About a thing
Scratch Off, Video, 3' 58", 2022 https://vimeo.com/767907364
Working Method Contemporary Gallery represents About a thing, a solo exhibition of new multi-media works by an interdisciplinary artist Chansong Woo.
Talking about one social movement in South Korea has shaped her visual narrative which is connected to personal memory and trauma that focuses on the Gwangju Democratization Movement a symbol of people's struggle against military regimes for democracy in the city of Gwangju from May 18th to 27th in 1980. Although she never experienced the movement directly, as a hinge generation she wanted to discuss two relationships: one between individual memory and trauma and one between collective memory and trauma (even history) based on her personal narratives in the present. The narrative is a trigger for showing how historical memory and trauma transmit to post-generation and constitute their memories in their own right.
A large-scale installation work About a thing displays her fragmented memory of that day when she experienced the movement as a secondhand experience. Since the memory is so vulnerable, the black paper, chair, and desk are wobbling in the wind to express the vulnerability and fragility of her regenerated memory as a middle school student and the memory itself. Another work Who has the Power poses a seemingly obvious but hard question “Who has the Power”. Viewers scratch off to discover the question and its answer based on the Constitution of the Republic of Korea (in Korean). Audiences might find the answer based on what it is saying or guess the answer based on what they believe.
Her personal and historical narrative has been hidden, revealed, and reconstructed in various ways such as scratch-off, monochrome drawing, painting, and installation. Her works critically and historically reflect the turbulent history of modern Korea and push the viewers into a reconsideration of the difference between collective and individual memory.
About the Artist
As an interdisciplinary artist, her interest lies in blurring various boundaries: between actuality and ideal, kitsch and high art, among art disciplines using varied artistic mediums such as video, installation, performance, drawing, and painting. Recently her work aimed to show how personal memory and trauma can be expressed as art and communicate with viewers although they have all different social, cultural, and political backgrounds. She strives for being a good artist by throwing a fundamental question in our lives through artwork.
Chansong Woo’s work was shown in solo exhibitions at Gallery Palais de Seoul, Renaissance Plazza Cheongpa Gallery, and Artinsun Gallery in Seoul, South Korea, and various group exhibitions at CICA Museum, Songwon Art Center, Culture Station Seoul 284, Dongduk Art Gallery, and 311 Gallery in South Korea and the United States. Born and raised in Suncheon, South Korea, she now lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
"Making and sharing artwork with viewers would give me some reflective distance from my memory. Externalizing internal objects (i.e., the transition from my personal memory to artwork) is a meaningful process to face unwanted memory by recognizing, recalling, and rebuilding the memory."
- Chansong Woo -
Who has the Power: Scratch Off
Acrylic, Printmaking, and Mixed Media on Papers
21 x 19 inches
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