artist's statement
installation view

english | korean

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Artist's Statement


Sungyeon Park

My works are concerned with my social self-awareness, and with social issues, which are related to my visual language to individual experience. I often use digital processes as my medium but do not hesitate to use more traditional support. The social significance of female space and a society of men-amongst-themselves are basis for my work. It becomes more closely interwoven with the female subliminal coding of the daily lives that surround us. In particular, I draw from recent developments in this area to set up a behind-the-closed-doors private sphere, using all media. It revolves around people, their shelter, murmurs, hand gestures and footsteps. To explore this idea, I observe the habitual gestures of women, and then embody them through 2D video.

Past works combined the female unconscious and desire, beneath the male-dominated culture. These daily stories surround me. I attempt to incorporate both artistic and political issues in my projects, to achieve universality by association with personal and specific issues. These themes are introduced in my exhibitions. First of all, <NIGHT, NIGHT, SWEAT DREAM!> in 2004 comes from ¡°night night sweet dreams¡±, and I wanted to convey how a nightmare terrifies and creates mental pain. Passing through this work, one experiences a disturbance of static images by moving alongside. It is made from thin plastic sheets, called Lenticular. The image in the Lenticular, which is one but at the same time many, represents my dreamt moments. Another exhibition, <TO MEET CUSTOMER DEMAND> in 2006 shows a woman who is required to meet the demands of consumer society, and so is a woman who should to fit into the stereotype of a good woman. She needs to be a nice assistant always giving priority to the demands of others. To illustrate this story, I compare typical architectures: wedding halls and general castles. In this respect, I am criticizing the notion of respect and majesty in the weird wedding culture, which only exists in Korea.

At one of my current shows, <HER GREY HAIR> in 2007, I mainly approach much more personal issues. The video focuses on the back of the head of my mother and the image is accompanied by narrative humming. This humming is a sign to my mother, like a lullaby, singing to make a child go to sleep. This is an expression of motherhood as is stroking the head of a child. Additionally, the hand movements refer to seeking somewhere, stroking, and soothing; these gestures drive the video. In addition, I characterise moments of daily lives such as washing dishes, reading the paper and doing laundry. These act as post-modern signifies of femininity within patriarchal society, while alluding to Alice in Wonderland¡¯s dreamlogic. Moreover, On her own birthday, 22 October, 1941(2008) describes the moment of between house chores and one¡¯s wish towards the outer world. In other words, there are not only still lives but also hidden desires.

On a daily level, I would like to blur the boundaries between imagination, reality and the engendering of the everyday. The body of ¡®woman¡¯ is flowing elsewhere in gender politics, and through national borders. In this period, called globalization, what should a female artist think about? I began with the status of women and explain my body of work that allows me to have a voice for who I am. Through individual experiences, films and theories, I demonstrate how my work developed by various means and materials. Meanwhile, I show the status of Korean women who are linked to trying to speak. It is important that we are speaking about underlying needs. We can look more closely at their location with respect to boundaries. Eventually, understanding of differences allows Asian and all women feel free in this cross-cultural world.