Exhibition Introduction

The “Glass Box 2016-Art Star” contest winning artist exhibition planned by Bongsan Cultural Center focuses on the foreign attitude of contemporary art. ‘Hello! 1974,’ which is also the main theme of this year’s exhibition contest represents our support for the experimental spirit of artists in these times, their memories of passion and their ability to identify with it, as well as for their attitude or roles as artists who pay attention to the “city” and “public interest” and to support the “start quality” of valuable contemporary art.
Art space “Glass Box” is constructed of 4 glass walls for the audience to view inside and is well-known for being located in the city center, which allows for viewing at any time of day, contributing to expanding opportunities for citizens to enjoy art, and for being a special creative support space for passionate creative artists. We intend to continue to introduce works by innovative and competent artists through national contests as a public art support center.

The 2nd exhibition for ‘Glass Box 2016’ is the winner of the contest, “Glass Box 2016-Art Star」Ver.2, namely Jamie Lee (born 1977), a major of printmaking and painting, for her piece, “Summer Shower.” This show is the state of visually reinterpreting the wisdom about the changes and growth of our lives through the artist’s own experience of immersion, the ‘ab-grund’ or empty space which immersion entails, and memory of communication. It is also an imaginary picturing of a time-space scene where the artist pulls surrounding nature into the artwork so that the situation here and now becomes a part of the piece while also inviting the audience to participate in art and nature.

This exhibition began with the artist’s suggestion to place a part of her continuous art installation, which was created to visualize her ‘present,’ in a glass case. In the summer of 2015, starting from a 150cm x 20m roll of paper during a month-long residency in Chicago, her project would lead to a long-term composition, accumulating to 150cm x 100m during her March 2016 exhibition in Seoul and April “Glass Box” exhibition in Daegu. With the artist’s extended composition as a continual art performance that connects time and space, it resembles the continuity and change in our own lives. This act of “cut-drawing,” using knife to cut as if drawing on the surface of thin white paper, is an “act of immersion,” forgetting about her time of desolation and anxiety and being caught up in the rhythmical charm of the summer shower in Chicago which brought with it harsh winds, thunder and lightening, and in this trance truly communicating with the world. It is also an intermediate process during which the young artist overcame an emotional crisis and confirmed her self-existence. This “act of immersion,” which I think provides a joy of liberation from primal human insecurity and isolation, is impromptu and intuitive, and the continuous and repetitive “cut-drawing” act leaves shapes of what could be flower petals or seeds overlapping one on top of another, or radial lines of “empty space” as well as supporting lines of regular thickness as if to symbolize the growth of a living organism. As she cuts out the paper, the emptied blank space is filled with the participation of the audience, and the symbolic representation of the seeds of living “here, now” also reminds us of the age-old wisdom that to empty is to fill. This point is also the artist’s moment of expanding her spectrum past reason and her self. This moment in the “cut-drawing” and installation process for the show prompts meeting with others, bonding and sympathizing with them, and acquiring memories of sharing to make “communication” with the world possible.

In a glass enclosure of approximately 7m ceiling and white floor, the white hand-cut paper installation looks as if to both fill and empty the space. The paper assemblage, seemingly tries not to go against gravity as it hangs in strands from the ceiling or is hoisted obliquely to the side. Lee explains this as a language of the mind state in response to the bright and clear “here, now” situation following a tempestuous rain shower. She cuts the paper each by hand as if drawing freely on canvas and connects and installs the fruit of her work, performing emotional drawings into the space. This drawing is a time-space expression, which is saturated with a memory of a certain point in time, but from the aspect as its also being an intermediary space that cultivates growth and emotion of human life, the artist seems to be drawing in order to focus on and learn about herself. Therefore, this drawing is a physical act which derives from memory as well as some other imaginary thought, and is the artist’s own captivating record of such.

“Summer Shower,” which stands before us, is a play at drawing while referring to the existence and nonexistence of self and the world, and the act of repeating that physical memory is the artist’s psychological fantasy as well as the enacting “event” of reconstructing this pictorial scene. What she is trying to discuss is the happiness, the pleasure that comes with joy, and pure acts themselves which have become concealed or eliminated by reason and conceptual interpretation. Her art is also the energy caused by trying to embody emotional memories on human growth. This “glass box,” which tries to connect memories of the past with present growth, brings to mind a simple life value of attempting to communicate one’s aesthetic beliefs.

Bongsan Cultural Center Curator Jung Jong-gu