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Citizens Program

Research Table

We proposed research projects involving experts from various fields based on selected, chiefly photographyrelated keywords to consider for 2019. Those nine research projects resulted in spatial exhibitions designed to suit each project, along with lectures during the festival period. The exhibitions and lectures are also used as a basis for research notes to be produced after the event ends. The exhibition event is taking place in Gallery 2 of Seoul Museum of Art’s Buk-Seoul museum, while the lectures, which last around 90 minutes each, will be held on weekends at a dedicated venue within the exhibition site.

2019.10.05. Sat. 16:00 Park Jisoo New-Player List: Change of Sense in Contemporary Photographic Work
2019.10.06. Sun. 16:00 Suzy Soma Park Literary Absoluteness: Snap Idea
2019.10.12. Sat. 16:00 Forum A Images, to what extent can they deceive us?
2019.10.13. Sun. 16:00 SOHN Yisang Proof of Pilgrimage
2019.10.19. Sat. 13:20 VOSTOK MERRY–GO–ROUND
2019.10.20. Sun. 13:20 VOSTOK MERRY–GO–ROUND
2019.10.27. Sun. 16:00 Choi hyeayeong Photographs That Stop the Country
2019.11.02. Sat. 15:00 Sujong Song Museums and photographs with a Focus on the Case of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
2019.11.03. Sun. 15:00 Kim Min Digital Age - Surveillance and AI Coming from Image and Desire
2019.11.09. Sat. 15:00 Kay Jun An Intersection of Avant-garde and Arrière-garde: Photo/Text of the Magazine Saemigipeunmul(Deep Spring Water) from a Feminist Perspective
2019.11.10. Sun. 15:00 yezoi hwang Between the Bodies



Research Show

RESEARCH #1

RESEARCH #1
New-Player List: Change of Sense in Contemporary Photographic Work
This research project is rooted in two premises. The first is that signs of change have been apparent in photography work in the period since the 2010s, which has witnessed a full-scale interlinkage between digital and mobile environments. The other is that changes in medium environments are (naturally enough) transforming the perceptions and ideas of creators. Focusing on photograph work released during the 2010s by photographers born from the 1980s onward, this project identifies and examines sensibilities that differ from what came before.

Park Jisoo
Editor-in-chief of Vostok magazine. Having previously worked for Monthly Photography, VON, and Photo Dot, and now working for Vostok, Park is suffering from chronic deadline madness. At Vostok, he is in charge of selecting and editing the photos and writing pieces. He has planned the exhibitions Yi Minji Solo Exhibition: Sight-Lag (Hapjungjigu, 2018) and Reflecta of Reflecta (Hapjungjigu, 2016).

participation
RESEARCH #2

RESEARCH #2
Literary Absoluteness: Snap Idea
• Researching collection of around 50 images that could be described as “snap photographs” from the 1960s to the 2010s
• Forming arbitrary standards (formal/cognitive/sociocultural) to define “snap”
• Studying structures marking the place occupied by individual “snap photographs” in the photography lineage
• Researching a relation network organizing the filters through which individual “snap photographs” are read from the outside

Suzy Soma Park
An independent curator currently based in Seoul, Suzy Soma Park earned an undergraduate degree in economics and a master’s degree in aesthetics. Since beginning her career as a curator at Indie Space AGIT in Busan, she has worked as chief editor of the art and culture criticism journal B-Art, a curatorial team member for the 2017 Jeju Biennale, and curator for Artspace Boan 1942. She has planned the exhibitions Zoom Back Camera(2019), siren eun young jung: foolish or mannish (2018), Kim Jungheun Joo Jaehwan: Pleasantly Bluntly (2018), and Minjung Art 2015: Freundschaft(2015). Deeply interested in the praxis potential of friendship, love, and religion as political and aesthetic allegories of contemporary art, she has worked to link related exhibitions and criticism

participation
RESEARCH #3

RESEARCH #3
Images, to what extent can they deceive us?
People today no longer debate the “truth” of the image as they did before. It has become natural not to assign a hierarchy of value to “originals” and “copies,” while instances of the hyper-real have become too numerous to be listed. Digital images do not aim to approximate the real, but to create a new reality. Yet a hierarchy of value does become cemented in unexpected ways. People continue to discuss the perhaps outmoded concept of “authenticity,” determining the extent to which an image can be trusted according to how the image’s maker appears to them. In their view, it does not matter whether an image is “real”—the image can only be trusted if the agent who produced it is trustworthy. In other words, they are choosing which among the innumerable fakes they will be taken in by. Forum A focuses on and interrogates the way in which the “zombie” of authenticity has been revived, even reinforced, in recent discourse on the image. Why haven’t these wandering ghosts disappeared? If they are intent on making a comeback, what is the reason behind it? Which among these old-fashioned things have we been unable to bury for good?

