January 30, 2018

Donggeun Lee, Kwantaeck Park, Ji Hye Yeom @ Doosan Gallery New York

Donggeun Lee, Kwantaeck Park, Ji Hye Yeom: Tenacious Afterimage
Doosan Gallery New York
Through February 24, 2018

DOOSAN Gallery New York presents a group exhibition, Tenacious Afterimage. This exhibition is curated by 2015 DOOSAN Curator Workshop participant Hyejung Jang, and includes the work of artists Donggeun Lee, Kwantaeck Park, and Ji Hye Yeom.

An unknown thing contributes to our production of new images. In the past, people used to conceive and create an image out something as associating with old spoken stories, nature such as clouds and trees, religious sermons, myth, etc. Today, however, the media has become a powerful mechanism that provides a drive or threshold of imagination. Walter Lippmann (1889-1974), an American journalist from the early 20th century, wrote in his writing Public Opinion in 1922, that ‘because the world is too big and complex for us to experience it directly, humans form certain images of the world outside in their heads by recomposing it through limited information, that come from the media.

Now we form images through the media. However, we cannot be sure how close the image is to that truth. Because media is like an inserted medium, there is bound to be change, distortion and fabrication in between. And the transformed image often delves into our consciousness in an even more dominant and tenacious manner than its original and finally creates an another image. Tenacious Afterimage focuses on the ever more frequent and elusive transforming of the image this day when information is freely searched and collected on a personal level. Transforming not only connotes a negative notion of ‘change’, unlike in distortion, but also means to distance from its original meaning and can even connote positive changes. In this exhibition, the works by Donggeun Lee, Kwantaeck Park, and Ji Hye Yeom share critical attitude to the process of how the perceptions towards other countries and cultures, as well as historical events with limited knowledge are formed, distorted, and recomposed through the media. Based on the comprehension of the transformation of images that happened through the media, the three artists combine their experiences and imaginations to produce their own new images.

DONGGEUN LEE focuses on the outcome of imagination, produced despite the immense amount of information amidst us which makes us either blindly embody it or miss it altogether without having even recognized the information. Trace of Flight (2016), Memory of Ice (2016), and Collected Sky (2016) are his own Greenland created with the composition of collected information only through the Internet and books, and the artist’s longing and imagination of ‘Greenland’. As traversing across genres of painting, sculptures and installations, Lee explores the ‘freedom of imagination’ only possible through ‘lack of information’.

In his work Periphery of the Fact (2018), KWANTAECK PARK recomposed peripheral information, auto-associative search words, and images that obtained in the process of his Internet searching on the shooting down of Korean Airlines Flight 007 in 1983, which was the year he was born, and draws the recomposed words and images with transparent ink in the exhibition space. The mural drawings which visually manifest in parts with the help of a black light flashlight, show how information on a certain event selected and known by the major mass media is being expanded in an unexpected direction through social media and Internet search algorithms.

Through her video works, JI HYE YEOM intersects actual experiences with vicarious experiences acquired through media, blurs the boundary between, and makes us suspicious of what he has traditionally believed in. They Come, Swiftly, Stealthily (2016) demonstrates a similarity in between the essence of virus and media in the sense that they both intensify fear through invisibility. In addition, the ambiguous blurring between the direct personal experiences, recalled through the indirect experience via media. And A Night with a Pink Dolphin (2015) focuses on how the Amazonian tale is mutated and transformed of its meaning when it comes into the context of the various social mechanisms in operation today, such as globalism, capitalism, status and media.

DOOSAN Gallery New York 
533 W 25th St., New York, NY 10001