13 min 30 sec
Premiered in London as part of the Block Universe festival, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2017
Courtesy of the artist and Block Universe
Young In Hong’s performance 5100:pentagon commemorates the Democratization Movement in Gwangju, recreating and actualizing it through a choreography of movements based on images found in the May 18 Democratic Archive. An ephemeral community is created via an open call for citizens to participate in the performance, incorporating their own background and interpretations to the work. As Hong has stated: “The performance itself is not only commemorating a specific event—the Gwangju Democratization Movement—but is also a means of acting out a certain resistance toward prevailing social norms.” The exhibition also features her embroidery piece Double Encounter, in which the artist has fused together a multitude of faces: those of historical characters usually represented in monuments around the city, as well as those of individuals found on the streets and a range of social and print media. In the space of the exhibition, these figures reflect their shadows on the walls, overlapping with the bodies of the visitors. In this work, Hong plays with the overlay of times, undoing the construction of hierarchies represented by historical monuments, and questioning the mechanisms of representation and social order of Korean society. In addition, Hong draws on sewing and embroidery as a way to reflect on this central but often overlooked activity of South Korea’s economy.
Double Encounters is exhibited as part of MaytoDay and Encounters, a special exhibition of 2020 ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit.
Young In Hong (b. 1972, Seoul, Korea) works in the United Kingdom and Korea. Hong engages in research-led practice spanning interests in undervalued cultural practices, the politics of intuition, and the concept of equality. She has done a series of investigations into the notion of modernity, which she sees as an intensive force of experience. She is currently working with textiles and performance, within a fine art context. Her embroidery paintings and performances are often closely intertwined, and have been exhibited at international venues including Turner Contemporary (Margate, United Kingdom, 2017), Block Universe (London, 2017), Milan Triennale (Italy, 2016), Grand Palais (Paris, 2016), Cecilia Hillström Gallery (Stockholm, 2016 and 2013), ICA (London, 2015), Gwangju Biennale (2014 and 2004), Delfina Foundation (London, 2014), Kukje Gallery (Seoul, 2013), Museum of Arts and Design (New York, 2011), Saatchi Gallery (London, 2010), A Foundation (Liverpool, United Kingdom, 2008), Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris, 2007) and Taipei Fine Art Museum (Taipei, 2002). In 2019 she was selected to participate in the Korea Art Prize, organized by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul). Hong obtained a BA in Sculpture from Seoul National University (1996), and went on to achieve an MA and PhD in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College (2000, 2012).