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2001, Vol., No.13

  • 1.

    1970's Performance Art Event: On ST Members' Works

    Kang Tae Hee | 2001, (13) | pp.7~33 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract
    The ST members' events were the most prominent performance art in the seven­ ties and they replaced the happenings from the mid-1970's. The origin of their events was Fluxus events where Japanese artists participated from the late fifties in New York. Event was initiated by Lee Keonyoung in 1975, and the process of his first works was logical and clear but the content, ambiguous and abstract. He was influ­enced by the Japanese events, Jackson Pollock's action paintings, and Lee Ufan. Lee Keonyoung performed many events, and became the forerunner of the field. He called his works 'event-logical' and believed that he could contact the world spirit through his body-conscious events. Though his purpose was rather esoteric, the action itself was simple and sophisticated enough to attract the audience. The other important event artists were Kim Yongmin, Sung Neunggyung, Jangsokwon , and Yunjinsop. Kim started events in 1975 and unlike Lee, he dealt with ordinary activities such as removing water from wet cloth or drawing and erasmg lines. His best works revealed the purity or gratuitousness of action. Sung's events were very short and ironic and he was interested in social problems. He also used his bod y as a means to reach the world but whether he achieved his goal or not is not certain. Jang and Yun are younger than the rest. Jang did meditative and guiet works and Yun's works were light and gay and he emphasized audience participation. Events of these ST members were the most important part of their group activi­ ties and also were the main genre of their exhibitions which lasted for 10 years. They reflected the philosophy of Lee Ufan, who influenced 70's Korean art a great deal in every media. All in all, ST events were the products of specific tenden­cies of 70's Korean art that were self-consciouly responding and reacting to for­ eign influences. But events did not last long enough, and more inclusive and di­ verse performance arts were practiced in the 80's. In sum, ST members' events were the unigue performance art in the seventies.
  • 2.

    The Feminine Abstract Art of Agnes Martin

    Kwon Young-jin | 2001, (13) | pp.35~60 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract
    It is a feminist approach to the painting of Agnes Martin. Since the late 1950s, Martin has been consistently making the reductive monochromatic paintings. Ac­ cording to the formalist appearance, Martin's work has been classified into Minimalist art. Many critics, however, appraised Martin as one of the most impor­tant abstract artists in the century by the fact of emotional touches in her restrained and sparse painting. There have not been serious researches regarding the special­ ties of Martin's painting beyond those formalist analyses. Thus, this thesis is to investigate the inner differences of Martin's painting. Martin's painting could be summarized as monochromatic canvas of delicate pencil lined grid. In the history of Western art, grid is a symbol of human reason and rationality. However, Martin wants to present intuitive emotion and inspira­tion with her grids. Martin realizes emotional expressions by the rational icon of grid, optical visions by haptic materiality, affirmative creativeness by blank canvas, and exalted artistic experiences by hard manual works. In her painting, we could find two opposite elements of Hegelian dichotomy co-exist and reinforce each other. Abstract art could be one of the most important events in the art history of 20th century. It has historical significance of the most advanced form of art. The ab­stract art, however, has been based upon hierarchical order between the advanced and primitive. The hierarchy could easily repeats itself as the pair of reason-emotion, culture-nature, male-female, and abstract-representation. Masculinity of modern­ ism achieved its superiority in comparison with feminine inferiority. In other words, abstract art has honestly reflected its patriarchical culture of our society. In the art history of 20th century, it is hard to find any artist who might use grid m order to express delicate emotions and calm reliefs. Martin's way demonstrates that many elements excluded in the Modernist art could be successfully recovered in her art. We could understand the real power of Martin's art, just once do not decide whether it is Modernist or Feminist. Through Martin's painting, we could witness wide over1laps between Modernist and Feminist art. This thesis has two aims; re-reading the history of abstract art and re-appraising Martin's painting. The critical reading could open rich and diverse possibilities of Modernist and Minimalist art. It also gives new understanding of Martin's painting, which has been easily misread by established views of Modernist art history. Ultimately, the reconciliation between separate dichotomy in Modernist art history could be a starting point to reconstruct another art history. This thesis could be the very beginning of a new history of femine abstract art, an alternative to replace the history of Modernist art, which has been saturated with restricted and mascu­line view.
  • 3.