Forum A
Forum A is a team of magazine makers who create magazines from the discussions about art among planners, critics and writers. Their main discussion topics include what art criticism has created, what the art system has overlooked, and what art creation has missed. They also think about the new art language. Forum A began printing in 2017, and it seeks to be published regularly

participation
RESEARCH #4

RESEARCH #4
Proof of Pilgrimage
The visual images circulated on social media have a common goal: confirming the image producer’s own existence. To put it in more elegant terms, Instagrammers capture and post images in other to make themselves appear attractive. Among these photographs that are being produced and circulated, travel images in particular offer evidence of a person having visited a particular place, and their takers select better background spaces to document their activities in their destinations—a phenomenon that has become known as the “proof selfie.” Some of these photographers have traveled to South and North Korea. Those visiting the South actively discover images that are quite different from what South Koreans typically picture their homeland. The same is true for those who go to North Korea. By comparing the South and North Korean landscapes that serve as backdrops behind them, tourists can see which scenes tourists usually select among the many available in the two countries—and how images of the two are represented by “others” today.

SOHN Yisang
SOHN is a collector of jjangbang or short video clips, mostly photographs of animals and architectural buildings from around the world. He has 86 gigabytes of storage of photos of puppies and an 11-gigabyte collection of panther photos. His side job is taking documentary pictures, his “side-side job” is performance planning, his “sideside-side job” is writing a column for The Korea Times newspaper, and his “side-side-side-side job” is working as a member of the Steering Committee of Seoul Minyechong, the Korean People Artist Federation, Seoul branch. He is a former board member of Korean Minyechong.

participation
RESEARCH #5

RESEARCH #5
Photographs That Stop the Country
“Last July, the Cultural Heritage Administration sent a notice to Jeju Island informing it that its application for alterations to allow dredging of nearby soft coral and permit a 30-degree change in the Gangjeong cruise route had been denied.”

Built as a “combined civilian-military tourism port,” the Jeju Naval Base has had cruise ships put in just twice since its 2016 completion. The base was initially built without a proper course in place, and an application was submitted to the Culture Heritage Administration (CHA) to permit alterations and allow the dredging of soft coral populations, referred to as “reefs,” citing difficulties for cruise ships entering the port. The group Jeju Naval Base Soft Coral TFT went on to conduct four studies in November 2018 and August 2019. Its investigation found that that the 30-degree change sent the course passing through the Beomseom Island area, a key part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a shallow region with populations of soft coral (Korean Natural Monument No. 442). Various polyps—including many previously unknown species—were found, among them Alcyonium gracillimum, Dendronephthya gigantea, Dendronephthya castanea, Dendronephthya

Choi hyeayeong
For the past eight years, Choi Hyeayeong has lived in the village of Gangjeong on Jeju Island. A peace activist, she has been monitoring soft coral near the Jeju Naval Base. In the winter of 2014, she learned scuba diving. Early on in her investigation, she supplemented her underwater photography by drawing lines at regular intervals or placing quadrats on the soft coral. The beauties to be found under the water before the construction were something she had only ever seen in the photographs taken by others. Keeping a record of transformation in the sea and soft coral is a difficult and sometimes vain endeavor—yet there are many things that Choi does regularly, be it in her examination of Gangjeong soft coral or her life in Gangjeong.

participation
RESEARCH #6

RESEARCH #6
Museums and photographs with a Focus on the Case of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
The process of the photographic medium becoming accepted by South Korean art museums is explored to examine the expansion of the photography concept within history and explore the factors that allowed the photograph to function as a contemporary “new medium.” Additionally, the relationship formed between contemporary photography/images and the museum is explored, with consideration to the preparations that museums are—or should be—making for the photography conditions and environment to come in the future

Sujong Song
Song has been active in image-related areas, from publication to exhibition planning. She has served as a judge for World Press Photo, as a curator for the Dakar Biennale in Senegal, and as coCEO of Seoul Lunar Photo. She is now the leader of the Research Planning Publication team at MMCA Korea.

