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Can Man Decide the Use of Nature?: ‘The 23rd SONGEUN Art Award Exhibition’

exhibition Kim Bokyoung Feb 05, 2024

「SPACE(공간)」 2024년 2월호 (통권 675호)


Installation view of Gesture of Cultivation ©Kim Bokyoung


On Jan. 6, Yoo Hwasoo was awarded the grand prize at the 23rd SONGEUN Art Award Exhibition. His works were highly praised for their effective and independent solutions to timely topics. Yoo Hwasoo has focused on the impact of technology on human labour, the relationship between technology and disabilities, and on the social phenomena that is created when these meet. In this exhibition, an installation work was presented using trees from a residential complex that had been cut down for damaging the view. Gesture of Cultivation (2023) shows a cut tree branch performing a caring role in growing mushrooms within the cutting-edge technology of a smart farm designed by humans. In his solo exhibition ‘The Seat of Weeds’ (2021), Yoo Hwasoo also used the method of displaying useless plants in a smart farm. In doing so, he questions the human- centred thinking that is advancing the technology and standards of use, yet is insensitive to the environment. Works of 20 more finalist artists (in addition to the grand prize winner) are also displayed at the exhibition. Shin Jehyun’s multidisciplinary installation work The Sound of Water (2023), which uses objects abandoned on the island, and Park Hyung-Jin’s painting series Under the Walnut Tree (2023) which records the process of change in walnut trees planted in urban renewal areas are all projects that project contemporary concerns about ecology and the environment. Young domestic artists who made it to the finals address a variety of topics, including today’s social issues, inner emotions, and the concept of art itself. In addition, the diverse aspects of Korean art can be seen in their work, which encompass various media such as painting, sculpture, installation,