Exhibition

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April the Eternal Voyage
Period/ 2016.04.16(Sat) ~ 2016.06.26(Sun)
Hosted by Gyeonggi-do, Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation
Organized by Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan-si
In Partnerships with 416 Sewol Families for Truth and A Safer Society, 416 Memory Archive
Supported by Samhwa Paints

Artists: Sindae Kang, Hong-Goo Kang, Yongju Kwon, Sangdon Kim, Suntag Noh, Choonghyun Roh, Euntae Park, Jaedong Park, Yongsun Suh, Photographers Who Remember MV Sewol, Kyuchul Ahn, Seahyun Lee, Yunyop Lee, Minseung Jang, Eun Chun, Su Hyun Jeon, Jin Kyoung Jun, Sohee Cho, Sook Jin Jo, Jeong Hwa Choi, Hochul Choi, Soun Hong

Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art presents April: the Eternal Voyage, a memorial exhibition conceived to remember the victims of the Sewol ferry disaster and to console their families and friends who lost their loved ones. For the past two years, our museum has prayed alongside bereaved families at the Government Joint Memorial in Hwarang Recreation Park, and has organized this exhibition to support the families as they attempt to resume their lives. The exhibition has invited 22 Korean artists/ artist groups from different generations and genres featuring works that the artists recorded and interpreted from their perspective.
The works featured in this exhibition are categorized into three topics – “To Accompany,” “To Remember,” and “To Record.” The first theme “To Record” is presented as “artistic conduct archive” which is a collection of artists’ conducts that represented the social solidarity through artistic practice. “To Remember” is comprised of works that reflect our society and lives seen by Korean artists through the Sewol ferry disaster. Lastly, “To Accompany” features new projects that question how the artists will cherish the memories of the victims and live with the memories of the tragedy.

April: the Eternal Voyage raises questions on the role of art in contemporary society characterized by the loss of empathic ability, and through this, poses the fundamental question of “what is art?” The contemplative works of the artists seeking to console the sorrows and wounds of the bereaved, while facing the collective anger and fear, sincerely question the role of art since the occurrence of the disaster — what art needs to embody and express, and how art is to interact with the contradictory society.
Exhibition Description
Sindae Kang
1.강신대
0416 Real-time, 2016, socially produced images, real-time image acquisition algorithm, dimensions variable

Sindae Kang’s 0416 Real-time randomly displays online images related to the Sewol ferry in real-time by utilizing computer algorithms. Images are shown randomly, but they can be said to have been selected by the artist through keywords that he had chosen. The logic of keywords and algorithms of this work demonstrate that the act of collection has a political and subjective disposition that is dependent on the view of the one who carries out the act of selection. 0416 Real-time, as explained by the artist himself, is a work that grasps “the logic of images dominating daily life” by rearranging the numerous images that had been revealed in the media following the incident into keywords.
Hong-Goo Kang
2.강홍구_광화문을-지나며1
Gwanghwamun, 2014, text, pigment print, 100x200cm

Hong-Goo Kang has created works that reveal the stratagem of photography by distorting the legend of the camera. Kang’s world of art characterizes his unique sense of humor featured in all of his works and the unusual perspective on familiar landscapes can be observed in Window. He captures the pained shrieks of a cold city through Edvard Munch’s The Scream on an old flyer attached to one side of the window. Yet, that is also the end of his sense of humor. His astute sense of humor in Gwanghwamun and Sewol encounters this tragedy with repetitions of the grand contradiction of reality mixed with rage and self-deprecation.
Yongju Kwon
3.권용주
Slanted, 2016, paint on timber, 1,500×60×420cm, 180x50x50cm

Yongju Kwon designed and produced the walls and archive structures installed in the gallery space of April the Eternal Voyage. He visualizes the anxiety and fear that had been created by the Sewol ferry tragedy through the emptiness of the exhibition hall of the Museum in resemblance to a ferry and the diagonal walls and unstable chairs installed within the hall. His design, recreating the search and rescue operations through desks and lights of the archive space resembling the illegally enlarged area of the ferry, includes both physical and psychological inconveniences recalling the painful memories of the tragedy. Through the space, Kwon urges us not to forget about these sad and painful memories.
Sangdon Kim
4.김상돈_모뉴먼트 제로#2
Monument Zero #2, 2014, inkjet print, 130x87cm

