Kunsthalle Platoon, Seoul, Bindi Statues Installation View, 120m x 5.7m, Pigment Print on Canvas, Work by Han Sungpil

Kunsthalle Platoon, Seoul REBOOTH, Insallation, 2013, Size Variable ⓒ Han Sungpil


Venue : Platoon Kunsthalle, Seoul (http://www.kunsthalle.com/seoul)

Period : Period : 10th Sep ~ 30th Sep 2013


‘THE ZIZEK/BADIOU EVENT OF PHILOSOPHY’ is the event with 12 world class philosophers including

SLAVOJ ZIZEK, ALAIN BADIU and WANG HUI discussing about the world’s most urgent contemporary social problems.

Han Sungpil’s new works (Photography, Video, Installation) are released for the special exhibition of


Artist Statement

Inside iconography, narration, and symbolism of history and ideology, ‘Irony’ is found from ‘the collective conscious’ and the changes in time and space. This irony is documented in photography and video and the process of that documentation is being showed. This work process could have characteristics of archaeology in a way. At this event, due to environmental and time factor, changing destiny of the statues and the spaces once had been ideological symbol is depicted through my video work on ‘Amor Fati and The Silence’ and Lee, Seung-bok with photography of ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ and ‘DMZ.’ The power and ideology of these monumental statues or the places of principals are hidden behind the solid and realistic images. In the form of expose and accusation of mythical fabrication, it is dispassionately traced how those symbolic images are clothed with such meanings according to time and circumstances and it is connoted how our eyes are tamed by authority and media.


The statue of Marx and Engels used to be located in Berlin Square stand for respect and worship of East Germany. Like the phrase on the Marx saying ‘Workers of All Lands Unite!,’ the workers dug up the statue and measured for subway construction. The measurement on the statue’s middle of forehead somewhat seems as Bindi of Indians, and as the statue is migrated by the crane, the ruined king losing popularity and bearing insult is portrayed at the same time. The recreated statues of Berlin’s Marx and Engels are distant from ideological symbols of ‘East’ and ‘West.’ As if they face ‘white out’ situation lost in zero gravity, it testifies our life in uncertainty.

Korea’s representative icon of anti-communism known for his phrase ‘I hate communist party,’ the statue of Lee, Seung-bok, became the photo point for younger generation and rather than the place of ideological education. So these typical symbolic statues of ideology, once stood up for communism and liberal democracy welcoming anti-communism, lost their signification and even caricatured. Through photography and video work, changed destiny of the statues of Marx and Engels, once been symbols of communism during Cold War, and the statue and memorial hall of Lee, Seung-bok, symbol of anti-communist, due to regional and time factors.

Assuming unified Germany reflects future of North and South Korea, we can find the answer at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. Like DMZ which symbolized North and South Korea in the past, Checkpoint Charlie once represented the Cold War. After unification of Germany, Charlie, now in an old military uniform as if playing costume party, serves souvenir photo holding American and Russian flags on each hand. However, the huge statue of East German soldier still remains and it shows loss of ideological meaning through time and environment.

For us living in the divided nation, the familiar image reminding of division is the dramatic scene from the movie ‘JSA’ in Namyangju location set. The photo wall mimicking the actual movie scene, where visitors can stand behind and experience becoming the heroines momentarily, creates another strangeness by reproducing another the movie set that is a reproduced model of actual DMZ.

The life-sized photo wall of the soldiers of North and South, the reproduction of the movie scene, is going to be reproduced once more at the exhibition hall in form of viewer-interactive installations and performance and visitors can take photos at this fictional reproduced DMZ.


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