kim Juree makes miniature houses with clay after witnessing houses destroyed in the redevelopment area nearby her studio. In the day before the exhibition, she gradually erodes the houses by applying water. Kim’s house is an extension of the body and ontological space to answer her own questions. In an age when many consider shabby houses as evidence of poverty and a new scene should be formed by refurbishing or demolishing them, the artist firmly believes the scene of old houses could be the root of life. I believe the process within her houses with walls decorated with tiles that collapse by piecemeal is a metaphor for the fascism innate within us and our everyday life.

In Roh Sangjun’s work wittily capturing strange scenes, the loneliness and alienation individuals feel in the urban area seeps into his space. Lee Sujin represents storytelling in a specific space through the combination of complex devices and clues such as object, text, and installation. The artist displays space’s visual situations shaped by individual or collective psychology and behavior patterns and psychological experience, context, and correlativity deriving from “space”. Chung Seungun’s work explores an ultimate pictorial quality with wooden three-dimensional sculptural pieces in a non-pictorial manner. His work is evidence to showcase the depth of space and the flatness of painting simultaneously.

Of course, this exhibition is not the first one addressing space. What this exhibition emphasizes is therefore not merely narratives on space but our responsibility when we retreat to space in our times: one who is able to hear sound in different spaces stemming from a self-sufficient language or excessive gestures would be happy. The participating artists have invited us to their own humble spaces. I willingly accept the invitation as the space can be replaced with life. It is always delightful to witness an artist’s struggle in an uncontrollable spatial circumstance. The more severe their pain is, the more pleasure we gain. I love such amusement.
- By Dong-hee Yun ( Book Nomad President )

© Sujin Lee
courtesy of the artist
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