Welcome to Korea series (2016)
By exploring the veracity of photographic and video documents in the public realm, "Welcome to Korea" series (2016) informs the role of media and narrative in discourse of the conflicts within and between South and North Korea. Under the rubric of my Korean and international news archives, I reproduce the historical narratives into fictionalized photographs. With my recent visit to Germany as a research of two Koreas' future unification through Germany's 1990 reunification, my latests artworks address the sociopolitical issues in Korea at large. The research scope includes media censorship, dictatorship, political insincerity, human rights violation in legal protests, politician's "out of body" speech, and specific events such as the sinking of Sewol ferry that accentuated the instability of the social structure in South Korea. "Agreement to Kimchi" series (2016) is a direct appropriation of online news imagery and it emphasizes the pixelation of the images. This effect abstracts the specific context of the subject and also connotes the limited access to the reality of North Korea.
In "1984" (2016), I directed three non-Korean speakers to reenact President Park Geun-hye's apology speech after the sinking of the Sewol ferry in 2014. Script is written in Romanized Korean taken from the original speech. The participants were asked to reference the video of the president's speech prior to and during the performance to better understand her play-like timing and gestures such as tearing. The title "1984" not only refer to the dystopian novel by English author George Orwell, but also relates it to the historical violence during the dictatorial regime in the 1980s Korea. It also draws similarities with Korea's current situation.
(Ryan walks into the room, stands in front of the podium, and reads below)
Jonkyunghaneun Kuckmin Yeoreobun, Sewolho Cimmolsagoga Balsanghanji Ohneullo samship Sail zzaega doeutseumnida On Kuckminee Sojunghan Gajockeul Ileun Yoogajockdeuleui A Peumgwa Beetong hameu Ham Ggae Hago Itseumnida. Kuckmineui Sangmeunggwa Anjeun-eul Checkimjeo Ya Ha neun Daetongleungeuroseo Kuckmin euorobuen Ggaeseo Keokeuishin Gotonge Jinshimeuiro Sagwaduerimnida.
(Ryan bows and walks away from the podium)
(John comes in and stands in front of the podium)
Kuckmin Yeoreobun, Jinnan Han Dalyeo dongan Kuckmin Yeoreobun-E Gatchi Apa Hago, Gatchi Bunnohashin Eureul Jal Algo Itseumnida. Sal-lil soo-do Itutdone Haksaengdeol eul Salliji Mothatgo, Chodongdaeeung Misookeuiro Maneun Honlane Iteotgo, Bulbub Gwajeok Deungeuiro Emi Anjeone Maneun Munjaega Yegeundeoeotneundaedo, Baro Japji Mothan Geote Antaggaweohago Bunnohashin Geotira Sangakhamnida. Geui Makjunghan Chaekime Woori Kukmin Modooegae Jooeoujeu Itdago Saenggakhamnida.
(John bows and walks away from the podium)
(Chris comes in and stands in front of the podium)
Chae Pijido Mothan Maneun Haksaengdeulgwa Majimak Gajokyeohange Doeu Burin Honja Nameun Ae Geu Bak-E Nunmullo Eeojineun Heesangjadeuleui Antaggaumeul Sangggakhameo Jeodo Bunmineuro Jameul Erooji Mothan Nanaleeotseumnida Geudeulul Jikkyujuji Mothago, Geui Gajeokduileui Yeohangileul Jikyu juji Mothae Daetongleungeuiroseo Beaegane Deupnida. Ebeun Sagoe Jedaero Daecheohaji Mothan Choijong Chanckimeun Daetongleungin Jeoegae Itseumnida.
(Ryan, John, Chris all together stands in front of the podium, put eye drop in their both eyes, and read below; It does not matter whether or not all three reads at the same time)
#4 All Together
Geoneun Gwageowa Hyunjaeeui Jalmotdwen Geotdealgwa Beejeongsangeul Baro Japgo Saerowoon Daehanmingookeul Mandeulgi Wehae Modeun Myeongwooneul Geol Geotimnida. Apeuiro Heesaengjaeui Nyucktel Girigo, Angeoneui Joongyoseonguel Dwaesaegigi Wuihae Choomobiruel Gunrilhago, Sawol Shipyookileul Kookminangeoneui Nalro Jigeonghal Goteul Geanhapnida. Dashi Hanbeon Ebeon Sagoro Heesaengdwen Boondueleui Myungbokeul Bilmyue, Yoogajock Yeoreoboonggae Gipeun Wuiroeui Malsseumeul Deuiripnida.
#5 Ryan, John, Chris bows toward the audience in the room at the same time