(몸살) “Body Ache” Art Exhibition in Seoul, South Korea

Image above Lee Seung-hoon’s Plastic Surgery #01 via Korean Herald

Momsal (몸살), literally meaning body ache, examines the body as a site that represents the distress and aches of society. According to the Korean Herald, the exhibition at Sungkok Art Museum (성곡미술관) features six artists four of which are South Korean: Shin Je-heon (신제헌), Lee Sun-haing (이선행), Lee Seung-hoon (이승훈), and Black Jaguar (흑표범), and two from abroad: Sigalit Landau (Israel) and Cui Xianji (China). Above and below are some images of the artwork from the exhibition.

Black Jaguar, Giant–Monster, 2013, 150 x 100 cm, Digital Print

The first image in this post,  Lee Seung-hoon’s Plastic Surgery #01, initially drew me to this exhibition. The marks on the people’s faces in the photographs recall battle paint. Cosmetic surgery is in a way a form of battle paint; it distorts the original likeness so that one can achieve greater success, or so they hope. The melancholic expression combined with the quickly painted child-like marks create a layered view into not just the act but also the person. While looking at Lee’s images I came across an opinion piece written for the New York Times by Han Kang about cosmetic surgery in South Korea. Kang describes looking at the before and after images, ”Whenever I look at these pictures, it’s the ‘before’ face that I’m drawn to: the face that has been discarded; the one that has disappeared from the world forever.” Read the rest of Kang’s essay here. If you’re interested in more details, here’s some information from the Economist.

Lee Sun-haing, Place to Rest, 2013

It is easy to become distracted by cosmetic surgery when approaching the concept of the body and South Korea. This exhibition appears to have moved beyond that and addressed further corporeal themes. Alongside the images above, there is a bust of Damien Hirst, a video called Mermaids [Erasing the Border of Azkelon], and more. To see further images you can visit the museum website linked above and there is also an essay in Korean about it here.

I initially found this exhibition through The Korean Herald in “Depictions of ‘body aches’ in modern society” by Lee Woo-young.

Posted: April 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

“Cruel and beautiful…”

Chang Jia’s Sitting Young Girl from 2009 via Doosan Gallery

This Friday, March 7, Doosan Gallery in New York will open a solo exhibition of Chang Jia’s work. Chang is currently participating in the Doosan Gallery residency program. The exhibition will be up March 7 – April 3. Among the work to be exhibited, Standing Up Peeing (2006) will be shown. I wrote an article about those work for Modern Art Asia last summer.

Posted: March 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Body Update: Bending

Images by Bill Durgin via DesignBoom

Virtual gender swap via DesignBoom. This is an interesting concept but I don’t see why it has to be specific to gender. Size? Race? Health? Also, gender is not necessarily a binary thing as it seems to be presented here.

Speaking of gender, Facebook has some interesting news.

People are making the internet a better place! (Don’t tell my student’s I endorsed something Wikipedia related! ;) )

A friend shared Ren Hang’s photography with me a few weeks ago because of my work on Chang Jia’s Standing Up Peeing. 

Posted: February 18th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body, Visual and Critical Studies | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Current Reading List

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From my Instagram taken outside of the restroom at Alternative Space Loop in Seoul

“Pink Writing: P.R.C.-Based Publishing in English on Queer and Pot-Queer Issues” in Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific (Issue 33, December 2013) by Maud Lavin

“Big Flesh, Big Emotions: Jenny Saville’s Paintings And Melissa McCarthy’s Comedy” in The Last Women’s Magazine by Maud Lavin

“The Politics of Identity for Korean Women Artists Living in Britain” in Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture by Beccy Kennedy

“Bargaining with Patriarchy” in Gender and Society (Sept. 1988) pp. 274-290 by Deniz Kandiyoti

Americanah by  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Body, Visual and Critical Studies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Body Language (Body Conferences)

Freddy will always have a piece of my heart. Queen’s “Body Language” (1982).

