Bright Dove Hyunsook, Saokjeong


Korean Art Museum Association

Korean Art Museum Association
Seoul, South Korea


  • Title: Bright Dove Hyunsook, Saokjeong
  • Creator: Yangachi
  • Date Created: 2010
  • Type: Performance, Installation, Virtual, Storytelling, Tactical
  • Korean Artist Project: Yangachi is one of 21 outstanding artists selected by the Korean Artist Project. The Korean Artist Project is a global online website which aims to promote Korean contemporary artists hosted by the Ministy of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea and organized by the Korean Art Museum Association. KAP has launched with a three-year plan spanning from 2011 to 2013. At the first step in 2011, art professionals and critics selected 21 artists, and curators from 13 private art museums organized their virtual solo exhibitions. KAP would love to introduce a diverse spectrum of Korean contemporary art to the global audience. Through these efforts, KAP will play a significant role in the promotion and development of Korean contemporary art. Also, the KAP will become a useful platform, which will serve as a stepping-stone to create cultural exchange and global networks with diverse art people. Please visit www.koreanartistproject.com
  • Critic's Note: Bright DoveHyunsook, Gyeongseong, exhibited at the Media City Seoul 2010, is staged in the vicinity of the Seoul Museum of Art and Deoksu Palace. On the way from her home to the Seoul Museum of Art, DoveHyunsook passes through Gwanghwamun Square, Chondong Theater and Deoksu Palace. With a stuffed pigeon perched upon her helmet, she performs ridiculous movements like a bird flapping its wings, set to the voice of a female narrator describing the gestures, movements and various situations of different characters from the artist’s works. Stories of historical but unfamiliar figures are delivered via the peculiar character of Hyunsook: Youngsook Choi, a pioneering woman of the Joseon Dynasty who received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stockholm University in 1931; Marquis Taek Yeong Yun, the father of the consort of Emperor Yunghui, Empress Sunjeong; and obscure individuals such as Giyeong An, Yeoseok Sin, Indeok Park and Soda Gaichi. This is the essential structure of DoveHyunsook which spans a variety of mutually exclusive features from history and fiction, performance and video, and narration. DoveHyunsook has appeared in a range of stories in different versions such as Elle and Saokjeong. Of course, the fundamental structure is to follow the flow of Hyunsook’s voyages with a stuffed pigeon perched on her helmet, flickering constantly between the past and the present depending on the site at which the shooting (or the performance) takes place. For example, Bright DoveHyunsook: Elle was filmed at Corso Como, an exclusive designer store in the Gangnam region, and portrayed local points of interest such as the Chungdam High School, the Galleria Department Store and fashion. The episode ends with a scene where Hyunsook lifts her eyes toward the Trinity Place building. Meanwhile, Bright DoveHyunsook: Saokjeong is a drama set in the Seoul Art Space Mullae. What remains now is the question of the bird. The bird in the DoveHyunsook series is imbued with multiple layers of meanings. The first is to show the social position of the most common city bird through the character of Hyunsook. Just as ubiquitous as these birds, Hyunsook is not a representation of one character, but rather a manifestation of the typical contemporary persona. What’s interesting is the position that the doves have assumed in our urban environment. Once an emblem of peace, they are now considered a source of urban pollution. As seen in Yangachi’s other output, the features that make up his works invariably get slightly twisted from conventional layers of meaning. A pigeon, however, is a bird in all aspects — a bird freely flying in the sky. Flying up into the air is a metaphor for freedom. The aerial view is not for Hyunsook but for the birds. Coincidentally, a birds’ eye view is almost parallel to that of surveillance cameras - the cameras looking down upon us from high above. Security cameras are not brought to the fore in the Hyunsook series, but pigeons, birds and surveillance cameras can be considered to have a parallel level of perspective, and thus a similar layer of meaning. In this way, Yangachi’s works always veer away from the predictable, typical use of media, and from our anticipated story line. The story is told in a unique fashion, freely oscillating between the past and the present. The ‘Yangachi style’ of narrative structure and progression is unfettered by genre boundaries defining exhibition and installation, video and performance. That’s why he is able to recount to us an entirely novel story unheard before. To continue producing such unfamiliar stories, Yangachi will remain in search of personalized forms of media. His public is similarly looking forward with great expectation to further experiencing more ‘Yangachi style’ media brimming with entirely novel stories and experimental artistic techniques. (This is an excerpt from an original text.)
  • Artist's Education: The University of Suwon. Suwon, Korea. B.F.A., Sculpture.Yonsei University. Seoul, Korea. M.A., Communication and Arts

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