    Korean/American/Women: Diasporic Identity of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha And Yang Soon Min

    Kim Hyeonjoo | 2001, (13) | pp.61~101 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract
    The meaning of 'Home' and the identity have been emerged one of the most significant themes among the Asian American women artists during the past ten years. In most of their works the artists inquiry 'what is home?' , 'where is my home?' The questions relate to 'who am I?'. Home also has been problematized to the women much more than men as the place and concept in the feminist consciousness. In this article, I focus two Korean American women artists, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha(1951-1982) and Yong Soon Min(1953-), and explore how their own identities have been articulated through the consciousness of the changing notions of home, belonging, ethnicity, and positionality between Korea and the US. Some of Theresa Cha's film and video installations and performance pieces produced in the late 1970s until her sudden death of 1982 are the evidences ofher deep engagement to the theme in those early periods. Min is another important artist who has been searching of the new notion of her home and identity in the global diasporic culture. The meticulous analyses of the works of Cha and Min will reveal both artists negated the nationalist concept of home as a pure origin, or a permanent root. This study, instead, will remind the readers of the continuous overlapping of US and Korea in certain parts of modern geopolitical history. In conclusion, these two women artists find their space neither here nor there, but in-betweenness. In the third space, the fixed identity will be denied and replaced by the newly emerged double, or even multiple identities. This discussion will also make the readers real­ize the homogeneity of Korea and Koreanness is an only fantasy historically con­structed as the same as the US's.
  • 4.

    Modernity in Kim KiChang's "Babo Sansu"

    Kim, Hye-Joo | 2001, (13) | pp.103~125 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract
    In this study, I have attempted to shed light on Kim KiChang's landscape com­monly known as ''Babo Sansu" from the viewpoint of modernity and I came to the following conclusions. To begin with, it is quite certain that Kim KiChang originally and artistically reinterpreted and made use of the traditional motives and feelings such as humor and simplicity in the Korean folk paintings. Though his motives can be easily found in the Korean folk paintings, we should not underestimate his own originality, to which the innocence, seeming far more childish, clumsy, and awkward in his paintings, may be attributed. Moreover, he adopted and reinterpreted the beauty of comic, ludicrous humor of the Korean folk painting in his original style so that it can constitute the main sense of beauty in his "Babo Sansu". His paintings also reveal the beaut)' of simplicity through his efforts to boldly simplify forms, colors and composition. The planeness of his paintings which were made possible by his liberal perspec­ rive and formation through a variety of compositions such as centralized, or enu­merative or symmetrical ones, not only helped to establish his characteristic artistic construction, but also satisfied the formative characteristics of modernism, as I have tried to show. We could also see that Kim KiChang successfully achieved the autonomy of the lines in his paintings by the frequent use of image language befitting to the modern age of image and the intense, spontaneous, rhythmic lines. And as for the colors in his ''Babo Sansu", five Korean basic colors are mostly used but his subjective expressiveness, and contrastive and decorative elements in colors are quite remarkable. Thus Woonbo's paintings, with emphasis on the intensity and purity of the colors, have sought the intrinsic value of colors themselves. In this respect, his art should be evaluated to have drawn closer to the essential meaning of mod­em art. In conclusion, Kim KiChang's ''Babo Sansu" is considered to be worthy of reevaluation in terms of modernity, since his paintings mark a turning point for the diversity and experimental spirit in Korean painting by enlarging the aesthetic realm resulting from the archetypal and collective unconsciousness and the anti一aesthetic attitude.
  • 5.

