Not Random Art - Page 12

Hello Darip and welcome to NotRandomArt. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

This will be a hard question to answer, but I will try. What defines a work of art in my personal opinion, I’d like to define artwork as “What makes people think by questions following the deep cogitation and the introspection of artists.” Everything can be art if it makes us think and its limit is undefinable.

All of artworks that I know, don’t have the answer but they pose us questions and make us re-consider and find the answer ourselves. We don’t say that Disney’s movie is so artistic because there are no places to think and we feel same thing at the same moment. But when we watch an abstruse film, that we can’t find easily clear messages inside, it makes us rethink about the subject and director’s intention. Then, we call it as an artistic film. In the contemporary art, where even toilet can become an art, the most important thing is, if it gives us question with deep discourse and consideration and therefore, makes us think in all different way. That’s the biggest feature which can define art I think.

Is there any particular way you would describe your identity as an artist but also as a human being in dynamically changing, unstable times? In particular, does your cultural substratum/identity form your aesthetics?

I think it can be my strength and also my weakness at the same time, I always wanted to draw cartoon when I was young. And then I started to learn design to go to university so I studied visual design in Korean university for 1 year. And I came to France because I wanted to study animation. But due to practical matter, I studied fine arts in ecole des beaux-arts, then I came to Belgium to study animation again, but because of administrative problems, I have studied graphic design in royal academy of arts in Brussels. In a word, I did too much things and I went round so far. In some way,

It was just wasting my time and energy, but now that I think about it, it helped me to blend many different elements in my artwork. I can’t say that it’s my “cultural substratum” but at least these process of life allowed me to create my artistic DNA and to broaden my perspectives not just on “work” but on “culture.” The fact that I experienced the concepts of diverse areas in different countries will be a big foundation for my identity.

Could you talk a little about the intellectual background that has influence the way you currently relate yourself to your artworks?

Two biggest parts of my work are the city and the life of citizen. From my view of city, I lived in multiple cities like Seoul, Beijing, Lyon, Valence and Brussels and the experiences I had in these cities changed my perspective on “city” itself. For me living in the city doesn’t mean regionalism or tourism but it was just a series of preparing papers to prove myself, settling administrative tasks, and signing certificates. So in my point of view, city is just a big system and we are living in there registered as a paper citizen. And if I quote the film <Ghost in the shell, 1995> of Mamoru Oshii, “Each of those things are a small part of me, form me and give rise to my conscience and confine me within boundaries.”

To continue, The life of citizen is fulfilling their deficiency with medias.

Since human doesn't have sharp teeth like a beast, no wings like bird or rapid leg like herbivore, they made the tool (Media) and became the king of creatures. To provide examples, Marshall McLuhan called the media 'Extensions of man’, TV is the extension of the eyes, radio is the extension of ears, wheel is the extension of legs and computer is the extension of brain. By adding artificial elements, men evolve infinitely out of limits.

What is the role of technique in your practice? In particular are there any constraints or rules that you follow when creating?

To me, all the techniques and styles are just skin to wrap my art world nicely. These things are temporary so I try not to be confined and relied on as much as possible. However In all my artwork there is design DNA so I always agonise between aesthetic liberty and taste of public.

Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about race and ethnic identity in visual culture?

In the Video work of Till Roeskens "Videocartographies: Aida Palestine” the inhabitants of the Palestinian refugee camp are asked to draw their situation.

With black pen, they draw on the large paper explaining the buildings, people, roads, absurd events and you can also hear the situation by their voice, looking traits the pen creates behind the paper. We can not see their faces or know details about how buildings look like nor which people are in that situation. But by the spread of ink, we can imagine their courage, their effort for humane life with a little humor, most vividly of any real movies in our head. After listening to their story, I realised that there are no specific form of telling stories. Because their graffiti was most alive between all the documentary films in HD with beautiful sound.

Like that, to convey the message, it is not worth to show more live and clear. Because they gave us a greater resonance and things to think about by hiding and by obfuscating the issue.

elong to a minority group in society and that identityTo me, all the techniques and styles are just skin to wrap my art world nicely. These things are temporary so I try not to be confined and relied on as much as possible. However In all my artwork there is design DNA so I always agonise between aesthetic liberty and taste of public.

is always a part of me and my work. I don’t believe my artworks are changing due to unstable times but that I'm working my way through a theme and a method over time. The content of my work is becoming more and more personal and I think that is because I dare to be more honest with myself. What I find interesting to work with is in my immediate presence. When I collaborate with stageartists, we often focus on a current political theme. In these collaborations I work more as an art activist and have a broader openess for the aesthetics. My work is then more experimental with research on different ways to develop live presentations in the space.

Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about race

and ethnic identity in visual culture?

“Revolted by the Thought of Known Places… Sweeney Astray” by Joan Jonas was one of the first performance installations that really made a huge impact on me. I was living in Paris during this time, in the early 90s, with a lot of influences from different cultures. It became the starting point of my own work. Joan Jonas practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of ritual, and the authority of objects and gestures. Jonas continues to find new layers of meanings in themes and questions of gender and identity that have fueled her art for over thirty years. She is a great inspiration still today.

It is impossible to avoid the topic of body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body and personal identity that we see in your practice. What is the function of the identity appearing in your artworks – is it a canvas used to present your ideas or rather the subject of the art? What inspired you to use this as a theme in your practice?

I have been developing my visual imagery since I began studying art and film - from conceptual thinking, composition, using light and colour in different ways, through all the different techniques I've utilised over the years in my work and in my collaborations with stage artists such as dancers, musicians and actors. My approach is always developing through exploring these things. Visual imagery in essence is your way of experiencing what you see and transforming it. This is my world that I want to share and express through my art. The body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body and personal identity is part of this visual imagery, the emotional essence in my practice. Always present and always developing in different themes and projects.

Marina Abramovic stated: You see, what is my purpose of performance artist is to stage certain difficulties and stage the fear the primordial fear of pain, of dying, all of

which we have in our lives, and then stage them in front of audience and go through them and tell the audience, 'I'm your mirror; if I can do this in my life, you can do it in yours.'Can you relate anyhow to these words?

de-identify myself, by losing my roots, my culture, I would be very happy. Unfortunately the human being does'nt choose the place where he is born. He grows up in a society that automatically identifies, through education, culture, family... More than ever I think it's more important to go on a way of self-knowledge with the aim to meet “the other”.. This other without which we can not exist. It's the same for the artist. It is more important for me to be focused on my practice than to try to define it according to esthetic criteria of identification. It's probably the reason i like to remember the painter Matisse who said or wrote that an artist must never be prisoner of himself, prisoner of a style, prisoner of a reputation.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Could you talk a little about experiences that has influence the way you currently relate yourself to your artworks?

All my way is influenced by encounterings.

It began by the meeting with my professor of literature at school. More than giving French or Literature classes, she brought us to discover texts, movies, plays, visual artworks and to think about on what we saw or read.. Thanks to her that I met Pierre Vincke, a theatredirector who was worjink in the tradition of Grotowski ... Both of them have led me to go to theater school. In this school I had meetings. Meetings with artists but also and especially human beings that made me discover. I always need o discover rather than to master a practice. It's probably the reason my encounter with Monica Klingler and Boris Nieslony was decisive for me and led me on the path of Performance Art which is a form still difficult to define. Each performance artist has a different definition of what it is...

Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about race and ethnic identity in visual culture?

No I don't have a specific artwork that has influenced my artistic practise but many.

I'm influenced by some philsophers as well as poets or musicians or dancers or visual artists but also by some places or landscapes or atmospheres ... For some years, I was used for example to go to India where I was used to follow some traditionnal muscians or to learn bharatanatyam and practice vipassana meditation... Of course this experience has impacted my art work.... This brought me to think and work differently... My experience in India brought me to discover traditionnal strong art and paradoxally to the way of Performance Art. But there I see one common point: to make no separation between art and life and to be here and now, without projection on the future.

It's difficult for me to speak about race and ethnic identity. But I can say that today we miss more and more this notion of “to be here and now” which is more present in some cultures ... By practising Performance Art, it's my way to be connected to this way of thinking. And even in this field actually it's more and more difficult. The society and the art world brings us more and more to plan in advance, to define our work, more than to do. Just to do. To do what we deeply need.

And of course, my encountering with Black Market International and later the notion of Open Source or Open session via PAErsche have also a big impact on my work. When we go on that, each of us perform by sharing time and space but without trying to convince each other on some common way. This is for me a wonderfull way how we can meet each other, regardless of our origin, our race or our “identity”...

Many of your works carry an autobiographical message. Since you transform your experiences into your artwork, we are curious, what is the role of memory in your artistic productions? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

My memory is clearly a starting point to create. I don't have any autobiographical message. I use my personnal experience ( what I feel , what I see, what I learn, what I ear...) to work. It's a motor or a material. I'm not able to paint, so I can't do something with red or white or yellow or black colors. All I have is life, a body alive. And I need to do something with that...

My sensation about life sometimes is too intense then I need to transform this intensity in some action. Some artistic action... If people can take something from this action this is great... but I don't want to give them “a specific message” or to control the translation of my experience.