우리들의 귀향

2020 한국 젋은 작가展   2020_1118 ▶ 2021_0102 / 공휴일 휴관

별도의 초대일시가 없습니다.

참여작가 정소영_조민아_오연진 장윤미_박세진

기획 / 박기현

관람시간 / 10:00am~06:00pm / 공휴일 휴관

주홍콩한국문화원 Korean Cultural Center in Hong Kong 6-7/F Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong Tel. +852.2270.3502.

우리들의 귀향 _ 코로나 이후의 세계 ● 이번 전시 제목, "우리들의 귀향"은 사회적 거리두기 기간 동안 읽은 박완서 작가의 책 『도시의 흉년Bad year of the City』의 마지막 챕터 제목이다. 이 소설은 전쟁 이후, 1970년대 한국이 경제적으로 고도성장을 이루는 과정에서 드러난 부조리한 관습과 혐오의 풍경을 배경으로 한다. 시대의 혼란 속에서 정신적으로, 물질적으로 무너지는 가족을 뒤로하고 주인공인 쌍둥이 남매가 주체적인 삶을 꾸려나가는 것으로 이야기는 끝을 맺는다. 아들 수빈은 가족이 반대했던 가난한 집안 출신인 여자친구와 결혼하고, 딸 수연은 민주화 시위를 주동한 이유로 감옥에 다녀온 남자친구와 함께 그의 고향 땅으로 간다. 작가는 자신의 사랑스러운 두 젊은 주인공의 미래를 독자들이 상상할 수 있는 자유를 주기 위해 수연의 귀향에서 소설을 마무리했다고 말한 바 있다.

정소영_밤과 낯_차광막, 비닐, 철파이프_2020
정소영_하우스파티_영상_2016

세 명의 조형 미술 작가와 두 명의 영상 작가가 참여하는 이번 전시는 매체를 기준으로 두 세계로 나뉘게 된다. 6층 전시장에 소개 된 정소영, 조민아, 오연진의 작품은 서울을 배경으로 한 박완서의 책 제목 『도시의 흉년 Bad year of the City』이 주는 이미지에 기대어 배치되었다. 아시아권에서 농작물의 빈곤한 수확을 말할 때 쓰는 흉년이란 단어를 영어로 번역할 때, "Poor harvests" 라는 의미로 풀어쓰기보다 한자 "흉凶" 을 그대로 쓰는 한국어처럼 영어 번역문도 "Bad"로 표기한 이유는, 코로나로 바이러스의 등장으로 인해 우리가 겪고 있는 경제적, 심리적 고통을 우회할 생각이 없기 때문이다. 우리는 코로나 팬데믹 이후, 전세계가 산업 공급망으로 얽혀있는 오늘날의 세계 경제 시스템이 국가 봉쇄와 자가격리로 인해 마비를 겪었던 시기를 잊지 말아야 한다. 단기 효율성과 성장률에 쫓기던 신자유주의 경제가 잠시 멈춰선 순간, 마이너스 그래프의 낙점을 예측하면서 각 나라의 정부는 패닉에 빠졌고, 지역 경제 역시 빠르게 경색됐다. 발빠른 방역 대처로 유럽과 미국 같은 대규모 락 다운Lockdowon은 없었지만, 한국 역시 이러한 상황을 피할 수 없었다. 초중고교의 원격수업 같이 기존에는 불가능해 보였던 것들이 위기의 상황에서 신속하게 "가능한" 것으로 처리되었다. 어제의 세계와 오늘의 세계가 그어느때보다 빠르고 극단적으로 달라진 것이다. 나는 이러한 현실을 정소영 작가의 작품으로 전시장 안에 구현하기로 했다. 평소 공간에 존재하는 비 가시적인 여러 결(layer)에 관한 작업을 해온 정소영은 그녀가 2016년 DMZ 레지던시(artist residency) 체류를 마치고 열었던 전시 제목 『밤과 낮』과 같은 제목으로 이번 전시를 위해 새로운 설치 작품을 만들었다. 이데올로기의 대립으로 상처투성이 역사와 지리적 단절을 겪은 DMZ (Demilitarized zone) 지역의 주민들은 대부분 농업에 종사한다. 작가는 정치 담론과 이데올로기의 경계 지역 농부들이 농작물을 보호하려고 만든 임시적인 지붕과 벽, 차광막 같은 것으로 가시화시킨다. 그가 만든 구조물의 면은 투명한 비닐이나 망으로 덮여진다. 이러한 재질은 구조물이 공간을 분리하는 와중에도 빛과 공기를 투과시키기 때문에 공간은 구획은 되지만 분리되지 않는다. 마치 팬데믹으로 위축된 도시 공간에서 우리가 분리되어있지만 연결되어 있는것 처럼 말이다.