    The Performance of Sung NeungKyung: Playing in Multi-level Boundaries

    Kim Hong Hee | 2001, (13) | pp.127~146 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract
    The artistic career of Sung NeungKyung can be divided into two phases, namely conceptual art of the 70-80s and the postmodern performance since the 90s. As his art changed from conceptual works revolving around minimalistic events and semiotic photo installations to trans-genre performance, he established a new style based on his own sensibility. However, his style can't be simply labeled as 'Sung NeungKyung Style'. His work is best described as postmodern hybrid with no room for individuality, or as a pastiche that is not particularly characterizable. Seem­ ingly being better suited for hybrid rather than pedantic conceptual art, he is con­tinuously developing hybrid variations, which is noticeable in the sense that it clearly demonstrates his trans-genre sensib山ty and also it continues presently. Sung's hybrid performance is one of maximized excess; excess of actions and events, excess of props, excess of speech and text. In particular, the reading of prepared text, chanting of spells, forcing of audience participation, and other ex­cessive chattering make his performance noisy, unfocused, tedious, gossipy, and in some instances brings to mind the mess and disorder of the market place or country theatre. Another effect of excess is boredom. His performance, which is excessive in time as well, cannot escape the bounds of boredom. It is an endless senes of unrelated one-scene events and repetition of identical actions. For an audience familiar with interesting and exciting theatre, this is a new experience of boredom and puzzlement. However, boredom, a cause for aesthetic tension, can become a communicative tool that rouses the audience. In this context, the aes­ thetic significance of Sung's plain, tedious, and long performance that has no climax can be better understood. Sung's performance, a product of the 90s, is in fact closer to the 70s paradigm. This is because, although the pastiche and bricollage style falls under postmodernism, his work shares the utopian ideal of modern avantgarde in terms of politics. His dual identity of maintaining modern avantgarde resolve in postmodern perfor­mance is likely related to the sentiment of the 70-80s period to which he belonged. In this period dominated by monochrome painting, he had freed herself from the orbit of modernism in terms of genre as evidenced by his works with photography, installations, and events. However, in terms of aesthetics, form, and politics, these works were still conceptually linked to modernism. The fact that his performance sits on the boundary of modernism and postmodernism with a compound dual identity makes it difficult to clearly classify his art. Such difficulty in labeling her work, or the impossibility of defining traits that lacked peculiarity and individuality may have caused his art to remain in the blind spot of identity and the outskirts of art history. Or perhaps the artist, in a naive but stubborn artistic instinct, chose to remain a periphery artist with a hidden lonely joy of sitting on multiple borders.
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  • 7.

    An Essay on Joseph Beuys' 'Social Plastic' - centering around 7000 Oaks

    Yookyung Chung | 2001, (13) | pp.179~204 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract
    As an example of ambitious experiments to realize the concept of 'social plastic', Beuys planned a work, namely <7000 Oaks 1982-1987> , which was to plant 7000 oak trees and to erect basalt columns aside each of the them in the city of Kassel during 5 years between the 7th and the 8thdocumenta. Trying overcoming the spiritual crisis in modern society, Beuys proposed the idea of 'social plastic' which was based on the occidental mysticism and its mo nistic view of world. It is a beuysian version of total art, which owed a lot his contemporary movements of art and their methods of expression. As the name implied, it cares about the commitment of art to the society and the participation of the public with art. Various movements reflecting the skepticism about the 'rationalism' after two World Wars in Europe -anthropological theory of C. Levy-Strauss, Issues on the materiality and the history examined by artists of Arte povera among others- were the social and cultural background of this theory, while its spiritual origines are found in german romanticism and the mysticism. Formally, <7000 Oaks> could be observed as an action, process art, object and environmental sculpture at the same time. It committed to the society with the ecological issue and had the public freely participate with the work itself. Narratively, it reminiscents the cult of the oak trees in the ancient celtic world so that it purposes to overcome the tyranny of Nazi interpretations of the tree in the Iron Cross. It presents the oak as a symbol of life, resurrection and future in contrast with the basalt column which means dead history and past. This study may be concluded by pointing that <7000 Oaks> is an ambivalent work of art in many ways. Surely it is rather a radial action after the theory of 'social sculpture', on the oilier hand, however, it still keeps the traditional iconography of the german romanticist paintings. Likewise, the fact that the artist died before the work was done could make it not only a perfect 'social sculpture' carried out by the public initiative, but also a 'conceptual art', the essence of which considered of the very concept of artist.