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RESEARCH #7

RESEARCH #7
Digital Age - Surveillance and AI Coming from Image and Desire
This research project analyzes facial recognition artificial intelligence technology as a form of information and communications technology (ICT) that has become one of the driving forces in an era in which imagined dystopias have been rendered meaningless—an era where “surveillance capitalism” represents the latest operating system of capitalism. Examining the desires and problem areas of the authorities and businesses responsible and various present-day issues, it describes and suggests efforts by citizens to resist the tide.

Kim Min
Starting from the demolition and occupation of the city to civil fights, rallies, and demonstrations, Kim has been taking photos to capture social issues. Recently, she took interest in public power and the issues on the surveillance of the capital and is currently active in the Korean Progressive Network Center (Jinbonet)directly intervening in information and human rights issues.

participation
RESEARCH #8

RESEARCH #8
An Intersection of Avant-garde and Arrie`re-garde:Photo/Text of the Magazine Saemigipeunmul(DeepSpring Water) froma Feminist Perspective
Magazines represent distillations of a zeitgeist. While some bow to commercialism and yellow journalism, other situate themselves within a current running counter to their times. Published in South Korea between November 1984 and November 2001, the magazine Saemi gipeun mul (Water from a Deep Well) falls in the latter category. Re-examining the role of women in the home and society and calling for a new status, the magazine produced a range of articles in which women served as both subject matter and theme. Cover images showing women’s portraits in black-and-white tints offered an unspoken visual statement of this—a design strategy that set the magazine clearly apart from other women’s magazines of the 1980s. Yet the magazine is also marked in different places by the traditional views of women that were widespread at the time. This was particular true of the advertising images, as well as various articles that outwardly professed an “avant-garde” perspective while inevitably betraying “arrière-garde” ideas. This limitation in attitudes is also revealed in photo captions where the “narratives” of the women appearing on the cover are presented mostly in terms of marriage, or leaving the workforce after marriage. Categorizing the cover images and advertising images as photography and the captions and articles as text, this research project examines the particularities of the photographs and text appearing in the magazine. Underlying the study is the strange conviction that photographs capable of standing alone—existing independently of the text, in other words—are effectively absent or even impossible. Cutting across the domains of the public, media, and society, photographs represent either products of particular ideologies and ideas (texts) or another form of (avant-garde) force consciously opposing them. This research project asks questions including: How were South Korean women represented in the mid- to late 1980s at the intersection of photography and text? How does the progressiveness shown in the articles’ text clash with the regressiveness of the advertising imagery? How did the magazine’s images and text absorb and reflect the progressive women’s movement of the 1980s? Posing questions that are still valid today, the project looks through the photograph/text devices found in SaemiGipeunMul. The analysis is limited to the period from the first issue to the one dated December 1989. That month marked the last time the magazine included a lengthy caption for its cover image, relating the current position of women in the 1980s, and the time period allows for the positing of the 1980s women’s movement in South Korea as a distinct historical axis from the 1990s in viewing the magazine.

Kay Jun
With interests including graphic design and the relationship between photography and text, Kay Jun is a researcher and writer who also frequently designs exhibitions. Aprilsnow Press, the photography publishing company she has operated since 2012, is a platform for interrogating and exploring photography and text, along with graphic design as an act and mechanism for mediating them. To date, she has planned and edited 14 photography books for Aprilsnow. She has written World Art Directors 10(2009) and co-written World Book Designers 10; her doctoral dissertation was titled The Magazine ‘Deeply Rooted Tree’: The Relationship between Image and Text(2017). A native of Seoul, she is a citizen of the Republic of Korea who has lived for over five years in Daegu.

participation
RESEARCH #9

RESEARCH #9
An Intersection
This is research conducted together with contemporary women creators on the attitude towards the female body within the established image and the subsequent feeling of uneasiness. The research result is rendered through the exhibition not in the form of a misogynic image but as the body and voice of the women living today who protests such an image. In other words, this is a place where participants ponder on the protesting image and the established image.

yezoi hwang
Hwang was born in 1993 in Seoul. Her parents were obsessed with collecting and recording memories, and this naturally led her to start photography. She feels a louder resonance in personal history rather than hyped-up discourse. She tells her story by using family photos and portraits as the main items. She has published the photo books Mixer Bowl and Season and held the solo exhibition Mago.

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