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A Perspective Opened from a Small Room
Lee Kwan-hoon (Curator, Project Space Sarubia) 2017

Given that all arts should have a broad spectrum, it is not easy for a local artist to have artistic universality. It is because of the error with the South Korean art education. Hyunik Cho developed a partial function of sensation, that is, a central and typical perspective inside the fine art frame, in the framework of a subjugated and conservative learning for years. Fortunately, however, that learning method did not permeate deep inside but doubt and rebellion occurred in the artist when he was finishing his rookie years.

For 10 or so years, Jo built his mode of operation with a focus on the physical properties that he experienced while seeing and hearing the phenomena that transpired around him. Starting several years ago, he had the urge for change, and a turning point has been provided by the Advising Program of Gyeonggi Creation Center. Through the encounter with him, I have found in his creative language, thoughts, and mode of operation that he addresses the points lying outside rather than inside the boundary between the window 1 and the frame 2 of perception. From here, thinking is swept into confusion and the artist finds himself at a loss what to express how before he discovers the possibility of trying diverse perspectives from scratch.

Through such a passage, the artist will demonstrate his change at The Way of Faith(Dec. 9-23, 2018 at Space M), his solo exhibition which will be held in December. Here, the artist perceives the nascent possibility of breaking from the central idea and becoming more flexible. At the same time, he experiences the unpredictable diversification of his first photography in one setting and in consequence realizes that the illusion of images(such as picture, photo, and objet) is formed not by eyes but by thinking.

What is interesting about the exhibition is that it backs up the role of the subjective view which creates visual arts with the methodological attempt which can serve as a flexible substitute for his hardened views. Although the connection is unfinished, the linear array of black-and-white & color photos taken from freely chosen perspectives conveys the artist’s intended role. He handed a cellphone camera to his completely innocent son(age 4), and the autonomous gazes from the unconsciously responsive boy are printed out in quantities and selected and sequenced by the artist. Perhaps, he has perceived the various instinct-based phenomena that occur from the boy’s unconscious responses and wants to restore the senses to their original form in a gesture of repentance.

With its identity as photography remaining elusive, the day series is a project in which the artist floats freely in the entire space in his playful imagination that transpires in the small space in a house, which is his residence. Deliberately borrowing the son’s gaze, the project has fixed the unconscious young child as the artist’s subjective object. The countless taken photos can be conceptualized, according to the perspective of the artist’s perception, into the flow and properties of ki(‘qi’) in the invisible space and the metaphorical language, the moment they are selected and sequenced in the subtle figurative language of the artist.

While it is a small room, it is like the universe when the entire space is considered as unlimited, multifaceted phenomenon. This tying of self and space will get the artist to harbor transdimensional epistemological questions as layers of thought pile up with repetition of the project process. The topic should be exploited in a yet different experiment to push the boundary.

Since he took his first step into creative work, the artist has constantly striven to adjust to social relations. Even in the relationship between creation and criticism, the artist’s desire impinges on the divisive desire to engender a future that differs from the present. If the repeat signs of selfcriticism and self-consciousness can serve as prescriptions that can subdue excessive desires for languages deconstructed by push the boundary of thinking and experiencing, that would be tantamount to having some other artistic aura in naturalness.


* An essay written as part of the Advising Program of Gyeonggi Creation Center.


1. The window is a perception channel whichdiffers from the frame. As the border between inside and outside, it serves to convert our memory not to oblivion, but to the archetypal memory deep in the fetus.

2. The frame here should be interpreted as getting beyond the picture frame and establishing the boundary between inside and outside from a cognitive/psychological perspective.

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