Shrines Series / 2014 / Installation view / Dimensions variable
The Shrines Series consists of three freestanding sculptures and one video projection with sound: Shrine for the Lost, Shinmok(Holy Tree), Shaman, and Altar.
Installed together, they create a space for people to enter and experience. The three sculptures represent a shrine, a holy tree, and a shaman, respectively; the video projection becomes an altar. The project turns mundane objects and images into votive offerings dedicated to the temporary shrines. They are devices for mediation and remembrance. The work alludes to the journeys that lead to shrines and the moments that surround such journeys. The process of going outside, taking photographs, hunting for abandoned objects, and physically interacting with Hanbok makers while collecting remnants was as crucial a process to me as the production itself.
The following is an excerpt from a text written for the project:
Shrines were built
As the self was rebuilt.
Packed under dusty shelves, were sewn.
And memories were hung,
Altar / 2014 / Single channel video (for projection) / 02:46 minutes (on loop)
This work is a single-channel video made to be projected with the three Shrine sculptures. Each video clip is recorded from moving cars and buses. It is about constantly going from one place to another. I was interested in moving vehicles as the in-between spaces. The work forms a placeless space where geographical coordinates are lost. Such space turns into a meditative space and confuses the perception as to whom or what is moving. It slows down but never arrives at the destination. I wanted to create a continuously transient zone that moves through spaces with no destination.
Shaman / 2014 / Hanbok fabric scraps, fordable drying rack, string, steel wire, metal, spray paint, light / 6x2x2 feet
Scraps of fabrics were sewn together to create a large square patchwork quilt that can be a dress for shaman. The fabrics were donated from Hanbok makers in Seoul who devoted their lifetime to the job. The silk quilt covers the six-foot-tall structure made from a fordable drying rack, metal, and wire, creating an abstract form alluding to an unknown shaman. While the surface of opaque silk reflects the light of the space, light inside the sculpture illuminates and subtly suggests the inner structure under the fabric skin. It was a process of stitching together the collective memories and the personal.
Shinmok(Holy Tree) / 2014 / Photographs transferred to gel medium skin, fordable drying rack, scrap fabric, thread, steel wire, spray paint, found wood/ 9x2x2 feet
The form of this work is inspired by the form of Shinmok, a holy tree believed to connect the earth and the sky in Korean shamanism. It is considered as a house of Seonangshin, a deity protecting a village and travelers. People decorated the tree with strips of fabric and held shamanistic rituals. A household drying rack and found wooden sticks play the role of the tree trunk and the branches, which forms a structure for fabrics and gel photographs to be hung on. The upper wooden structure casts a sharp stationary shadow against a projection of the video, which is constantly moving.
Shrine for the Lost / 2014 / Photographs transferred to gel medium skin, fordable drying rack, spray paint, found TV stand, found rattan mat/ 5x2x2 feet
A translucent gel skin of photographs is draped, and a black oval-shaped plastic is hung, on a fordable drying rack. The black oval is unfastened and swings gently when a viewer passes by. Another gel skin loosely wraps around a rattan mat found on the street. All photographs used in the Shrine series were taken every Sunday for five months with disposable cameras. These are fragments of moments I encountered. They were digitally scanned, printed on paper, transferred to gel medium, and left with the translucent skins by rubbing off paper. The process of removing the physical part and leaving only the imagery alludes to how memories remain. The gel skin gives a wet-look, reflective, and translucent quality to the images.