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Time of Text and Space of Image : Artworks of Kang Ae Ran

 





Humans remember events and behaviors by pictures and texts, and what is chosen from during the remembering process is what consist today’s history. That is why we divide human era before and after the history by checking if there was any text or not. Records not only expand memories of humans but also changes contents of human lives for its quality. Such expansion’s most representative product, text, is the superstructure that contains artistic and cultural mind within the human history until 21st century, the new media era, and it still is.

Kang Ae-ran combines light, another representative element of human civilization, into text. Light in general has been developed from fire, a materialistic existence, and fire or light both of them are basic elements for human existence. Light also symbolizes technology, and in this sense, Kang Ae-ran’s ‘digital book’ not only means an element of civilization but also it reflects conditions for human existence.

 ‘Digital book’ by Kang Ae-ran has materialistic characteristics from the fact that it is a ‘light box’ which still has a shape of a book, and through the fact that the content of her books communicate through their images, her works have digital characteristics as well. It is connected to what Kang Ae-ran is showing memory through text, and showing memory through image at the same time. Such aspects of Kang’s works can be viewed by media art perspective as following; Kang Ae-ran is conceptualizing sense-codes that contain structure of text and structure of image. But she does not use picky techniques for her works. Technological methods in her works are not major ways that communicates the artist’s artistic view points, but rather the technological methods in Kang’s works only provide keys to contents of the works. That is why the artist shows technology through text which can be shown in a prologue mood and that is an evolution of text. [1]




What Kang Ae-ran wants to show through her works is not technology but what how we, humans can live our lives happily. It is because Kang has not given up narratives of her own life and ‘digital book’ is still in analog condition of what Kang has not given up still. The artist is not emphasizing virtual aspects of new media but emphasizing analog aspects of reality of life. In this sense, media art is a time art, but in Kang Ae-ran’s works, it still is a ‘realization of space’ and ‘experience of space’ which cannot exist outside of concept of time. Meaning, in the consciousness of the artist, there are private possessions in spaces and movements in times that exist together. In other words;

Kang Ae-ran’s work can be assumed that her works start from what the artist think of technology and personal reactions to the technology, but the artist’s standards and perspectives toward media art, the new form of today’s art is proposed at the cultural cross points of private possessions (of modern era) and movements (of today).[2]

Through Kang Ae-ran’s works, we find that new vehicles of civilization do change contents of our lives, but at the center of humans’ lives, there are materialistic existences that are still moving on. Therefore, in Kang Ae-ran’s works, artistic level and human level are not issues of reconciliation or conflicts but issues at the level of philosophy or practicality.



<Note>

1.       Jung Yong-do, Sense-experimental Space and Respectful Simulation, Monthly ArtJuly, 2009

2.       Jung Yong-do, Ibid

 

Jung Yong-do, Kunstdoc Project Space Director 

 

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Posted by EYEBALL_Media Arts Webzine


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