DOOSAN Gallery New York is pleased to announce Yongju Kwon’s solo exhibition “Tying,” from September 7th
through October 5th, 2017.
Yongju Kwon has been contemplating and studying the idea of survival through observing the moving routes of
discarded objects as well as looking at the lives of blue-collar workers. In 2013, Kwon participated in an art project
hosted by Jim Thompson, a textile mill in Thailand, and was able to research the cross cultural similarities among
individuals working within specialized industries. In addition, by using his side job (one in which he needs in order to
maintain his livelihood) as the content for his artistic practice, Kwon questions the value of the labor of an artist.
Through this exhibition, the artist continues his exploration of revealing the various layers within the sentiments
This exhibition centers around Kwon’s magnum opus Tying (2014-2016) and will also comprise of Multi-Use
Wall (2014), as well as his new piece As Boring As Possible (2017). Tying consists of a video component along with a
woven silk piece and a dyed thread installation. The 28-minute video footage includes the interview audio of the
artist’s mother, who had worked at a Korean textile factory for over thirty years, and a factory worker from Jim
Thompson. Differing from the 2014 version where the work was shown in three channels, the artist takes the content
from both interviews along with the repetitive movement of the factory's machines and interchanges them within a
single channel frame.
"Whether you are dragged to live on a gravel or sand field, you would be able to lay the cornerstone, build a house,
and survive," Kwon's mother says of herself in the interview. These words that characterize someone with an iron
strong will are shown in the video, embroidered in gold on a piece of silk by a jacquard loom. The jacquard silk piece
from the video is presented in the exhibition space with the dyed thread installation that mirrors a portion of the
Multi-Use Wall (2014) contemplates Kwon's own identity as an artist as well as a worker. While the artist displays
video work that depicts his production process in the gallery, in the ending credit of the video, he reveals his
production company "buup" (which means side job or day job in Korean) and includes its contact information,
thereby breaking down the boundary between fine art and commercial advertisement.
Shown adjacent to Multi-Use Wall is As boring as Possible (2017). As Boring as Possible juxtaposes physical labor of
constructing a wall alongside the intellectual labor of an exhibition specialist. The artist shows the process of
exhibition design in a time-lapse form on a computer screen. Within this footage includes the artist's interior design
process of projects he had overseen, such as Extraordinary Phenomenon, Nam June Paik Art Center; Forum A’s
GwangJu Biennial reconstruction project; NANJI 10 YEARS: SeMA NANJI RESIDENCY Archive Exhibition, Seoul
Museum of Art; and, the CR Collective space for Project Acts.
Yongju Kwon (b.1977) received his B.F.A. in Environmental Sculpture at the University of Seoul. He has held solo
exhibitions at Art Space Pool (2016, Seoul, Korea), D Project Space (2014, Seoul, Korea), Seoul Art Space Mullae
(2011, Seoul, Korea), and Insa Art Space (2010, Seoul, Korea). He showed in group exhibitions at Indipress (2016,
Seoul, Korea), DOOSAN Gallery New York (2016, New York, United States), Gyeonggi Museum of Art (2015, Ansan,
Korea), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (2014, Gwacheon, Korea), Seoul Art Space Geumcheon
(2014, Seoul, Korea), DOOSANGallery Seoul (2014, Seoul, Korea), Gallery Factory (2013, Seoul, Korea), Culture
Station Seoul 284 (2012, Seoul, Korea), Art Space Pool (2011, Seoul Korea), Art Space Boan (2009,
Seoul, Korea), and many more.