May 9, 2015 - Nov 22, 2015


Republic of Korea - Biennale Arte 2015

Korean Pavilion at 56th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia

"'The Ways of Folding Space & Flying' is a multi-channel film installation created by the Korean artistic duo Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho. The project explores an archaeological quest into human civilization that interweaves history with visions of the future as told through a future-retrospective narrative. It also alludes to the institutional structure and historic evolution of the Venice Biennale, the scale and influence of which have been acquired within a shifting socio-political landscape.

The project is part of an ongoing inquiry for Moon & Jeon to make sense of what they perceive as a fundamental function of art in our increasingly uncertain and precarious environment. Instead of trying to provide a definitive thesis, the artists propose ways of imagining the future where existing notions of art and creativity may no longer be relevant. As with the seemingly illogical and ludicrous concepts of chukjibeop and bihaengsul, for them, art is a crucial yet curiously unexplainable facet of complex human desires that compel us to imagine, dream, wonder and challenge."
— Sook-Kyung Lee

The film leads us to a distant time in the future. Lying deep under water, the City of Venice that we used to know, along with the other glories of past civilization, no longer exists. The only visible vestige of the Giardini’s rich history is the Korean Pavilion—the last national pavilion to have been established within the garden and at its highest point. The site no longer serves as a place for art. The pavilion is now a laboratory for archaeological investigation of the past civilization.

Here within this site, our protagonist awakes to consciousness.

He opens his eyes.
He wakes up every day at exactly the same time and performs the same manual tasks. Today is no different from yesterday, and tomorrow will be no exception. He begins to lose any grasp on the amount of time he has spent here. The outside is a boundless expanse of water, and he has no other place to go. The cold metal mass that was once the Korean Pavilion floats like a buoy on the ocean—and is the only place of sanctuary that he can call home. Once he completes his mission and brings this long period of solitude to an end, he could perhaps embark on a longer journey that could last for more than a day.

Everyday inside the laboratory is just the same for him. His day feels as long as someone else’s entire life. Newly born every morning upon opening his eyes, he parts with his life again when he closes his eyes at the end of the day. He cannot recall any days other than the one he wakes to.

“We’re the same. We share the same history, the same heritage, the same lives. We’re tied together beyond any untying. Man or woman, it makes no difference. We’re human. We couldn’t escape from each other even if we wanted to. That’s how you do it, Lieutenant. By remembering who and what you are. A bit of flesh and blood afloat in a universe without end. The only thing that’s truly yours is the rest of humanity.”
— from Captain Kirk’s conversation with Carolyn Palamas

On Chukjibeop & Bihaengsul
The title of the exhibition "The Ways of Folding Space & Flying" stems from the Korean words chukjibeop and bihaengsul. Originating from Taoist practice, chukjibeop means a hypothetical method of folding space and of allowing one to travel a substantial distance in a short space of time. The word describes various techniques for rapid movement, or could literally refer to the energy used to contract physical distance. Bihaengsul is another supernatural power, to levitate, fly, and travel across time and space. The power emerges from one of the oldest human desires to challenge and triumph over the physical limitations of human beings and to reach an unknown realm. In the history of Eastern culture, these ideas have been explored not only as a means of meditative practice but also as methods to reach a state of complete emancipation of both mind and body from physical limitations and natural forces. A method of levitation without the aid of any scientific technique and only through the means of pure mind and body, bihaengsul still remains a valid hypothesis.Both chukjibeop and bihaengsul are an archetype of using mental practice to overcome human limitations through the power of the imagination. These rather ludicrous and illogical ideas closely echo the basis of artistic practice in that they are both a creative manifestation of human desire to surpass the barriers and structures that bind us. Within this context, we intend to show the human endeavor to constantly break new ground and challenge the self and also envision the future of art. — Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho 
Installation View
Giardini di Castello, Venice, Italy
Scenes from the film set in Namyangju, South Korea
Press Conference & Vernissage
May 6, 2015
The Team
Introducing the commissioner & artists of the Korean Pavilion 2015

Commissioner & Curator


Credits: Story

Arts Council Korea

Commissioner & Curator:
Sook-Kyung Lee

Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho

Exhibition Coordinator:
Diana Eunjee Kim

Main Sponsor:
Hyundai Motor Company

Additional Sponsors & Support:
Asiana Airlines
Cheil Industries
Eusu Holdings
Gallery Hyundai
Lakai Sandpine
Samsung Electronics
Samsung Foundation of Culture
SBS Media Group

The Korean Pavilion team extends a special thanks to designer Jung Kuho and actress Im Soojung (KEYEAST).

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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