Week 4 of Study Abroad
at Chelsea College of Arts(22-28 Oct)
The Birth: Celebration in Art
Presented by SITE of the School of Art Institute of Chicago, “The Birth: Celebration in Art” brings together a peculiar process of creating artwork by Hosu Lee, an emerging artist who is currently a senior BFA student at SAIC. The works on view comprise Hosu’s documentation of the evolving idea as the visual evidence, not limit by a certain medium. He explores the important notion of the degree of autonomy in his artworks that forms subjectivity throughout the process. Like the stages of childbirth, where the infant’s subjectivity is gradually emergent, Hosu’s idea as an objective entity consistently gains the autonomy to operate its own dialogue that contributes to its form and shape. In his exhibition, the idea eventually becomes a complex “singular entity” (Art and Language, 2005). The birth of an idea through the artist is the celebration in art when the idea becomes physically independent from the maternal provision that is able to tell us about itself. Hosu’s artwork reflects the love of motherhood for his idea, while the artworks themselves arbitrarily communicate with the audience.
The space of the exhibition emphasizes the notion of “potential space” (Sofia, 2000) on the horizon of imagination and memory where Hosu employs himself as an artist. The works on view blend visuals and sound into a form of stereoscopic conscious where the past combines with the present, and future becomes evident. Hosu’s practice begins from his obsession with the extensive documentation of the process of his idea, the invisible presence in timeless realm where there is no boundary between physical objects. It desires to be contained and nurtured by the mediator in the present. The containment of idea is a spatial form of action, where “holding and supplying are understood as the result of maternal labors, actions requiring effort and care” (Sofia). In this space— the work space for Hosu, the flux of evolving idea becomes apparent through his writings, sketches, photographs, painting, and sculptures. Each stage of artworks remarks a significance in its own dialogue.
The process of the birth, in more ritual sense, is visualized through the trinity existed in this space: idea, mediator, and the child. Idea prevails the space through the dynamics of trinity. The artwork is a child of the mediator and idea, that has been realized as a visual form to create a dialogue between itself and the viewer. Art is the ultimate celebration of the work of the trinity. It is the magic that happens in one’s identity— a revelation through the dialogues between three independent but consubstantial elements of the trinity. Art is the sublime impression by the birth of an idea, the unforgettable events that Hosu has gone through by documenting. The birth of an idea becomes truly original by the unique intersubjectivity between artist and his idea. The independent entity continuously expands its own subjectivity in the dialogue with the world. Hosu is the mediator who gives the birth to an idea to celebrate the presence of art— the mother of all discipline. Indescribable love of motherhood for his idea is the soul of the genius.
Art & Language, 2001 'Roma Reason: Niklas Luhman's Art as a Social System' at NOWTHEYARESURROUNDED/sevenmain.html [accessed May 2006]
Sofia, Zoë. “Container Technology.” Hypatia, Going Australian: Reconfiguring Feminism and Philosophy (Spring, 2000), vol. 15, ser. 2, pp. 181–201. 2.
1 In the beginning, I was formless, forgotten, and empty;
2 In the beginning, I was invisible, inaudible, and insensible;
3 Thus, I was not existed;
4 Yet, I was there forever;
5 In the beginning, He was an object, infant, and child;
6 In the beginning, He was selfless, forgotten, and empty;
7 Thus, we were not existed;
8 Yet, we were there together;
9 In the beginning, It was timeless, boundless, and infinite;
10 In the beginning, It was formless, selfless, and empty;
11 Thus, it was not existed;
12 Yet, we were there altogether;
13 In the beginning, We were one, everything, and nothing;
14 In the beginning, We were three, connected, and separated;
15 Yet, we were not discovered;
16 , we were not visible;
17 , we were not audible;
18 , we were not sensible;
19 Thus, We were there altogether;
1. The Flashback, 2018
This is the complete documentation of the process of Pendulum Project becoming Time Machine in 2018. The process of the Pendulum Project remarks the unforgettable time for me. I am currently working on the publication of artist book about all my works similar to this format, which will be shown at the exhibition.
