In & Out, Breathe or Pull?

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on July 10, 2010

Obviously both.

Kyoung Eun Kang’s performance at Arario Gallery last night was entrancing. How is it that the personality filled individual I saw toting around with simple black frames transform into a metamorphosing artist? Or could it be that they are one and the same at all times and her identity is something in constant motion?

I could only form my own conjectures because the audience and myself were left with no words from the artist, only the thought provoking and impressionable performance she laid before us. Upon reflection after the regurgitation of water upon sickly sweet cotton candy, my impression was of self-consumption and the constant transformation of her own identity, something which cannot be labeled or held stable.

Still, I could not help my curiosity and just HAD to ask her a few questions:

In your artist’s statement, your performances reflect the shifting state of your identity. Does the act of consuming and pulling out “cotton candy” from your stomach connect your shifting identity to your surrounding environment? (in relation to distributing “pieces of yourself” onto white papers)

  • [KEK] I can say it is belly button rather than stomach. For me, belly button means a string which connects others and myself or generation to generation. I explore the body as transformative space as I traverse my inside and outside through the act of consuming, pulling out, swallowing, or scattering materials (cotton candy and plastic bag). At some point, materials and I assimilate each other. Specially, as I distribute the cotton candy onto the white paper and floor, I closely examine both the identity of myself and the material.

From the acts of drawing on the plastic bag and swallowing the bag, you are actively representing your identity, changing and denying any sort of former establishment. Do these performances represent your identity as an individual and artist, going to and from, combining and constantly changing?

  • [KEK] As I trace my face onto the plastic bag wearing it, I present dual identity. It is weird moment. I feel the portrait is not myself but still belongs to me. I address the idea of fluid identity. For me the word “identity” is flexible and adoptable than rigid and fixed. Through my performance I represent elastic identity through my body.

I noticed there was no lecture or speech to accompany your pieces. Is it your intention that the audience walk away with their own impressions and thoughts? If their own opinions did not reflect your ideas of the performances, would this bother you or do you enjoy people forming their own ideas from your work?

  • [KEK] My performance is open ended. I use my performance as language. After performance, an audience [member] told me that she felt complex emotions of life (love, hate, struggle, nurture, fear). She added it was interesting to see how I combine the element of humor with essential and serious issue of identity.

Above everything else, what is it that you want people to walk away with from your work?

  • [KEK] My performance is not a lecture or book which has an answer. My performance is unpredictable and complex. Sometimes it is nonsense. I hope one day my audience reminds of my performance at a certain situation.

I can honestly say this was an interesting evening and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet with and speak to the artist Kyoung Eun Kang. Her performance is the first of its kind I have witnessed thus far, and I enjoyed it fully.

Arario Gallery hopes you can pay us a visit and take a look at her other performance piece, Happy Birthday, which reflects similar themes from her live performance Thursday night. The exhibition, Irrelevant, runs through August 6th.

For those who made it out...

THANKS, & hope you enjoyed!


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