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Gentle Journey_Inkjet Print_64x43cm_2009

Bo-yun Jang brings up others' past memories through abandoned objects such as abandoned houses, garments, a spoon, chopsticks, or a medicine case. For her, it is an attempt to recollect the reminiscences of the empty space and people who had once owned those materials. She carefully confronts such places and objects, and builds up imaginations of different experiences that people had with their possessions. The process consequently leads her to draw out the memories that had been forgotten for awhile by the owners of the past, and associate them with her own personal experiences.


Although our present time stands on the ground of the past, no one would be able to remember a specific moment in our life perfectly. Even the memories we take for granted may be creations of our mind: we unconsciously add and remove certain elements in order to keep on the life in the present. A complete memory cannot exist in our time we live now, and even subjects of it become more blurry and vague as time goes by. This oblivion led Jang to search for the forgotten. Midst of ordinary days without many opportunities to look back what we have done, she began her works from the moment when she accidently discovered an empty house around a construction place – where a new space would fill up soon.

Gentle Journey_Inkjet Print_64x43cm_2009

Brainfactory_ Memory as a Location_ 2009

Fax from K _7th July_2009


<The Preface of Memories: K's Slides> began when Jang found a deserted bundle of 35mm slide films in soil near her house in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do on a day of November, 2008. The films consisted of 400 slides made by a man named K who was in his forties when he took the pictures, and each slides were marked with specific places and dates ranging from 1968 to 1979: they were documents of K's excursion to Japan which shows the places and people K had encountered during his trip. In the pictures that K left, Jang was able to see the past of a man she had not even met before. She formed a kind of sympathy with him through his pictures. Following his footsteps, she tried to build up silent stories that might be hidden in between each slides, and formed a kind of sympathy between them. By rewriting his travel diary with her own words Jang began her work to fill up the memories that K had lost.

While scanning and restoring the images she had found, Jang intentionally eliminated the protagonist K and the others to leave only background of the picture. Since the films were corroded and damaged by molds from the beginning, it was impossible to identify the complete image. The only means she could use to continue the work was the notes that K had left on each film which allowed Jang to focus on the places K had been and the times he had existed. The removal of people in the pictures resulted in revelation of calm suburban images. Backgrounds without original characters at first seem somewhat crude, yet they come into our sight in a very much neutral way. They are now changed into a new abstract space which cannot be explained with a few indications of dates and places.


An intangible gap exists between Jang and K because of the different era and space they live in. Jang's works reveal her constant effort to reduce the gap between them and create their emotional empathy with vivid and sensuous expressions. As the spaces K had experienced are visually transformed by Jang's intervention, the layers of K's sentiments are reconstructed in the artist's hand and revive with her sensibility.


            " Many people come and go around the upper and lower stream of river Shinano. A lot of them make their living on the north and south of it. Today, I met an old man quietly rowing along Shinano with an oar twice as big as him. His wrinkles resemble my father pretty much. I saw an old woman selling vegetables on the upper stream, and a happy lady who seems to be in love – she has the face of a woman I knew from my hometown who, at last, killed herself because of her love. And as I walk with you, I'm engraving the glitter of a child's eye I saw here inside your face. […] I will continue to give a mask of people I already know to people I newly meet, in order to remember them and take the olds to my heart. I, again, engrave my father inside the wrinkles of the old rowing man and those of my father, and unceasingly flickering eyes.

On Shinano, July 5 th , 1968"

K's Room_Mixed Media_ Flexible Size_ 2009

Every Night_ Mixed Media_ Flexible Size_ 2009

Jang received a fax titled <The Preface of Memories 1 (Dead Ones)> in a rather blurry way. The words were partially erased and black ink was spread on the paper. Yet the essay shows the delineation of particular and humanistic feelings which K experienced on Shinano river. The faded document appears as an actual existence in fiction's clothing as if it has barely reached the artist after 40 years of a long period. The fax, postcard or letters that K sent Jang fill up the discord of time space which the slides could not convey wholly, and delicately replenish the inconsequent fragments of visual images.


The artist's works represent the process of forming one's memory through the other's: the experiences and memories of the other, K, play as a cue in bringing out Jang's experiences and memories. They search for a point of contact between them while not knowing each other. Just as images or existences of people themselves in a memory do not fade away even though we forget the moment, the memories reveal their existences when we stare at the sceneries of a river, trees, and sun shown in those abandoned pictures.

The process in which Jang works is not just drawing out one's hidden memory but waking our individual memories, as if sentiments and colors of the time revive when restoring an old masterpiece by a restorer's delicate touch. Although the bundle of films may have meant only wastes that should be thrown away, through Jang's fine works, the pieces of K's memories are born again by going through the destruction, creation, and construction that the artist intended. Her works now invite us to K's journey so that all can share his past experiences.

  You-jung Sohn (Interalia Art Company art director)




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Jang, Bo-yun
www.jangboyun.com
contact: bluelood35@gmail.com


Education

2009 Completed Fine Art Graduate Certificate Program, Seoul National University , Seoul , South Korea 2007 B.F.A in Painting, Graphic design (vice specializing),
       Seoul Women's University, Seoul , South Korea 


Solo Exhibition

2009 <Preface of Memory : K's Slides>, Brain Factory, Seoul , Korea
2009 <Un-Vanished Memory> Woo-Seok Hall, College of Fine Art , Seoul National University , Seoul , Korea 

Group Exhibition

2009 <Real and Unreal>, Gallery Lux, Seoul , Korea
      
<Look at Them in the Same Way> Sem-Pio Space, I-Cheon, Kyoung-gi do, Korea
       <Lightless Light> Gallery IMART, Seoul , Korea

Posted by EYEBALL_Media Arts Webzine


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