The Artsonje exhibition opened after a 7-week residency, provided by SAMUSO. Sunjung Kim, director of SAMUSO, closed the entire exhibition space during the residency, interrupting the program’s habitual rhythm. The first four weeks focused on physical alteration of existing architecture whereas the subsequent three weeks explored shifting perspectives through controlling time, sound, movement, and light by using cinematic directives [to cut, dissolve, fade, foreshorten, morph, and peekaboo].
A museum depends on its local staff’s proficiency, but this ironically conflicts with a program’s desire to question stasis. The expectation and desire of the local staff are like an undertow, that flows away, invisibly, from the coastline of exhibition history. Watermelon Sons elucidates the temporality of this undertow, cladding the very bodies and structures local to the people with the metaphor for ephemerality.
I developed the piece with the pubescent sons (and their friends) of the staff of SAMUSO, all but one of whose twenty members are women. These children are strangers implanted in a family, which often wants to educate the child uncalled by his own desire. At the center of the exhibition space was the audience, and the whole circumference of each individual’s vision was the set. The performance started at dusk, as HVAC, phones, and all lights in the space were gotten rid of. For the next hour, these sons were the carriers of light and sound for others and themselves.
1, 4, 5: rehearsal still
2, 3: performance still, 수박의 아들들(Watermelon Sons), 2014,
Artsonje, Seoul, Korea; curated by Sunjung Kim; courtesy of Artist (photo credit: Seoul Photos Studio)
방혜진, "분산과 분신의 축조술," Art in Culture, 2014년 12월, p76-79
김민관, "김성환 <늘 거울 생활> '적확한, 한정적 문맥의 교신'," ARTSCENE, 2014년 10월 1일
Han, Joo, "Life of Always a Mirror: Sung Hwan Kim," ArtAsiaPacific, web exclusive, 2014