The Skin Sound
by Hak Seung Lee
The Skin Sound is a single channel video by a Korean contemporary artist, Hak Seung Lee and a part of his performance series, Catching the Sound in the Air created in 2003.
In Catching the Sound in the Air, Lee wearing a physician’s gown with a stethoscope, makes a sound by scratching the surfaces of the various objects such as a human body and a glass window with a turntable needle that is attached to the head of stethoscope. Inside the stethoscope is a microphone installed, and thus the scratched surface sound is amplified in real time.
In The Skin Sound, Lee is mainly searching for the latent sound of a human body. Through discovering the sound that is beyond the typical, Lee strives to make the viewer recognize his/her perception and response to the sound and aware of the existence of the unfamiliar sound. www.leehakseung.com
A Tale of Common Things
Performance by Eric De Leon Zamuco
A Tale of Common Things is a performance piece by Eric De Leon Zamuco, which was conducted at the opening of Puzzling (a) Space at the Hillyer Art Space on September 3, 2010. As a part of his mixed-media installation of the same title, this performance piece deals with ideas of identity, which the artist constantly pays attention to as a Filipino living in the US.
The installation on which Zamuco performed is a sculpture that is a combination of 5 years worth of soap used by the artist, a 24 ft. light box propped-up by a number of toddler chairs. Zamuco’s interest in cultural associations in the everyday object brings to light the common soap as a colonial commodity. In the 1900’s, a soap print ad appeared to promote the “whitening” of the “unenlightened” Filipino. He performs with this piece to link this past reference, to the present.
He sat at one of the ends of the installation, his torso rested on his thighs, head bowed down and primarily focused on his feet. The position could be described as being in total submission. His feet were in a basin with no water and no soap. He wrote instead on his feet for three hours, a metaphorical gesture with Christian allusions. Zamuco says the written text on his feet makes them dirty, hence a kind of “unwashing,” but it is cathartic and confessional, in a sense, a kind of “washing.”
Written repetitively on his feet were the words “There are people who ate my people like bread,” but in varying tenses. They were written in English on his left foot but in Filipino on his right. He explained, “I was pertaining to the American imperial past, contemporary interventionism and my own culture’s social ills. The realization of the commonness of the inhumane, among cultures, sets in,”
Aside of Audience
Aside of Audience is a 3-channel video installation consisting of arranged scenes of interviews of 108 people who were asked to act as a professional artist and talk about their works that did not exist. They were also requested to discuss about, but not limited to, the problem of communication between art works and audiences and the roles the artists played in the society. Since they merely acted as an artist, the answers they provided do not represent a true artist’s point of view, but rather reflect socially accepted idea about artists, which in turn reveal, in some sense, prejudice toward or fantasy on artists in general.
This particular video clip is a documentation of the video installation that has been edited. Despite short in duration, the video clip speaks out well the essence of the message that Mioon strives to deliver. In addition, with its real installation view, the clip offers an interesting indirect experience of not only the reversed roles between the viewer(s) and the performer(s), but also a blurred situation between inside and outside the screen at the exhibition site. www.mioon.net
Duration: 4′00″ (original video runs for 18′00″)
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Symphony No.9 Dream Wander in Peach Blossom Paradise
A trained sculptor and well known installation artist, Sang Hyun Lee has turned his use of media into video and photography since 2004. This video was made in 2009, expressing the relation between the US and North Korea in a metaphorical and poetic manner. Lee often incorporates documentary photos from the South Korea’s history with digitized dreamlike figures that results in surrealistic landscape. In this video, he used a famous 15th century’s Korean painting arranged with animated American icons which suggest two paradises of “peace and love”. www.sanghyunlee.com