Voloshyn Gallery presents a solo exhibition by South Korean artist Minouk Lim titled 'The Possibility of the Half.' This exhibition is the final part of Voloshyn Gallery's video screening program in Kyiv.
The exhibition features a two-channel screening of Minouk Lim's film 'The Possibility of the Half,' which focuses on the research of television broadcasting. In this video work, Lim uses different television footage shot during two distinct historical events: the death of former South Korean President Park Chung-hee (1917-1979) and the death of former supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il (1941-2011).
The film begins with a mirrored image of a sobbing woman kneeling on the ground. Her crying and the shaking of her body are intensified by the slow motion effect. Within seconds, the face of another woman appears, equally anguished and slow-motion. As the two shots change, a montage of large crowds of mourners appears in slow motion, intercut with a variety of images, including bomb explosions, fireworks, empty stores, sunrises and sunsets, coastlines, and infrared images. Melancholic symphony orchestra music plays in the background.
Lim finds an element of irony in the scenes of sobbing citizens, as though the entire country has become a huge theater stage, and focuses on the role of ideology and the distortion of truth in the media that deepen the perception of this theatrical spectacle. On the other hand, by discovering something primitive in the crying public in a seemingly eternal theatrical situation, Lim strives for a world in which ordinary people can once again become news subjects. Uncensored news created by ordinary people marks a utopia that can never be achieved through the media.
Lim's work was inspired by witnessing North Koreans wailing over the death of their leader Premier Kim Jung-il at his funeral in 2011. It resurfaced her memory of the nine days of former President of South Korea Park Jeong-hee's funeral (1979) through TV broadcasting.
“It was an engraved image from my childhood. All television programs were interrupted, and Handel's music 'Sarabande' played non-stop with a mourning address. The TV screens were filled with people crying, and all the neighbors, including my grandmother, were worried about the North Korean invasion. A state of siege was declared, and citizens were prohibited from going outside after 10 pm. Television went off the air, akin to a silent gravestone,” comments Minouk Lim. “Similar expressions of grief and the theatrical broadcasting system evoke anxiety and raise questions about the nation. It prompts a reconsideration of the boundaries of community and 'people' (人民) — the newsroom as a city of the dead, a cemetery.”
Addressing contemporary social issues rooted in everyday life, such as the imbalanced relationship between the individual and the collective, the rapidly changing reality, and the theme of social minorities, Lim presents his observations through video. Lim's work is a response to and reconciliation of traumatic historical events in Korea from the late 1940s to the present, including the undocumented massacres during the Korean War of the late 1940s and 50s, the labor rights protests in the 1970s during South Korea's economic expansion, and the constant fear of nuclear annihilation that grips the entire Korean peninsula. For Lim, the collective experience is personal, and her research confronts the forgotten past and unlawful persecution, and in many cases involves direct contact and meaningful relationships with torture victims, falsely accused North Korean spies, and human rights workers.
About Minouk Lim
Minouk Lim (b. 1968) is an artist of many forms and has been creating works that are beyond the boundary of different genres and media, deepening the scope of questions while encompassing writing, music, video, installation, and performance as her modes of artistic expression. Lim's practice recalls historic losses, ruptures, and repressed traumas. Rooted in language, and specifically, the politics of expression, her work does not replay past events, rather, they elevate the experiences, memories, and feelings through the means of imagining or engaging structural beings of non-human witnesses in her performative sculptural objects and installations.
Among the numerous works created by Lim, New Town Ghost (2005), S.O.S.-Adoptive Dissensus (2009) and Portable Keeper (2009-present) are video pieces created out of performances held in non-institutional, transient sites. In the meantime, The Weight of Hands (2010) and the FireCliff series (2010-present) deliver moving images that are mediated through the lens of an infrared camera. Navigation ID was invited to the 10th Gwangju Biennale as a press opening performance and an installation in the exhibition.
Lim’s major solo exhibitions include The Promise of If at PLATEAU Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul(2015), United Paradox at Portikus, Frankfurt(2015), Heat of Shadow at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2012) and Jump Cut in Artsonje Center, Seoul (2008). Lim also participated in a number of group exhibitions and biennials including the Setouchi Triennale(2016) Sydney and Taipei Biennial 2016, Paris Triennale 2012, Liverpool Biennial (2010), Political populism (Kunsthalle Wien 2015), The Time of Others (Museum of Tokyo, 2010) and Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea (LACMA, 2009-2010).
Lim’s works are collected at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts, Korea; Gyeonggi Museum of Art; Seoul City Art Museum; ArtSonje Center, Korea; Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco; Walker Art Center; Tate Modern; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Opening Reception: January 10, 2024, from 11 am to 6 pm
Exhibition Dates: January 10 to January 21, 2024
Location: Voloshyn Gallery, 13 Tereshchenkivska Street, Kyiv, Ukraine
The exhibition contains elements that may evoke intense emotions in visitors; therefore, it is recommended to exercise caution and consider individual reactions.
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