A FEW IN MANY PLACES IN SEOUL
Welcome to Ogasawara 우리는 바다에서 왔다 II
Co-curated by Mari Spirito and Abhijan Toto, A Few In Many Places includes collaborators:
Gahee Park, Gim Ikhyun, Miji Lee, Welcome to Ogasawara (Hyun Woomin, Min Guhong Manufacturing, Park Daham, Yuri An, Yun Choi), Komtouch Dew Napattaloong, Thanart Rasanon, Alper Turan, Zeynep Kayan, Kathryn Hamilton, Deniz Tortum, Lila Nazemian, Vartan Avakian, Kristine Khouri, Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, Embajada, Taller Comunidad La Goyco, Jorge González Santos, Esvin Alarcón Lam, Antonio Pichillá, Camilla Juárez.
A Few In Many Places in Seoul:
Welcome to Ogasawara 우리는 바다에서 왔다 II
(Gahee Park, Gim Ikhyun, Miji Lee, Hyun Woomin, Min Guhong Manufacturing, Park Daham, Yuri An, Yun Choi)
Dates: July 14-16, 2021
Venue: Online and offline sites around Champs-Élysés Shopping Plaza and Euljiro district, Seoul
Protocinema presents A Few In Many Places, a multi-city group exhibition that addresses ongoing collapses and cycles of violence, through various forms of collectivity. Taking place in Seoul, Bangkok, Istanbul, New York, Santurce, and Guatemala City, all of these interventions use sustainable exhibition-making models of reducing exploitation (of natural resources, labor, and knowledge) and consumption (no shipping or flying). This year, collaborators present works on continuing inequalities happening in both physical and digital realms. Developed by Protocinema in 2020, A Few In Many Places maintains a foot in physical real-life, small, and safe get-togethers in each community while utilizing far-reaching digital support structures, to be both hyper-local and globally interconnected. Each chapter is site-responsive while speaking across the regions and produced in a format that allows for forms of engagement under various conditions of lockdowns or other contingent situations.
In Santurce, Seoul, and Guatemala City, the artists will engage with the different communities and silenced histories through manifold ways. In Seoul, the collective called Welcome to Ogasawara made up of Gahee Park, Gim Ikhyun, Miji Lee, Hyun Woomin, Min Guhong Manufacturing, Park Daham, Yuri An, and Yun Choi, navigate transboundary waters of both the literal sea and the “sea” of current internet conditions which are now even more fragmented by boundaries of nationality, ethnicity, or citizenship. This intervention is unfolding over time and in progress as a multi-platform online-and-offline project in the Champs-Elysee Shopping Plaza in the Euljiro district.
Welcome to Ogasawara takes the form of interventions in public physical spaces and online digital spaces, oscillating between different layers of time. This series of works, which are revealed as the viewer physically finds each QR code, are found on the walls and windows of the mall. They remain intentionally stealth until each interaction. QR codes embedding the artworks lead viewers to the website map and gives them mobility in both literal time and the time of the web.
Reflecting on and realigning both, physical body and virtual body (devices) there are multiple points of access as a site for multiple possible itineraries through a virtual-actual scenography - rendering visitors and participants as avatars, players, audience members and participants all at once, and creating new interfaces between contexts. In other words, the voyage is spontaneously woven together by the works shown in these two reals as well as within the participants’ experiences who performatively perceive them. Welcome to Ogasawara creates an alternative way to revisit time and space as a collaborative artwork that is also made of individual art works.
Images from first edition of Welcome to Ogasawara by Gim Ikhyun, 2021
With constantly moving faces confined in a flat world floating around, we dive into each other's screens, then rise to the surface and breathe between-while. This sense of surfing on the screen adjacent to reality has long been accustomed to those who live through the “present” where viruses and pop-up windows co-exist. Yet in this era of crisis, having borders and places shut down, we try to be reconnected to each other by crossing multiple windows over the screens. Aiming at an experience of virtual movement rooted in physical space, this second iteration of Welcome to Ogasawara continues to engage with the edges of virtual and physical realities, experimenting with ideas of simultaneity and presence. It conscripts viewers who become pirates on a journey together - treating piracy as both metaphor and method - with its own codes, and forms of expressions, hidden from public view, but accessible to those who can gain access to its manifestations. Deliberately obtuse and poetic, the collective points to obscurity as a necessary space within forms of collective practice and thinking.
Gahee Park is a curator based in Seoul and currently working at Seoul Museum of Art as a Curator. Regarding the exhibition as a medium, her interest lies in the performative aspect of curating in which the event of knowledge can occur. Recently, Park has founded a web-based study platform Study for Exhibition Histories to test the possibilities for the coexistence of multiple art histories by researching and re-contextualising past exhibitions. Previously, she worked in Arko Art Center and the Busan Biennale entitled Divided We Stand (2018) as Guest Curator. She also translated Self-organised (Open Editions: London, 2013) into Korean together with her colleagues Hyo JEON and Eunbi JO.