If I had all the time and money in the world I would apply to participate in these two conferences:

Bodies in Between: Corporeality and Visuality from Historical Avant-garde to Social Media

Deadline for call for papers: February 15, 2014

Conference Dates: 29-31 May, 2014

Location: Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA

Time, Space, and the Body

Deadline for call for papers: April 4, 2014

Conference Dates: 7-9 September, 2014

Location: Oxford, ENGLAND

Posted: January 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body, Visual and Critical Studies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Sunday Morning Coffee [Skin]

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Miru Kim’s Composition 4 via the artist’s website.

Read more about Miru Kim (above) in the article I wrote a few months ago.

Fashion, science, cloning: Hybrid Skins. “The creepy, animalistic pieces envision a time where the body and nature are able to be copied and personalized.” via DesignBoom

Carefully splashed milk as adornment.

Last week my students and I visited Think First, Shoot Later at the MCA. We had a fantastic discussion about Gillian Wearing’s Self-Portrait at Three Years Old (2004). Look at her eyes.

GIFs of aging.

Posted: October 20th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Body, Sunday Morning Coffee | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Wang Ye-Feng’s Transmutation: The Future of Man

Wang Ye-Feng‘s Transmutation: The Future of Man will be at Soapbox Gallery in New York until October 24, 2013. Via Soapbox Gallery: “Technology has become an extension of ourselves, and as the limit between man and machine shifts, we must ask ourselves: where will this limit be in the near and far future? What will the Man of tomorrow look like, and what ethical questions does this evolution raise?”

See some of Wang’s images below:

All images in this post were used with permission from the artist.

Posted: October 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Fake Plastic Trees by Choi Xooang

I wrote an article about Choi Xooang for Art Radar Asia a few months ago. He’s been mentioned numerous times in the past on this blog as well. He recently closed the exhibition Fake Plastic Trees. Graywall Art Advisory and Collaboration Projects shared some of the images with me to post here. I reference some of the images in the article mentioned above: “His sculpture Colonization, at just over one hundred centimeters tall, is roughly the height of a large toddler, but with a dog head and a human male body. Despite its miniature size the figure is striking: he seems to be in motion and alert but harnessed by his own skin. The details of the sculpture convey an eerie, non-human, vagabond-like figure fabricated with multiple unmatched parts: the dog head, a mismatched hand, underwear, and laced boots. The most striking of these details is the thick brown stitching that crawls up the dog-headed boy’s back. The chest skin is worn like a vest. Choi disallows the viewer from knowing what truly lies beneath this cobbled figure’s outer layer.”

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Posted: October 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body | Tags: , | No Comments »

How to Break the Great Chinese Wall Part 2: Never Mind Pollock

Image Source.

A performance at SKMU in Norway recreated by Lilibeth Cuenca RasmussenHow to Break the Great Chinese Wall Part 2: Never Mind Pollock, includes painting with hair and polka dots. Here’s a video.

Her website says, “The weighty wall of art history constitutes a challenge for a new generation of artists. Inevitably, an artist has to clear the relation to his/her precedents and artistic relatives. Cuenca Rasmussen reenacts and deconstructs iconic works and personas of performance art.”

Posted: September 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Faces and forms

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The image above is from “The Average Faces of Women Around the World.” I’m not sure about how scientific this project is but the idea is interesting. You can make your own average face here.

The Average Faces are reminiscent of this project.

Last week David Rosenberg wrote an article about plastic surgery recovery. “Stark Portraits From The Plastic Surgery Recovery Room” includes stunning and chilling photographs of women post surgery created by Ji Yeo. Here’s an interview with the artist.

This image by Zanele Muholi from 2009 is lovely and runs along the theme of this post. I found it alongside a call for papers on Visual Activism.

Posted: September 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Body, Lifestyle, Sunday Morning Coffee, Visual and Critical Studies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »