Hyunjoo Son Solo Exhibition: The Island is a Buoy


‘Who am I standing on the boundary of this island? Why am I standing here? What am I supposed to look at?’

The boundary of an island that the artist is gazing in awe is ‘Anmyeondo’ that is located on the West Sea, between Western Korea and China. Anmyeondo is the sixth-largest island of Korea. It is 24km long in south-north, 5.5km in east-west, and 120km along the coast.

This island has been said as a mysterious land with the spatial power collected from the ancient time. Korean history books record this island as ‘the safest shelter at the time of national crises.’ In addition to that, religious leaders slipped into this land to avoid religious persecution and formed a village. Most of all, it is ‘deep inside of the Orient’ where was hardly accessible, dodging timely disasters such as Korean War. As a ‘pilgrim with camera,’ the artist keeps tracking of the island people's cultural figments who pray for adaptation to the thoughts of isolation with rare access from outside, and nirvana (enlightenment of Buddhism) from the closed inside.

Photos follow ‘the boarder of the island,’ the inside and outside, where the island’s people would come and go numerous times from the moment when there life begins. West coast has a big fluctuation of tide. Water comes to the breakwater of the island twice a day. It goes far away to the horizontal line at low tide. The artist stepped back at high tide and forward at high one. While walking on the boarder, she felt punctum of ‘human vestige’ that exists in sticks or in styrofoam lumps at times.

Marking waterway, bamboos dance as if they were musical notes, and the sticks stuck with fishing nets gradually sink into the water. A flag forming a line along with cast net, ‘artificial stuff’ that flew into the mud filed after being disconnected with styrofoam, those are buoys. Buoy is a kind indicator and way. It is safe path. It is also a promise with oneself and social symbol. It is a warm hope leading ‘the way home.’ Under the styrofoam buoys (glass in the past) floating on the sea, oysters are hidden, which are fishermen's sustenance. It is ‘a promised door.’ However, the island is not free from environmental aspect, due to buoys. At one point, buoys flow into like moths and began to surround the island. White artificial crumbs mess up the island, which is being damaged and paying the cost. The artist have played variation of such positive and negative symbols given by the buoys, from various visual thought through the artist’s camera.

The artist’s such from the boarder, keep raising dialectic thought, constantly. Such attitude of access is never ‘abrupt one day.’ The artist's ancestors have lived in this island for hundreds of years. It is grounded on the embodied genetic base. In other words, through the buoys, the artist ultimately wanted to point the novelty as ‘primeval resident of the island’ with island-gene. The earth is an island from the space. Korean Anmyeondo is a tiny little island on the Earth, where one can hardly draw a dot. In this island, human beings, a microcosm, floated artificial buoy that is civilization at circulation point. On the way back to the nature, we just see providence at the intersection point of nature and civilization. On the corner of the way, the artist explores the relationship with him. The series will be derived to various themes to be led to the next work, while presenting creative momentum on and on.

Date: 26th June – 3rd July
Venue: Mokspace, 33 Museum Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1A 1LH

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