조민아_혼합된 세계_장지에 채색_224×224cm_2020
조민아_우리의 밤_장지에 채색_140×90cm_2019

벽면에 설치된, 4m에 이르는 조민아의 신작은 코로나바이러스의 등장이 우리의 가치체계에 가져온 변화 양상이 세계에서 어떠한 모습으로 드러나는지를 보여준다. 작가는 이전 작업에서도 여러 아르바이트를 거치며 자신의 경험을 통해 관찰한 저임금 청년 노동의 현실 혹은 비정규직 노동 현장 같은 사회의 어두운 부분을 시니컬한 유머와 자신만의 도상으로 기록해 왔다. 그가 고속 성장을 이룬 한국 사회에서 발생하는 공동체의 대립과 갈등 그리고 이로부터 파생되는 혐오와 폭력의 풍경을 동아시아 회화의 전통 기법으로 그리는 것은 그가 거주하는 한국의 지역 문화 정체성을 유지하면서도 세계의 보편적 사회의 문제로까지 자신의 회화 영역을 확장하려는 시도이다. 우리는 그의 작업에서 지역 공동체와 세계 공동체에 관해 발언하는 조민아 작가의 글로컬리즘 Glocalism을 발견하게 된다. 한편, 그가 보여주는, 코로나 시대를 견디는 우리의 황폐한 풍경은 이러한 폭력의 시대를 단지 '보여주기' 위해서가 아닌 각성과 반성의 단계로 나가길 원하는, 18세기 영국의 윌리엄 호가스 William Hogarth의 풍자화의 전통과 맞닿아 있다.

오연진_Solar Breath 03:34_나무 패널에 크로모제닉 프린트_131×98cm_2019
오연진_Self-referential Film_PVC 캔버스에 레진과 아크릴_72.7×60.6cm_2020

