Jesse Chun: “Language is an incredibly intricate and powerful thing”
June 18, 2024
Eusung Lee: “The allure of sculpture lies in the embodiment of presence”
June 18, 2024
Jesse Chun: “Language is an incredibly intricate and powerful thing”
June 18, 2024
Eusung Lee: “The allure of sculpture lies in the embodiment of presence”
June 18, 2024

A selection of Korea’s most exciting contemporary artists have been selected for this year’s Korean Artists Today, a long-term project which will see a cohort of artists chosen each year for their potential to make it on the global stage. See the full list here.

Drawing on interviews, historical data and classical texts, Sojung Jun summons poets, dancers, musicians and historical figures to deconstruct established narratives and investigate a nonlinear sense of time and space spanning the real and the imaginary.

The leading motifs in Jun’s work—migrant workers, adoptees, refugees and the visually impaired—appear as marginalised figures within her pieces—the mad, the weak, the exiles and the outcasts—traversing through 15th-century Europe, the modern cities of Tokyo and Gyeongseong (the name of Seoul during Japanese colonial rule) in the early 20th century and into the 21st century. These figures are revealed as the neglected entities left behind by the forces of modernisation and homogenisation.

Jun studied media art at Yonsei University Graduate School of Communication and Arts after graduating from the sculpture department at Seoul National University. Her practice has evolved from an initial period of experimenting with theatrical stages and a curiosity with the moving image to performance-based works in an augmented documentary format and pieces where reality and virtual space coexist.

Sojung Jun’s Epiphyllum I, III (2023)

“I find it intriguing to deal with history or time, and to utilise video as a means to deconstruct the linear temporality or rhythms of progression that I am curious about,” Jun says. Recently the artist has expanded her practice by using technological devices such as drones, virtual reality and augmented reality, stating that “media devices offer an expanded space to cogitate on the present”.

Writing and publishing have also become an experimental part of Jun’s practice. Her work EUQITIRC (2016) overturns conventional critical practices through a reversed time order—the title is “critique” spelled backwards. It is the artist’s demand for a critique of “one’s own work that has not yet been created but to be made in the future”.

Similarly, for Jun’s recent video work Syncope (2023), she invited critics to engage with the work in its nascent stages. In contrast to the traditional practice of reviewing finished artworks, Syncope presents a daring experiment in criticism, conducted entirely on Jun’s terms.

• Sojung Jun was a finalist in the 2023 MMCA Korea Artist Prize. She was a Pernod Ricard Fellow in 2016 and the 18th laureate of the Hermès Foundation Missulsang in 2018. She won the Noon Award at the 2016 Gwangju Biennale and the grand prize for the 14th SONGEUN Art Award in 2014. Her works are held in collections at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Singapore Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona (MACBA); Ulsan Museum of Art; M+ Sigg Collection, Hong Kong; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; and National Museum of Art, Osaka. Jun participated in Frieze Film 2023 (Seoul), CIRCA 2021 (London, Seoul, Tokyo) and the 11th Gwangju Biennale, 2016

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