Ham Hyekyung ≪A Small Island I Call Peace≫
Oct 20 ― Dec 20, 2020
Eum-Space, Nam June Paik Art Center
Kim Sun Young, Jung Yunhoe
Nam June Paik Art Center presents its final exhibition of the 2020 Random Access Project, A Small Island I Call Peace, with the new work of the same title by artist Ham Hyekyung. The artist creates a narrative by reconstituting the fragments of already written sentences and reconstructs the collected footage, thereby visualizing the story of ‘somebody.’
In her new work A Small Island I Call Peace, Ham intended to share a positive message for all of us having a hard time. The narrator of the work tells a story about her life, oscillating between past, present, and future. Her story based on her intimate psychology unfolds in a tranquil atmosphere as if she tells a story to a friend or a family member. Listening to the story of ‘someone’ reflecting the reality woven around relationship, love, desire, success, and frustration, we feel that it is part of my story and our story. The personal story of the narrator embraces the thoughts that everyone would have had in life. And the story invites visitors to listen carefully to its narrative as a metaphor for reality and become absorbed in it. In the process of communicating with the narrator, visitors find their own emotions and stories.
The life described by the narrator in this work is a metaphor for an ‘ordinary life’ which is peaceful, quiet, and somehow empty. Ham says she wanted to bring this ‘anonymous’ and ‘ordinary’ narrator, who seems to live a monotonous and meaningless life, out to the world. Visitors are encouraged to discover their own favorite meanings from the narrator’s story as well as an array of interpretations created between the images on the blurred boundaries between fiction and reality. We hope this exhibition will give some comfort to all of us, making us become immersed in the story of the narrator and find our own message.
“I begin a story in a light and refreshing way. Starting from things that everyone knows, I want to tell something deep and intimate. My work is derived from the movies that moved my heart, events and people who inspired me. I have worked with certain themes, atmospheres, and characters, but with no continuous plot line. My interest is in connecting little things in everyday life, especially with a focus on the minds of the characters. The themes of my work centering on the very personal stories of someone do not tend to stand out, which seem to be not really welcome in today’s art scene. Nevertheless, I think it is still important to focus on the simplicity of the story. I seek to give meaning to the present life that feels meaningless and portray attempts to escape loneliness in a simple manner. My hope is to create stories about things like past times, uncertainty, shame, pride, loneliness, weariness, and stubbornness in which fiction and reality are intertwined.” (Ham Hyekyung)
2020 Ramdom Access Project
Nam June Paik Art Center begins the 2020 edition of the Random Access Project that looks at new trends of contemporary media art and rising artists who share Nam June Paik’s artistic experimentality. Its title “Random Access” originates from Paik’s work presented at his first solo exhibition Exposition of Music — Electronic Television (1963). In Random Access, strips of audio cassette tapes taken out of the case are randomly attached to the wall and visitors can produce sounds of their own using a magnetic head. With such keywords as improvisation, indeterminacy, interaction and participation derived from Paik’s work, the Random Access Project has showcased 6 selected artists (or teams) for the past two years. Three artists—Oh Jooyoung, Shin Seung Ryul and Ham Hyekyung—were selected this year.
Organized and Hosted by
Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation, Nam June Paik Art Center