The Most Memorable Artist of the Year
SHIN Jaeeun's Solo Exhibition
GAIA-Part 1: Inflammation
Nominated as the Most Memorable Artist
of the Year of 2019, SHIN Jaeeun’s solo
exhibition GAIA-Part 1:
Inflammation is presented as a part of a follow-up support program for former
artists in residence of Incheon Art Platform.
At the exhibition of the artist-in-residence 2018 Platform Artist, SHIN presented a contemplative view of a city’s order and
contemporary society’s systems through the work 8m². The work was comprised of a chunk of used asphalt laid precariously upon a vulnerable platform of grease and Vaseline.
The presentation appealed to both invited experts and visitors,
granting her the title of “the Most Memorable Artist of the Year.”
Interested in the desires of man and the
created to achieve this desire, the artist creates works by capturing the
floating ironies of everyday life, recomposing them through exaggeration and
distortion. By contrasting universal experiences with the objects transformed
through unrealistic forms of exaggeration and distortion, she pursues a kind of
coexistence of ambivalent values and creates critical narratives by focusing on aspects
of specific shapes. Through this, the artist attempts to actively and
explicitly intervene in reality.
Presented in the exhibition, the series of GAIA reveals the violence and
hypocrisy generated by humans in our attempt to elevate ourselves to a
dignified existence. The title of the series was borrowed from British
scientist James Lovelock’s Gaia Theory (a concept that earth is one organism composed of the
environment and living things—a self-regulating living organism). This exhibition presents its
second iteration, following her solo exhibition last June, GAIA-Prologue (Incheon Art Platform
Window Gallery, 2018).
The exhibition’s subtitle and the title of her new series, ‘Inflammation’, indicates the social ills that express emotions or pains of others as social commodities making a spectacle out of it, as
seen in the case of “poverty porn” that
portrays people’s suffering
and disease in a sensational manner. From an attitude of people who face such an
inflammatory phenomenon, the artist captures human selfishness and
hypocrisy, comparing them to oil produced from underground deposits. The artist takes
the structure and space flow of IAP Gallery B, where the exhibition takes
place, in order to visualize how an inflamed substance from the ground is
refined and used by men.
The beginning of GAIA series was Silent
(2018) which was presented in her previous exhibition.
Contrasting the firmly piled strata of clay, asphalt and concrete, a dead pig that is buried
underneath occupies an important position. Starting with the pig that was laid
underneath the new miniature tower in the lobby, one is led to a red carpet below
(which looks like blood). Following this red carpet, the audience is directed
to the oil outlet. The buried pig turns into a black extract that spurts out
from the ornament of a fountain, shooting up from the bottom to the top, then
refined into clear oil.
Meanwhile, various color palettes on the
walls of the second floor depict a graph of varying international oil prices (WTI) for the last 10 years (also called an inflammation index). At
the end of the graph, a video depicts pigs senselessly falling into the ground behind
the exhibition, as they transform, becoming goods of the market system, and are
used like an interior finishing material. These pigs will become a form of black
inflammation again someday, shooting up as an oil fountain.
Two structures across the exhibition hall, the wall installation, and the
video of senselessly falling pigs organically connect and function as one
artwork. Through the material properties, the structuring of the
exhibition space and its space flow, the exhibition offers the audience a form
of sensuous experience.