Looking back at my art education in the past, my studies in university were strictly divided by department, and under the idea of medium specificity limited the boundaries of an art practice. From this awareness I have tried to question the ideologies and authority of art institutions.
This has led me to question the widespread idea of art as an outcome, taking precedence over the necessary procedures and conditions for its production. In this sense my practice reveals the various conditions involved in making an artwork in order to help the audience rethink the value of art that is freed from its myth of creativity.
A number of conditions of an art practice that I explore in my works include the ‘labor’ and ‘institutional authority’ of artist and art institutions. An important work related to my exploration in labor is called Art Skill Certificate. In this work I ‘prove’ my skills in handling wood tools used for making a wood sculpture. This takes shape in the form of a video and an award I give myself ‘certifying’ this art skill. Labor itself is often less valued than its result, however, the work re-centers on the aspect of labor related to an art skill. In my critique of institutional authority, I question the role of the artist and exhibition space by changing the rules of operation. In the work Woosuk Parking Lot I challenged the authority of the exhibition space. The gallery space was originally an underground parking lot, so during the exhibition I used the gallery space as my own parking space. I tried to share with the audience the idea that rather than a standardized white cube space for displaying artworks, the gallery space is also a site with its own history and context. And I challenged the authority of the artist as the sole maker by presenting participatory works. Beyond a studio-based practice where the artist is solving problems with materials as the sole producer of an artwork, I am interested in an art practice that would weaken the dominant role of the artist in order to generate a shared space with participants by working together in the everyday world.
My work often employs the strategy of disguise, which recreates the boundaries between art and life within the exhibition space such as the gallery or the museum. On the other hand, I reconnect art with daily life by setting a new context outside the institutions. In this way, in close affinity to institutional critique art practices in the past that challenged the institution of art, I reinvent the practice of institutional critique at the present moment as an art major student living in Seoul, and situated both inside and outside the institution.
In my search for the conditions of art making, I begin to become curious about how it can be applied to other artists and audience members in different social and cultural environments, and how my own condition as well as the society to which I belong are socially and culturally distinct.