GIM Ikhyun delves deep into the parallax between what exists and being visible, and past and present, and further speculates it through the practice of photography and writing. He recalls, imagines and scrutinizes the connection and the rupture that have been made by a world drawn with Mercator’s projection, undersea fiber-optic cables, a world of nanometers and the Global Value Chain. GIM has participated in SeMA Biennale: Mediacity Seoul 2016, (Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, 2016); PUSH, PULL, DRAG (Platform-L, Seoul, 2016); A SNOWFLAKE (Kukje Gallery, Seoul, 2017) among other group exhibitions.
Miji Lee is a researcher and a visual thinker based in Seoul. With her curatorial curiosity, she observes the relationship between intervened contexts and translated languages of art and design. Being involved in a few collaborative projects, her current interest lies in generating new conversations related to the issues of trans/cross such as mobility and boundaries. Lee worked at SeMA as a curatorial assistant in 2019 and 2020.
Hyun Woomin was born in Tokyo. He makes films about migration, and the lives and memories of displacement of those who have left their homeland. His major works include NO PLACE LIKE HOMELAND (2011); OHAMANA (2015); Unfinished Voyage (2017); Totoki (2020). He graduated from the Department of Aesthetics at the University of Tokyo, then obtained his masters in Film and New Media Studies at Tokyo University of the Arts, where he also completed his doctoral program.
Min Guhong Manufacturing is a one-man company that parasitic on Workroom, a graphic design studio and a publisher in Seoul, South Korea. The company manufactures various types of products such as writings, games, websites, and so on. The products are consumed in and out of the art. A graphic design duo Sulki and Min says about the company, “(…) Its founder, Min Guhong, is a writer, editor, translator, designer, and a software developer, but probably not in that order. The corporation produces practical and speculative ‘products,’ from video games and computer software to short novels and music playlists. One of the recurring themes of the diverse products is self-reflexivity: after all, many of them are about Min Guhong Manufacturing itself.” For your information (https://youtu.be/kAI3nfI16qo), “Min Guhong Manufacturing” can be abbreviated as “Min Guhong Mfg.”
Yuri An has been living a moving life in the past years. She became interested in disappeared words and stories those lived there before even though the place still existed. Instead of immobilizing a material property by doing reproduction of an object, she prefers watching it by recalling to the here and now. Therefore, An expresses her work through mediums that are easy to mobile such as text, video and sound. Since 2016, she has been focusing on Korean Diaspora project. She graduated from Gerrit Rieveld Academie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and came back to Korea in 2014. https://yurian.kr
Yun CHOI lives and works in Seoul. From public places and popular media, CHOI captures, compiles scenes that create a social climate, and repurposes them for her videos combined with mixed media installations, and performances. Interested in pedestrian and conventional images, words, behaviors of contemporary Korean society, she focuses on the collective belief that they imply. CHOI had solo exhibitions at DOOSAN Gallery Seoul and New York (2020), Art Sonje Center project space (2017), and participated in group exhibitions held at Asia Culture Center (2020), Platform-L Contemporary Art Center (2019), Art Sonje Center (2019), Arko Art Museum (2019), Busan Biennale (2018), the Gwangju Biennale’s satellite exhibition (2018).
DJ yesyes (AKA Park Daham) was born in Incheon, Korea in 1986. CEO of Indie label Helicopter Records, Noise Musician, and a Performance Producer. I check if I get curious.
A Few In Many Places will be accompanied by a new edition of ProtoZine, with commissioned texts from a range of different perspectives by Laura Raicovich, curator and author; Erik Bordeleau, philosopher; Collective Rewilding, as well as texts developed pairings of curators: Mari Spirito and Jorge Gonzales Santos; Gim Ikhyun & Miji Lee, and Esvin Alarcón Lam; Lila Nazemian and Abhijan Toto. ProtoZine texts and continuing public programs will roll out over the duration of the exhibition.
Protocinema is a cross-cultural, mission-driven art organization, commissioning and presenting site-aware art in Istanbul, New York, and elsewhere. We produce context-specific projects of the highest artistic quality that are accessible to everyone. Protocinema evokes empathy towards an understanding of difference, across regions through exhibitions, educational public programming, and mentorship. Protocinema maintains long-term relationships with artists nurturing sustained growth. Founded by Mari Spirito in 2011, Protocinema is a registered 501(c)3, free of 'brick and mortar', sites vary to respond both to global concerns and changing conditions on the ground. protocinema.org
Protocinema is supported by FfAI - The Foundation for Arts Initiatives; The Cowles Charitable Trust, New Jersey; 601 Artspace, New York; American Chai Trust, New York; Hagop Kevorkian Center, NYU, New York, Goethe Institut, Bangkok; Art Council Korea; Gallery VER, Bangkok; Estrellita Brodsky