2. Time Machine, 2018
1.0 Hp Air compressor, Air Hose, Pneumatic Solenoid, Bearings, 44mmGlassLens, 200mmConvexLens,DoorViewer,ThreadedShaft,MetalSquare Tube, Green Pressure Treated Lumber, Caster Wheels, Floor Locks, Swing Bracket, Rockite, Aluminum and 12G,14G Metal Sheet Hot, Arduino, Speakers, Contact Transducers, Contact Microphones, Amps, Audio Amplifier, 100W LED,
44mm 60 degree Reflector, Heat Sink, Fan, Photocells, Ultrasonic Micro-controllers, Voltage Regulator, 9V Batteries, Red Cedar.
7'x 5'x6.5’h, 3.5'x1.5'x3.25'h
Time Machine is the most autonomous artwork using complex technological reaction and response to arbitrarily communicate with the viewer. While the form is simple and minimal at best, the Time Machine uses various sensors and logics to express itself as a living creature that imitates us. The combination of “Mechanical Heart” and “Pendulum”, together creates a sensational symphony of sound and motion that remarks the birth, life, and death.
The symphony of Time Machine takes three minutes and 30 seconds, then rests for about another 15 minutes until the pendulum fully stops. The whole performance takes about 20 minutes before the next one if the viewer is near. Time Machine was completed early 2018, and exhibited at the exhibition Algomotion, curated by ATS Department.
3. The Mechanical Heart, 2018
Speakers, Contact Transducers, Contact Microphones, Amps, Audio Amplifier, 100W LED, 44mm 60 degree Reflector, Heat Sink, Fan, Photocells, Ultrasonic Range Finder, Micro- controllers, Voltage Regulator, 9V Batteries, Power Relay, Red Cedar and 14G Metal Sheet.
Mechanical Heart is the activator of the Time Machine that initiates the breathing of pendulum. It automatically operates by detecting the distance of the viewer from itself. When the viewer is closed, the Mechanical Heart projects the light to the pendulum which instantly gives life, the motion, to the pendulum, and Heart starts to beat along with the mechanical sound of breathing.
Considering our school where the Pendulum and Mechanical Heart were born and every aspect of SITE gallery at Sharp, high ceiling, hardwood floor, sufficient light setup plus natural light, and large window panes for the view from outside, I can find no other space to best present this artwork at this point.
4. The Clock, 2018
32” LED TV
When both Pendulum and Heart were completed as an independent entity, they started to communicate with each other by their senses and media, to create a collaborative performance. I was a conductor who needed to tune every element of sound: number/timing of air blasts (sufficient/consistent to make motion), air compressor (the pressure of air and duration of compressing/decompressing), a pair of contact transducers inside Mechanical Heart playing recorded/edited wave sound (Bass amplified, echo, fade in/out) and a pair of two contact microphones and speakers inside Mechanical Heart (re-amplifying the high frequency of wave sound in real time). I wrote my own programs on three Arduinos, which controls pneumatic solenoid, power relays, photo sensors, ultrasonic range finder and 100W LED, based on these videos of the experiment to find the position of pendulum in time.
Details in Flashback (2018):
5. Pendulum Project, 2017
Shell/Birth of Time, 21 Seconds (Loop)
When Time Was Not So Strange, 58 Seconds (Loop)
Two 28" LED TVs
The pendulum project began in Fall 2017 with my curiosity about time and clock. Our conscious in time— the present— is the greatest achievement of humanity that gives birth to clock, the genuine artwork. The development of form of the clock indicates the evolution of our conscious about time. I deeply wondered how Albert Einstein would experience time, whose imagination breaks the distinction of past, present, and future. He believed that every time frame is existed in the block universe where our conscious makes “persistent illusion” of the passage of time. I explored back to prehistory when there was no written record, and imagined how would people purely experience the mystery of time. My forgotten memory in childhood as a universal experience of humanity became the core element to imagine time without sense of passage, where the notion of presence is self-evident by intuition.
