Approved: 07.11.2011

Hyewon Kwon

Archived
Approved: 07.11.2011

My works explore the potential of using history as a lens for viewing the present. Although the past has been documented through historical media, it is through a new narrative interwoven with these events that it becomes meaningful to the present. My approach is to employ historical events, personages and realities in the construction of a new relationship between past and present evoked by my work.
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Biography

My works explore the potential of using history as a lens for viewing the present. Although the past has been documented through historical media, it is through a new narrative interwoven with these events that it becomes meaningful to the present. My approach is to employ historical events, personages and realities in the construction of a new relationship between past and present evoked by my work. Started in 2008, my series Living Archive has investigated the ways in which personal histories and places may be documented, and explored what the meaning of these histories is. The work itself covers ordinary people who left behind no official documents except sparse administrative records. Beyond these cursory records, however, are particular people who have left traces and memories of their lives and events through their personal spaces and belongings. Living Archive examines these spaces and objects, and in so doing presents ordinary people as archivists who have collected and preserved personal historical materials relating to their individual lives. In so doing, my works hope to use history to frame our own personal lives in their present context. I am currently working on the third piece of the series. Another of my ongoing projects is the series Eight Men Lived in the Room, which documents a municipal worker's boarding house that stood in Seoul, South Korea from its construction in 1961 to its demolition in 1999. My interest was particularly piqued because there are no official records of this building except a scant 45 second news clip shot in 1961. My works in this series attempts to tease out a representation of past realities otherwise excluded from “official” history, and asks what historical meanings these realities may have. Throughout my art, I consider history not as indisputable fact or fixed knowledge, but as a discursive site where meanings and events are circulated, agreed upon or contested. By illuminating the relationship between our past and present my work aims to both widen—bringing into focus otherwise overlooked events like the boarding house—and deepen—investigating “ordinary” people in greater detail—our understanding of the present situation.

CV & Education

Group exhibitions 2011 - Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2011, ICA Gallery, Site Gallery, London, Sheffield, UK 2011 - Screening 2011, The Public, The West Bromwich Arts Centre, West Midlands, UK 2008 - Drama Station, Gallery Loop, Seoul, South Korea 2006 - Single Shot, Tate Britain, London, UK Public commissions 2007 - Bittersweet, a short film commissioned by Film & Video Umbrella and the Film Council UK as part of the Single Shot project, UK Educational experience - tertiary 2006 - MFA in Fine Art Media, Slade school of Fine Art, UCL, London, UK Publications 2011 - Pryle Behrman, New Contemporaries 2011, Art Monthly, November