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Hamin Yun - If 6 was 9 : Witness of Landscapes

27 July 2017 - 30 Aug 2017

Venue: Songeun Art Cube

Hamin Yun is interested in the communal relationship between coexisting individuals and a community that mutually influences each other. Having been influenced by his parents who established and have been running a community group that advocates for the self-rehabilitation of the homeless, Yun is an activist for the poor. Under an unwavering belief that “we are different but one,” Yun illuminates the meaning of communities living and making connections with others, through the symbolic landscapes he finds in Seoul.

In his solo exhibition Whoever may hunt (2012), Yun becomes inspired by the narration “Regardless of who makes the kill, they eat together” he hears in an animal documentary and begins to explore various human situations alluding to the group structure of animals. Under the pretense of being in a hunt himself, the artist collects and makes copies of beautiful images he found in his surroundings, so that he may distribute them to the audience as a way of sharing, communicating, and thus jointly owning his personal take on beauty. His attempt to share and build communal bonds through the act of distribution is well illustrated in the piece National Treasure (2012), in which he takes images of one-of-a-kind cultural national treasures that are considered public properties, and copies them on to silk screens so that they may be received by many. Yun’s continued interest in the idea copying carries on to his second solo exhibition I'll be your mirror (2013), this time supposing Seoul, his city of residence, as being the mirror for all, and capturing a variety of phenomena happening around the city. In Seoul Seoul Seoul (2012), he takes a phrase from an ad leaflet found in Seoul and displays it with a sound recording of a foreigner reading a phrase written on the wall in International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), as a way of demonstrating the gap between two languages through words that sound similar but hold different meanings. It’s a metaphorical expression of the artist’s notion of how languages, that can sound the same but bear different intentions, can act as a mirror of others to help us learn from them and establish a sense of common understanding.

The inspiration for this exhibition If 6 was 9: Witness of Landscapes comes from the National Geographic Wild’s documentary Destination Wild: Elephant Queen. As if seen through the eyes of a once Africa-strolling elephant just arriving in Seoul, the city as we know it is reproduced in three categories based on the basic components of a story: characters (animals), plot or event (the Olympics), and setting (landscapes) by using various mediums of photograph, video, and installation. On display, Yun shows us long video recordings of resident zoo animals of Seoul Grand Park in Animal of Seoul (2017), neon-signs symbolizing the representational versions of the participating athletes of the Olympics in Olympic Games of Seoul (2017), and flower patterned designed tiles found around Seoul in Flower of Seoul (2017). Though the exact location of the animals and flowers are unclear and the various Olympic hosting venues are ambiguous, the artist relays to us his interest in things that have different names and looks, but are linked with common denominators. As if intentionally, he calls all things he has experienced and have come across as being “something of Seoul”, and shows us how each of them live on regardless of its place of origin, to come together as “one” and to understand each other through their efforts of building their respective landscapes and adjusting to their surroundings, all independent of how they look or from where they come. Hamin Yun as such continues his explorations about the relationship between community and human beings, and aims to tell us in this exhibition that whether we are human beings or animals, we as distinct entities can live in confidence and trust as one community, so that we may believe 6 to be 9, to all to be able to call ourselves “us” and witness the potential strength of sharing.

Haeni Park / Laurence Geoffrey’s, Ltd.

“What I hope to achieve through this exhibition is to show the sense of connection and strength of a community we can believe as being ‘us,’ regardless of where we come from or who we are. It doesn’t really matter who or what is part of the story, or whether it takes place in Africa or Seoul. We each are invested in building our own picture at our own respective locations. It doesn’t matter if 6 really is 9 or not. We simply have to believe that 6 is 9, and we are who we are.

- From the Artist’s Statement



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