Jung Sungyoon Solo Exhibition: Minor Threat

2016. 8. 5 (Fri)~ 9. 25 (Sun)

KIM CHONGYUNG MUSEUM

*Shapes/ 2016/ steel, motor, plastics/ 400 x 270 x 90cm 3 pieces *

Shapes- An Allegory

Park, Choon Ho (Chief Curator, Kim Chong Yung Museum)

Jung Sungyoon displays his work titled 『Shapes』 in the upcoming exhibition 『Minor Threat』. It is a work made of two black triangles, which are 2m 60cm in height, 4m in width, and 28cm in thickness, and one black quadrangle whose cross section looks like a triangle from side, and these are vibrated by mechanical device. Each triangle or quadrangle is different in its form such as a right-angled triangle or an isosceles triangle. He used geometric figures in his previous works as well. He used circles before triangles. Let’s take a look at his works using circles. The work 『Two Hearts』 makes spectators feel nausea since two circles with different diameter move toward different directions. The other work is titled 『Eclipse』, and two circles with the same size repeat overlapping and separating while constantly following the track. It seems like the feeling of nausea and repetition of meeting and separating are allegories for something.

I would like to focus on two features from Jung Sungyoon’s previous and current works. One is that he is constantly choosing geometric figures. ‘Geometry’ is one of the oldest subjects in mathematics along with ‘the number theory’. I should remind you that the word ‘geometry’ is the combination of ‘geo’ meaning ground and ‘metry’ meaning measurement. This is because geometry began as a practical tool for measurement in ancient Egypt. In ancient Greece, geometry went through abstraction and became a branch of mathematics which requires logical thinking. What is the difference between a circle and a triangle? A circle is a figure which can be drawn with the most number of dots. A triangle is the exact opposite of it. A triangle is a figure that can be drawn with the least number of dots. In fact, he seems to categorize a circle as one kind of dots in that circles appear in his work titled 『Dot』. Strictly speaking, a dot with no area can only exist conceptually. Like this, geometry requires deductive thinking thoroughly based on the public interest of minority. He made a note saying “consideration of a triangle” during the sketch for this work, which shows his consideration in deciding the shape of work while recognizing this characteristic of geometry. This may be due to the fact that he was a designer.

The other feature I would like to focus is the title of his work. He provided the spectators with the possibility of speculating the intention of the artist to certain degree by the titles such as 『Two Hearts』, 『Eclipse』 in which he used circles. However, it is unlikely to find that kind of possibility from the title of this exhibition, 『Shapes』. The difference comes from the fact that ‘two hearts’ and ‘eclipse’ are used as metaphors in nearly every society because they have actual objects they are referring to or they are visible while ‘shapes’ are not used as metaphors.『Good Bye』, which I mentioned earlier, put the title Good Bye on the very top of the work so everyone could see it. It seems like he is gradually leavingthe interpretation of his works to the spectators through a series of changes in the titles.

Three huge triangles are vibrating in the exhibition hall. Why are these giant triangles vibrating? What is the relationship between ‘triangles’ and ‘vibration’? This was the first question which came to my mind. He emphasized “a triangle is a figure which can be drawn with the least number of dots.” The triangular structure is used in various ways in our lives such as a frame of a bicycle, a tripod as a support, a wedge which is used to fix something. In addition, the number 3 is a material often used for describing the relationship between men and women such as love triangle, it appears in fairy tales like 『The Three Little Pigs』 and in ancient myth like the crow with three legs as well. Because of the title 『Shapes』, the spectators might think this exhibition is irrelevant to the various implications of 3 mentioned above. However, the spectators would definitely have some kind of psychological response when they see the huge triangles vibrated by mechanical devices.“The spectator is a part of the eternal creative process of change and chance.”This is what Duchamp said. Spectators interpret the work by projecting their own perspectives. Therefore it cannot be said that one particular interpretation of certain work is the only right interpretation. It is just one way to see the work. ‘Vibration’ is ambivalent. Too excited or too frightened! Especially when someone vibrates with excitement, it would be the moment when he or she uses the imagination from their expectations. Erotic things are included here as well. They become more excited as they imagine. Three huge black triangles are vibrating. The vibrating speed of each triangle is different. They seem much bigger because the black color. They seem much sharper in corners because they are triangles.

They are vibrating. 『Shapes』completes an allegory with the combination of the shape of triangles, various implications of the number 3, and the ambivalent meaning of vibration. What is the meaning of it? It should not be overlooked that Jung Sungyoon’s work which started from ‘personal failures’ are becoming more and more abstract. As mentioned earlier, the irony which comes from the proper harmony of logic and emotion captures the attention of spectators and brings odd psychological responses from them since they are also amazed at the visual installment which is moved by mechanical devices. I think it doesn’t matter whether that feeling is fear or joy. Isn’t the fact they are feeling something what really matters? This has more significance to us today since all of us are losing our feelings and becoming more and more insensitive living in an era which is full of shocking and unimaginable incidents.