이러한 자기반성 혹은 우리가 만들어 온, 코로나바이러스 탄생시킨 환경 오염과 자연 파괴를 묵과한 소비사회에 대한 반성을 우리는 오연진 작가의 Self-referential Film(2020) 앞에서 하게 될 것이다. 표면이 불균질한 거울과 같은 이 작품 앞에서 마주하는 우리의 초상은 화면 이면의 세계, 즉 우리에게 다가올 시간을 사유하기 위해 전시장에 놓여 졌다. 더불어 작가의 "Solar breath" 시리즈가 보여주는, 사진의 네거티브 이미지는 환영으로서 과거를 회상하게 한다. 그 화면 가운데 있는 십자가 모양의 캔버스 지지체 뒤에 우리가 있다. 인간 존재의 내면은 매끈한 표면을 가지지 않는다. 기억과 상처, 욕망과 희망이라는 심리적 주름이 외부 세계에 반응하는 다양한 양상을 만들어 내기 때문이다. 그럼에도 우리는 코로나바이러스의 등장으로 인해 인간 본성의 한계를 넘어 공동체를 위해 새로운 삶의 방식을 창안해야 하는 궐위 interregnum의 시간을 맞이했다. 마지막으로, 전시장을 나서기 전에 우리는 앞으로 돌아가고자 하는 고향을 생각해 봐야 한다. 그 고향은 어떠한 지리적 공간이 아닌 우리가 만들어가야 할 코로나 팬더믹 이후, 지금 우리가 살고 있는 도시이다. 이번 전시에서는 문화원의 영상실에서 상영될 두 편의 단편 영화로 바로 이 『우리들의 귀향』을 생각해 보고자 했다. 이 작은 상영회가 바로 "고향"이라고 이름 붙인 전시의 두 번째 파트다. 박세영 감독의 "사랑(사이)깍두기" 속 카메라는 예술가 청년들의 에너지와 그들이 맞닥뜨리는 예측할 수 없는 사건들의 뒤를 쫓는다. 반면 장윤미 감독의 "공사의 희로애락"의 카메라는 노년에 들어선 건설 노동자의 회고와 자신이 만든 세계를 회상하는 그의 시선을 건설 현장의 풍경과 함께 덤덤히 담아내고 있다. 코로나 팬데믹 이후 우리가 미래에 거는 기대는 마스크와 사회적 거리두기가 없는 "과거의 일상"을 돌아가는 것으로 환원되었다. 이 오래된 미래를 젊은 감독들의 시선으로 들여다보면서, 우리들의 귀향이 어떤 고향으로 향해야 하는지 이야기 하는 것으로 전시의 『우리들의 귀향』을 마무리하고 싶었다. 홍콩과 한국에서 같이 또는 함께. ■ 박기현

