In Spring , a rumor spread that Park Geun-hye , the first female President of South Korea and daughter of former Dictator-President Park Chung-hee, was about to pass a law banning mini skirts. The international media, by now accustomed to images of scantily skirted Korean pop stars, wondered where such conservatism had suddenly sprung from. South Korea is a country with a history of treating the body — especially the nude female body — conservatively.
Stylistic and conceptual developments have taken place since then, particularly after the turbulent s. The body, even when fully unclothed, is exposed modestly. Artist Miru Kim b. Naked City Spleen was the first of these bare-skinned series. Envisioning imaginary beings that could dwell in these spaces, I began to occupy them myself. I became an animal or a child interacting with the surroundings. As I momentarily inhabit these deserted sites, they are transformed from strange to familiar, from harsh to calm, from dangerous to ludic.
She does not just join them, but attempts to endure being among them. She disclosed in an interview with T Magazine that during the process she would be covered in urine and faeces and that the pigs would bruise her body. The other format of the series is an abstraction of the same scene. At Art Basel in Miami in a performance version of the photographs caused controversy among animal rights activists. In some ways similar to Miru Kim, Nikki S. In her immersive photography series Projects , Nikki S. Lee finds distinct groups of people and reinterprets her physical identity in order to adopt theirs.
Various Projects see Lee appropriating the identity of the hip-hop crowd, seniors, lesbians and yuppies to name a few. If one were not aware of the project, in each snapshot Lee would seem like a member of each group in which she inserts herself.
The identity question of myself requires me to look at the relationships with myself and other people. Since Projects , Lee has embarked on various other identity related artworks, many of which were presented in a ten-year retrospective, Projects, Parts, Layers , at One and J Gallery in Seoul. With these prints Lee takes a different approach to identity, layering interpretation of herself upon interpretation.
Born and raised in South Korea, the artist gained her initial professional prominence in New York. The resulting confusion about her identity led to the accidental placement of her work in the United States section of the biennale.
The first was a series of large oil paintings such as Consensus No. Boasting skin covered with a lustrous texture, these paintings are enticing, urging the viewer to become a participant. There is something incredibly freeing about the idea of being completely exposed, yet covered. In these artworks the naked body becomes a vehicle for modesty and privacy.
The exhibition organizers refer to the feeling as akin to invisibility. The second set of works are a tribute to the Surrealist artist Max Ernst. The bodies present in these works, like those described above, are disguised. Taking part in this experimentation, posed around Surrealist paintings, the naked female bodies are powdered white and in some cases even masked with a white owl headdress.
Direct representation is obscured into a dreamlike oblivion. Asia South Korea Art. Save to Wishlist. South Korean female artists, even when completely nude, conceal more than they expose. Nikki S.