“Onggi (as if from a firm esophageal column)” Handblown glass, LAB bacteria inoculated soil, custom mugwort scent
Bite the tongue. Between the teeth. Swallow deep. Deeper. Swallow. Again, even more. Until there would be no more organ.
- Theresa Hak Kyung Cha 차학경
DOOSAN Gallery New York is pleased to present an inaugural exhibition of DOOSAN Art LAB with two New York based artists, Jesse Chun and Tiffany Jaeyon Shin. Comprised of two labs, the exhibition binds to an interrogation of speech (enunciation, silence, erasure) and flesh (consumption, contamination, containment) to consider how systems of language and digestion are irrevocably entangled.
In lab one, Jesse Chun presents sculpture and sound installation that vestigates the bureaucratic and institutional mechanisms of language and legibility. Working with a range of found materials that render one readable as a subject—such as audio pronunciation tutorials for the world’s “common language”, English; watermarks for authenticating bureaucratic documents and certificates; and materiality of handwriting such as graphite, Chun actively mistranslates and re-authors the pre-existing devices of power, control, and meaning. Through visual, sonic, and semiotic abstractions, she considers new poetics of legibility, interiority, and the untranslatable.
In lab two, Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin transforms onggi 옹기 vases, traditional Korean earthenware dating back to 5000 BC, into an impenetrable glassy surface. Onggi draws breath from its microporous surface, critical for the function to ferment foods and allow optimal air flow. Once organic and permeable, onggi vases become vitrified into the sterile flesh and smell of Western modernity, nestled in the making of a modern surface after the Korean War. Diffused mugwort envelops the space, exploring the conceptual terrains of contamination and containment.
Title and excerpt from Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictée, 1982