장윤미_공사의 희로애락_다큐멘터리_01:29:00_2018
박세진_사랑 (사이) 깍두기_다큐멘터리_01:15:42_2020

Our Homecoming - The World after COVID-19 ● It was late January when I first realised something was wrong. The city was celebrating the New Year but we were continually bombarded with more news about the virus that appears to have originated in Wuhan, China. It was a bit intimidating to find most of the cases reported in Seoul centred around my office, located in Jongno-gu, close to the CBD. Still, the people around me living in other areas didn"t seem to care. Each day brought reports of a new low number of COVID-19 patients. Then the situation escalated. After an outbreak at a Christian cult, namely the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the city of Daegu, some public spaces closed and so did schools. No movement restrictions were issued, yet, social distancing was advised, appealing for the public's voluntary participation. Mask prices skyrocketed but soon the government set out its national rationing program that classified citizens into five categories, based on the last digit of the birth year and in every week, they could buy two masks on their designated weekday. A couple of masks didn"t sound enough, though many Koreans had somewhat stocked them up in advance to prepare for fine dust in the springtime. My family also took advantage of pre-purchased masks but they were used up in a short time. Therefore all my family members collected their share of the high quality masks, certified by the government and gave them to their loved ones, who used public transport all the time. The rest of my family wore dental face masks or cotton ones with replaceable filters, while refraining from going out as much as we could. Spring arrived and we expected that the virus would be gone, however it did not abate but the positive was, that manufacturers seemed to successfully balance the supply with demand for the masks. Although even when cherry blossom leaves were flying outside the windows, the pandemic showed no sign of dying out. ● Rattled by the disease spreading Shincheonji, I was stuck at home in Seoul all of February, toying with an iPhone and other mass media devices available to us in this age of global communication. These enabled me to converse with friends in Europe and North America. At the time they believed they had little to do with coronavirus, it was Asia"s problem, not theirs. When the government stepped up the social distancing, I sometimes watched TV5 News, a French international television network. Then I could understand what my friends told me was rarely different from that which the French news reported, which minimised the risk to the European countries" and their general perception of the pandemic. The news started reporting in the early March that Italy had finally confronted the spiking infection rates of the disease. It was then, when the French news delivered a story titled "La France est prête (France is Ready)." It showed off a hospital, its wards and labs, in a Parisian suburb and went on to say, "France has built state-of-the-art medical systems, compared to Italy"s obsolete ones." After watching the news, I sent a message to my friend in Paris, saying "a dramatic virus case hike would lead to a collapse of the French healthcare system with a shortage of large hospitals". "On verra (Let"s see)," she said, as if she believed that no such thing could happen. Unfortunately, she tested positive for COVID-19 a few weeks later. She was unable to check into a hospital because insufficient beds were available. ● This exhibition, "Our Homecoming" was named after the title of the last chapter of PARK Wansuh"s book, Poor Harvest of the City which I read during the social distancing period. It was ironic that my international interests in the virus petered out after March 19, when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. ● I grew tired of the social incompetence of our time, manifesting with the spread of the virus. The virus hit Asia first, then the Western World. I heard the news that borders were closing because of it. Quarantine was imposed in most countries. It took advantage of policies it had once used as a bias that Asia again was on the way to the retrogression of democracy. ● With increasing tensions, that started emerging on the Internet, were stories of acts based on hatred of minorities in the Western World, revealing its population to be devoid of reason and rationality. Credible news agencies also said that racism and violence had been perpetrated against Asians, especially Asian students, in the United States, France, Canada, Australia, Germany and others. Meanwhile, "COVID Challenges" on social networks offered vivid pictures of us being faced with the polarisation of wealth in the age of neoliberalism. Quarantine unveiled an itinerant worker"s family stuck in a single room on the one hand and a soccer star"s fancy house with a backyard golf course, along with a swimming pool on the other. ● I decided to read books on my list, instead of keeping up with news. It would do no good for my already-shrunken confidence. ● PARK"s City, set in the 1970s, a couple of decades after the Korean war, depicted the scenes of cultural constraints and class distinction during the hypergrowth phase of Korea. Soo-yeon, the protagonist of City was a twin, born to a rich family, whose wealth was derived from her mother"s unethical business. Her grandmother was deeply superstitious and believed that the twin brother and sister were an evil omen. ● The girl grew up in a relative"s home and returned to the family when she became a woman. At home she witnessed the fact that the family was in a state of moral decay; the father cheating on mother, the mother obsessed with money and the sister in an affair, despite a marriage of convenience. Feuds and conflicting ideas between each family member were getting intense. The mother"s business, the familial background of material affluence, disintegrated as a result. The father had connived to orchestrate the financial collapse, as he considered the wife"s economic power eroded his authority. The story ended where Sooyeon and her twin brother, Soobin, started living independent lives and left behind the obsolete family values. Soobin got married to a girl who the family once used to object to because of her impoverished upbringing. Sooyeon got hitched to a democracy activist, who served time in a prison. They would be going back to his hometown. Park said she finished the story with Sooyeon going home to give her two lovely protagonists freedom to control their