Sisyphus' Journal: Art as Everyday Record

March 14 - April 13, 2007

Gallery Korea of the Korean Cultural Service NY
Opening Reception: March 14, 2007, 6 - 8pm


Gallery Korea of the Korean Cultural Service NY is pleased to present *Sisyphus' Journal: Art as Everyday Record running from March 14 through April 13, 2007. This exhibit features seven international artists, John Dooley, Steven Gwon, Regin Igloria, Songyi Kim, Aiko Miyanaga, Yunsook Park and Hannah Walsh. The opening reception will be held at the gallery located on 460 Park Avenue, 6th Floor, NYC, on Wednesday, March 14 between 6-8pm. 

"What would artists create that draws on their daily routine and how do they render the notion of time passing?" Asks Songyi Kim, the artist who curated this show, as she explores the above idea through her work, as she invites her inspirational fellow artists, whose vocabulary of work, she found, has something in common with her own. She came across their work through the exhibitions and residencies she was involved in. 

Engaged in a conceptual, process-oriented and long-term manner, all seven artists take up their time based activities of record to apprehend individual concerns such as systems, information and facts; personal identity; everyday objects; memory and loss; and mass culture. Paying particular attention to the passage of time (each single day of several years, or a certain period of time, or specific dates), the artists accumulate, document, and/or organize the ephemeral moments of everyday life. The process appears to be painstaking, obsessive, labor-intensive and yet contemplative and speculative. As in the nuance of the exhibition title, the body of work in this exhibit resonate an existential tendency: the compulsive notion of repeated and endless task and challenge along with their own daily indulgences and struggles; reflection on the relation between endurance and ephemerality in the fleeting quality of time. 

Gathering information and facts from the newspaper, John Dooley and Steve Gwon register a lapse in time in their systematic creation. Fascinated by the systemic form and formula of map, John Dooley created an animated film "Five Years of the Weather Page". This 4-minute-long animation consists of nearly 1,800 weather pages collected from The New York Times during the years 2000 through 2004. Seemingly like secret codes of time passing to decipher, Steve Gwon's "Year" is a mathematical and meditative series of a-year-long drawings that incorporate 10 digit numbers (indicating each date, and its sunrise and sunset time) from The New York Times in the color progression of the spectrum. 

Exposing private aspects of life, Regin Igloria, Songyi Kim and Hannah Walsh collect and rearrange personal information and habits on a daily basis as a way of attesting their own lives. A seemingly generic office-supply-like "Emails, 2004" and "Receipts, 2004" by Regin Igloria are bounded books recording all the actual contents of his email correspondence and receipts collected over a period of one year. "Untitled Sketchbook 1,2", composed of handwritten phrases excerpted from his journal entries kept since his childhood, evokes lyrical resonance. This practice metamorphoses private information into public. Songyi Kim has reexamined the issue of identity on her ongoing self-portrait videos using low-tech and ephemeral feature. A-year-long accumulation of her Post-It memos, "The Self-Portrait: Post-It Notes" is not only a desperate hunt for meanings of self but also a result from her anxiety and obsession over keeping track of time and memory. Hannah Walsh makes a counterintuitive paradox of amassing through consuming everyday items. With a Zen-like and low-key approach, she collected stains from her used cigarette butts, each hand-pressed on a roll of paper at the end of each day as a record of personal habit. 

Aiko Miyanaga indulges in the idea that memory would take up the absence of time as the moments and beings disappear through the passage of time. Her anti-object ephemeral sculpture, "Tales Dedicated to the Dark" is a series of keys, cast in Naphthalene (mothball) on a daily basis. Vaporized in different ways and at various speeds, each key evokes elusive meanings of each day. 

Distant from the others in the show, Yunsook Park applies the idea of regular-basis art making to advocate her artistic statement; questioning the validation of art and art as a commodity. Drawn from the mass culture, she produces self-expiring and self-mocking monthly paintings, titled "BEST IF", where each piece is straight-forwardly inscribed "BEST IF USED BY" plus the last date of each month when the individual painting is executed. 

*Sisyphus: "a figure from Greek mythology who was condemned to forever repeat the same meaningless task of pushing a rock up a mountain, only to see it roll down again" 

Gallery hours are 10am-5pm from Monday through Friday (appointment only for 5-7pm Monday through Friday, and 10am-4pm on Saturday). 
For more information, contact Yu Jin Hwang, curator of Gallery Korea, Korean Cultural Service NY at 212-759-9550 or nyarts@koreanculture.org

Miro Yoon