Remembrance, Redemption, Reconstruction
There is a deep longing and hope held by many that mankind will transition peacefully into the future. As an artist Shin Hyun Jung has been making art in praise of what has gone before, that which is and what may possibly be. Looking back over a career of more than 30 years, Shin has merged together into his art, ideas from the varied disciplines of anthropology, geology, zoology, botany and archaeology among others. He attempts to describe the beauty and fragility of the ecosystem and man's dependance on it but at the same time tries to re-contextualise world culture and the humanity imbued in the objects made by human hands. The artist urges us to remember our links to the past in order to get back (redeem) the good which was lost in order that we might rebuild the foundations for a better tomorrow.
Shin's work is an attempt to restore order and balance to a way of life on earth that he sees as no longer sustainable.
Often, the apparent visual simplicity of an art exhibition precludes the viewer from discerning the veiled theoretical complexity embedded within it. The purpose of an exhibition is to open a space for discourse around the artist’s work and the layers of meaning that arise from both intention and incident.
In the work of Shin Hyun Jung there is evident, the working of an astute mind, a complexity that requires thought and effort by the participant. There are some fundamental ideas in the work calling for clarification which are contingent with contemporary issues. These are, understanding the mechanics of knowledge, power and control in social relations, the concept of longing and desire for authenticity and the function of objects in the production of memories.
There is little dispute that history is a compilation of selected stories chosen by those in power for the purpose of manipulation and control of the naive and unquestioning.
Knowledge is power and those that manipulate it can and do coerce and dominate those that do not “know.”
Shin Hyun Jung knows this and attempts to restore some sort of “knowledge equilibrium” by re-presenting his objects in the hope that the viewer will question and recontextualize their understanding of the past.
The artist intervenes in one of the few uncensored spaces where questions can be asked and the thinking mind provoked.
Seoul National University
Fine Art College Gallery
1st and 2nd Floors
August 12 thru 26
Opening on the 12th, 4-6 pm