On the Horizon
On the Horizon is a photography installation which investigates the inevitable phenomenon of polarity affirmed by the physical presence of human being on the horizon between earth and sky. By curating a deliberate installation, we have brought up a philosophical dialogue to the public about photography, spatial perception, and polarity.
In summer 2017, I got a commission with a photographer Chulma for curating a collaborative exhibition at HillCrest Park, one of the biggest natural parks in Daegu, South Korea. At the time, HillCrest Park newly opened a large venue for shopping, entertainment, cafe, wedding, etc. They assigned us a large space (approximately 4,000 Sq ft) to open a pop-up gallery for six months while I was working as a co-founder of Sumok'em Studio with artist Choong Yul Park.
We attempted to bring a site-specific exhibition by utilizing the square windows (60x60 cm) as the core installation element interacting with photography and mirrors. We took the photos of three distinctive natural sceneries of Jeju Island: the horizon, under and above the horizon. At the exhibition site, we drew a horizontal axis by using a laser level and installed the photography and mirrors accordingly resulting an intriguing perceptual phenomenon. As the audience walked around, the view through the windows (outside) and mirrors (inside) animated while photography invited a remote space, creating a visual dynamics activated by the movement of audience.
On the Horizon (written in summer of 2017)
This installation project has begun with our concerns about the space, wall, window and photography. What is the essence of photography as its functionality as an object? How can a three-dimensional space become multi-dimensional by manipulating our accustomed perspectives through the overlooked objects? What meaning can we bring forth to the audience through this installation art? We have investigated these questions during our journey to Jejudo in South Korea.
We have found our interest in the geological contrast between the city of Daegu where our exhibition is held, and Jejudo. The city of Daegu lies in a basin inland surrounded by the mountain ranges, and Jejudo is a volcanic island, dominated by Mt. Halla in the center. First night in Jejudo, we have quickly realized the vast horizon over the sea, illuminated by the lights from Hanchi (cuttlefish) fleets. Hanchi is the indigenous seafood in Jejudo which thrives mainly in summer. These lights are so bright and abundant that can even be tracked from the space. From the windows in Daegu, we can see the plenty of trees and mountains; in contrast, from the coast of Jeju Island, there are illuminating dots that draw a beautiful curve dividing the sea from the sky, the earth from the space. We have begun to contemplate the curve in the distance, and look through the viewfinder as if we see through the window from Daegu.
From a distance, we have found the intimate desire and curiosity over the horizon. Perhaps this intimate feeling has long-existed ever since the humanity had stood up and started to dream about reaching the infinite horizon. It is the boundary that splits dream and reality, and the illuminating dots exist on the horizon where the dream and reality meet. As the light photons have reached our lens from the horizon, we have sensed such the same feeling delivered to us from Hanchi fleets on the horizon. At that moment, we have realized that anywhere on spherical earth is on the horizon, the boundary between dream and reality. Our existences are the tension between the gravitational force that consistently pull us to the reality and the infinite possibilities that God has created in the universe.
We aimed to deliver this feeling to Daegu by a series of photographs which creates a narrative story of our journey to understand the meaning of our existences on the horizon. We hope that our intention and the purpose of this installation bring an opportunity that the audience can see the horizon from the coast of Jejudo, and realize that they are also standing on the horizon in Daegu although the mountains surround the city. Also, we expect that the realization leads to the extent that each person is the center of the earth and the universe where one is exposed to every possibility within his/her imagination while standing on the horizon.
Inkjet Prints Mounted with Diasec (60 x 60cm), Mirrors (60 x 60cm), Windows (60 x 60 cm), soil, mist, and moss
Collaborative Project with Photographer Chulma, Exhibited at Sumok'em Gallery (pop-up gallery hosted by HillCrest)