Sangdon Kim’s Monument Zero is a “memorial” to the absence of reality space symbolized by the absence of the future and the present and moreover a sinkhole in deviation from the orbit of time arising from the Sewol ferry disaster. The artist claims, “Amidst the Sewol ferry tragedy and the emergence of a sinkhole, I confirmed that there was an active form created by “absence.” This absence is different from mere nothingness, and it is a sensually clear and active existence.” TORMA ANTENNA, which is the link between objects and people standing in the exhibition hall yet is unable to receive transmissions, strongly attests to this empty void in society.
Suntag Noh
5.노순택_가뭄#CFF0106
Drought #CFF0106, 2015, pigment print, 155×110cm

A critic once referred to him as the “moaning artist.” This nickname was probably given to him to describe how the artist captures and records the conflict-ridden sites behind his gun-like camera as if he is moaning. Suntag Noh’s photographs, which are close-up detail captures of a given site, establish the viewer as a new agent of interpretation on the boundary between art and record. The Drought series recording the site following the Sewol ferry disaster solely captures columns of water of the site that is rampant with water cannons. Of course these water columns will not be able to ease the drought within our mind. Through this work, the artist metaphorically alludes to reality of the political drought.
Choonghyun Roh
6.노충현_연극이 끝난 후
After a Play Ends, 2015, oil on canvas, 194x260cm

It is not important where the spaces depicted in the works of Choonghyun Roh are designated. As the artist claims, we detect a certain energy of Korean society embedded in the space presumed to be a particular stage. We observe a prosaic landscape that the artist had delved into up until now in Ladder 1 reminiscent of a tool for rescue that is about to collapse and After a Play Ends, resemblant of the aftermath of a failed circus. The space depicted by Roh looks like a realistic space yet becomes a motif that reminds one of a landscape that “awakens the inhumane and senseless reality” that is hidden underneath.
Euntae Park
7.박은태_기다리는 사람들
Waiting People, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 187x454cm

Euntae Park’s Miracle on the Han River reveals the frailty and incompetence of Korean society that the Sewol ferry tragedy had invoked. He depicts the vain and absurd reality that had been hidden behind the legend of modernization known as the “Miracle on the Hangang River” through the image of the Sewol ferry sunk in the Hangang River. Park, whose work had focused on the people marginalized by the modernization process of the Korean society, now depicts “waiting people” ever since the disaster. Such people in waiting are not only the families of the victims but also us who had anxiously awaited the return of the missing people and moreover those awaiting amidst numerous difficulties.
Jaedong Park
8.박재동
Never Forget You, Sewol Student Victims at Danwon High School, 2014–2015, digital print, dimensions variable

Editorial cartoonist Jaedong Park collaborated with newspaper The Hankyoreh on the “Never Forget You” series and presented to each of the bereaved families of the student victims of Danwon High School a portrait of their loved ones. His portraits were placed in the rooms of the student victims and appear in the Rooms of the Children series, also on display in the exhibition. The artist discloses that he seemed to have grown closer to the children while painting them. He advises, as a practice of an artist, that we especially remember the children, expressing the view that “if we call out their names and remember each and every one of them, then they will be able to have another life.”
Yongsun Suh
9.서용선_2014 뉴스와 사건
2014 News and affair, 2014, acrylic on wood board, 272x585cm

Unable to blot from his mind the desperate look of a boy looking out the window of the ferry, the artist roamed around Paengmokhang, following the Sewol ferry disaster. His brush, depicting groups of people wandering about the city and the scene of history, was led to painting the hopelessly blue waters and white tents on the port and the funerals of the victims and their families. While watching news special on the first year anniversary of the disaster, he, once again, picked up his brush to paint the victim families who had been driven out to the streets. Through the documentary-like works, we are able to perceive the profound grief of the artist in his direct encounter with the Sewol ferry tragedy.
Kyuchul Ahn
10.안규철_우리 아이들을 위한 읽기
Reading for Our Children, 2016, sound installation, dimensions variable

At the distant end of a narrow alley is a person reading something. A room where we can observe and hear this person reading—the artist designed a project expressing the tribute to the Sewol ferry disaster through the act of reading “a book on beauty, on youth and friendship, on endurance, sadness, and contemplation, and on love.” He suggests the reading be carried out hoping that our voices will one day reach far in the distance to those who are so greatly missed.
Seahyun Lee
11.이세현_붉은 산수-015AUG01
Between Red-015AUG01, 2015, oil on linen, 250x250cm

Seahyun Lee, inspired by the unrealistic and fearful red-hued landscape of the demilitarized zone that he had observed through a fluoroscope while serving in the military, began painting red