future. ● While reading City, I often exchanged text messages with Chung Soyoung, one of the artists in this exhibition. She told me she could only vaguely remember the time before the pandemic when she toured the UK, Italy and Brazil to work on projects, to have exhibitions. What she wrote on Instagram hovered in my head for a while during the pandemic. She said, "the future wouldn"t allow you the time and space to turn your head around to stare in one direction, as if you got used to the impression that the time stopped". ● I thought 2020 would be the year that completely stopped, derailed or lost from the track. the past would be dim and the future would be vague. Then, to go further, what are we supposed to look at?" I had to discover aspiration; my own coordinates to be through the unknown, just as Suyeon in City attempted to run down the opportunity of hope at the moment, when everything scattered. This exhibition sets out to look into what"s at stake in today"s world, where the crack heads at and how we can suggest an alternative. ● Three artists and two documentary film directors participate in Our Homecoming. Based on the medium, this presentation would be divided into a couple of sections. On the Sixth floor are works produced by CHUNG Soyoung, CHO Minah and OH Yeonjin. Their projects are displayed according to the impressions obtained from Park"s novel Poor Harvest of the City set in Seoul. I determined to translate Chinese character 凶年 into "Poor Harvest", in English, rather than literally into "Bad Year" that is widely used in the Asian culture. I want to directly indicate the economic hardship and the psychological pain of a city caused by COVID-19. It"s the moment when the neoliberalism economy, seeking out short-term efficiency and growth rates, stopped. Many nations panicked at the negative growth and the local economies failed to fend off the depression. South Korea avoided a general lockdown thanks to the active preventive measures against epidemics. But the government couldn"t prevent the economic downturn. ● Something seemingly impossible turned into something possible during the emergency and in Korea, it includes remote learning classes. Today"s world would be, in other words, extremely different from the past. In Our Homecoming, I tried to embody this idea through CHUNG So-young"s artworks. CHUNG, known for her series of projects covering invisible space and its layers, created installations called Day and night (2020) to showcase in Hong Kong, the title is named after the exhibition she had in 2016, right after an artist residency at the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Most of the townies make a living from farming in the DMZ, a wounded symbol of the ideological conflicts, a scar of geological ruptures, a mark of historical cracks. A peaceful looking cropland today was a gruesome battleground in the past. CHUNG reincarnates ideological boundaries and political discussions with temporary roofs, walls and greenhouse shading nets that the townies use to protect the crops they produce. CHUNG"s structures are covered with the plastic vinyls and nets. These frameworks would separate spaces, while letting the light and air penetrate them. It is as if we are separate but all connected in the pandemic-stricken city spaces. ● A new work by CHO Minah, a four-meter-long painting set up on the wall, unveils how the emerging virus disease has appeared to bring about the changes of our value system in the world. CHO"s previous works have made use of her personal experiences as a part-time worker to reveal the dark side of the Korean society. With a cynical sense of humour in her painting language, she has presented the reality of the low-income youth"s labour market and of contingent employment. CHO has employed an Eastern Asian traditional painting method to disclose abhorrence and violence that derive from the conflicts between communities in the Korean society, with its fattened economy. In this sense, CHO"s arts are based on Korea"s local identity to expand her painting territory into the universal societal problems today. We call it "glocalism" referring to her speaking out concurrently about local and global communities. CHO"s descriptions of us, putting up with the pandemic period, is not limited in "showing up" this age of violence. Rather, her paintings are aligned with William Hogarth, a pictorial satirist of London in the 18th century, whose artworks meant to lead us to self-reflection. ● Now we would stand before OH Yeonjin"s Self-referential film (2020) offering us opportunities to ponder over our consumerism that causes the pollution and destruction of our world. OH"s work is like a rough mirror surface reflecting ourselves. The work is displayed to point out the portraits of ourselves on the other side of the world, that is to say, to speculate on the future. The negative images of the photographs along with OH"s series of works, Solar breath, remind us of the past, coming as though it was a phantasmagoria. We are behind a cross-shaped canvas support on the back of the screen. No one has a spotless mind, each individual reacts to the outside world to produce diverse patterns and it leaves psychological scars with memories and hurts, as well as desires and hopes. With the advent of COVID-19, however, it is a time to invent a means to get over human nature, to take a step toward building a community. ● Before getting out of the exhibition, finally, we all need to think of going back home that would serve as a nest. That home would amount to the post-pandemic city we are living in, not a mere geographical space. A couple of short films would be shown at a projection box in the Korean Cultural Centre of Hong Kong, and it was meant to offer you a time to mull over Our Homecoming. These are two films that are composed of the second part of the exhibition, Home. In PARK Sye-young"s Love (between) pickle (2020), the camera follows up young artists" vigour and the unexpected events they encounter. In JANG Yoon-mi"s Under construction (2018), whereas, the lens serenely goes around with an old construction worker to tell his retrospection, manifesting the world he created with construction sites. What"s at stake in the post-COVID-19 world, would be summarised as ourselves, without masks, without social distancing. I would like to end the exhibition with looking into the old futures from the young directors" points of view, specifying which direction we should take to get our homecoming. In Hong Kong. In Korea. Separate but together. ■ Park Ki-hyun

Vol.20201118e | 우리들의 귀향-2020 한국 젋은 작가展