Exhibitions , International

Venice, Italy: siren eun young jung, commission for Korean Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale

The first commission for Frequency of Tradition, siren eun young jung’s multi-channel video A Performing by Flash, Afterimage, Velocity, and Noise (2019) premieres at the 58th Venice Biennale, as part of the Korean Pavilion curated by Hyunjin Kim.

The new work expands on the artist’s Yeoseong Gukgeuk Project (2008–), which focuses on a disappearing genre of Korean traditional theater that features only women actors. The commissioned work seeks to critically deconstruct the oppressive conventions around gender, tradition, and historical consciousness. The work documents the performance of second generation gukgeuk actor Lee Deung Woo (aka Lee Ok Chun), calling forth four performers that succeed the genealogy of contemporary queer performance—a transgender musician, a disabled performer/director, an openly lesbian actor, and a Drag King performer. Engaging in these performers’ contestations against aesthetic canons, the artist lures the audience into an audiovisual setting activated by a feast of light, noise, and the moving body.

History Has Failed Us, but No Matter explores the history of modernization in East Asia through the lens of gender and the agency of tradition and also includes the work of Hwayeon Nam and Jane Jin Kaisen. Together the works investigate how tradition is invented and generated in close relation to modernity and the emancipatory potential of tradition in Asia through gender complexities that go beyond the canon of Western modernity.

siren eun young jung’s, A Performing by Flash, Afterimage, Velocity, and Noise (2019) is the first co-commission as part of Frequency of Tradition, a three-year KADIST initiative curated by Hyunjin Kim, Lead Regional Curator for Asia. Comprising seminars, commissions, and exhibitions through collaborations with artists and institutions, the initiative examines the entanglements between tradition and modernization in the Asian region.