café for contemporary art

Seung-Young Kim: Self-Portrait

Posted in art, exhibitions by tyler057 on September 16, 2009

CafCA is buzzing as we set up for  Sueng-Young Kim: Self Portrait, marking the Korean artist’s first international solo exhibition. The show features documentation of three performance works that occurred in New York City and on a flotilla in the waters between Korea and Japan, focusing on themes of identity and globalization (see below for an overview of the works)  We’re holding an opening this Saturday, September 19th from 7-9pm, with the artist in attendance; come by for good coffee and conversation.

Also, on Sunday afternoon (around 1pm), as a playful nod to one of Kim’s pieces, we’ll be flying paper airplanes in the park across the street. Hope to see you this weekend!
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Paper Airplane Project, (Marcus Garvey Memorial Park, Harlem)

Seung-Young Kim: Self-Portrait

September 19th – October 25th, 2009
Opening Reception: September 19th, 7-9pm

café for contemporary art
140 East Esplanade Ave.
North Vancouver, BC
V7L 4X9, Canada

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Café for Contemporary Art proudly presents, Seung-Young Kim’s first international solo exhibition. Seung-Young Kim: Self-Portrait is an exhibition of select works from the artist produced while participating as an artist in residence in New York’s PS1 International Studio Program (1999-2000), and, during a process of exchange between Korea and Japan. This exhibition is a part of the Café for Contemporary Art’s dynamic line of exhibitions aimed at exploring the contemporary negotiation of life, identity and relationships in an age of global migration that continues to be tainted by the experiences of colonialism.

Seung-Young Kim has used his artistic practice as a means to explore the relationship between memory and the fluid constitution of the self. Straddling a space between an outward challenge of encountering and joining the cultural other and an inward desire for peace in the turmoil of the mind, Kim constructs spaces for contemplation and embarks on transformative cross-cultural encounters in his work. An engaging invitation to a shared inner-world of constant change, Kim’s work is removed from the ebb and flow of urban mania, pop-culture and mass-media, and refocuses on fundamental, ancient human questions of the self, relationships to community, nature’s role, and inter-communal relations. The challenges related to the transitional journey between cross-cultural social encounters in the face of inherited perceptions and unresolved historical tensions, are at the centre of the curatorial rationale for the selection of works in this show.

This exhibition is primarily a triptych with Kim’s Self-Portrait (1999) resting at its centre.  This is a video piece of the artist repeatedly posting a slightly larger than life-sized image of himself on a wall only to have it fall again and again.  This work stems from Kim’s experience of trying repeatedly to post a Joseph Beuys poster on the wall of his studio while in residency in New York. He was struck by the similarities of this repetitive act to his process of establishing himself in a foreign environment. Exhibited along with this work, are documents from two social encounter projects. One is Paper Airplane Project (2000), a simple project where Kim ventured into Harlem and made paper airplanes in a park. This will be the first ever exhibition of the photos from this project. And the second, Picnic on the Ocean (2002), where Kim and Japanese artist Hironori Murai (Kim’s studio neighbour at PS1) engaged in a long journey of preparing and realizing a picnic in the seas between Korea and Japan.

Through his works, Kim invites us to join him on these acts of encounter, and offers us an opportunity to consider the myriad of challenges faced in plodding through inherited social perceptions and lingering historical anguish.  Along the way, he opens doors to the possibility of constant renewal.

Seung-Young Kim: Self-Portrait runs from September 19th through to October 25th, with an opening reception on September 19th from 7-9pm.

A 24-page full colour pamphlet accompanies the exhibition.

This exhibition is supported by: Arts Council Korea

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