6. Diary of Us, 2017
Apple Pencil on IPad
1. Dreaming the Future (Sept) 2. Man of Clock (Sept)
3. Mechanical Heart (Sept)
4. Will It Move (Oct)
5. Spiritual Compound (Oct)
6. Gravity Machine (Nov)
7. The Observer (Nov)
8. When Time Was Not So Strange (Dec)
This is a series of records of my dialogue with the idea. These drawings have opened up the communicative events in pursuit of indeterminacy over clarity to reveal the idea into the images of future. I have found the idea in timeless chaos, and negotiated with three-dimensional reality to give form to it.
7. Diary of Pendulum Project, 2017-2018
Pencil on Paper
3 Artist Books
31 pages of selected notes and drawings will be printed to display on the wall of Flashback. These documentation remarks the important evidence of the development of the idea, which includes drawings, research, insights, plans, budgets, dimensions and techniques. I consider this practice as the fundamental process of making the most precious object.
8. What Remains After, 2016
Walking Barefoot (left), 47 Seconds (loop) Re-Cycle (right), 1 Second (loop)
32” LED TV
This series of “What remains After” explores the questions in the significance of mortal form and composition. Enigmatic and oracular, the works emphasize the notion of eternity by drawing the ephemerality of what is seen. We are living such a short period of time but feeling eternity of every second. It is strange that we are able to imagine what is invisible.
1. Everything/Nothing (2016), 15”x10”, Inkjet
2. Out of Frame (2016), 79” x 32”, Inkjet
3. Momento Mori (2016), 15” x 10”, Inkjet
In material sense, this sculpture lived for about 3 hours, then disappeared. It is such an insignificant amount of time in the universe, like our lives. What is the purpose of being conscious in the present for this short? What is remained after our presence?
The last photo shows the revived sculpture as a monument, however, it only looks dead, void, and meaningless because the revival of materials is only a celebration of momento mori.
9. On The Horizon, 2017
1. The Moon, 23.6” x 23.6”, Inkjet print mounted on diasec
2. The Cloud, 23.6” x 23.6”, Inkjet print mounted on diasec
3. The Horizon, 23.6” x 23.6”, Inkjet print mounted on diasec
Collaborated with Chulma
I had my first photography exhibition, “On the Horizon” collaborated with my friend in Korea last summer. These three selected photographs sum up the concept of site-specific installation at the exhibition. Horizon was the conceptual mechanism of thinking process I discovered from the previous project, The Cave, which became mature through this project, which later helped to differentiate the present from the past and future in terms of finite and infinite, order and chaos, Apollo and Dionysus.
10. The Cave, 2017
1. Synthesized (2017) 15” x 11” Inkjet
2. The Prisoner (2017) 8” x 4” Inkjet
3. Out of Cave (2017) 15” x 10” Inkjet
4. Synthetic Order (2017) 15” x 9” Inkjet
5. Uncanny (2017) 2m 32s
32” LED TV
6.7. The Illusions (2017) 15” x 11”
The Cave is the documentation of the significant event that remarks the second transition in my identity in Spring 2017. Inspired by Plato’s cave, I have created a structure that imitates my cave of the constant dilemma at that time— Christianity and science. The practice of objectifying the dilemma of ideologies was a ritual act of escaping from the cave which magically worked.
All documentation of process can be found:
11. Synthesis, 2017
32” LED TV
Synthesis is the video documentation of the final stage of The Cave before it completely disappeared. The event has become a short clip of fleeting and impalpable memory like waking dreams. Out of the cave, I was searching for the truth in the wilderness that would settle my chaotic feeling of homeless. The new perspective of seeing the world— political, religious, and natural phenomena— destroyed my old cave to exile myself forever.
12. Third Baptism, 2018
Shot by Chulma
12" x 19"
I have been apart from my home roughly for 14 years since the middle school. My national identity was almost forgotten until this summer when I discovered the beauty of my nationality with an immense sensation.
13. The Mother, 2018
The Earth, 2018
20" x 13"
I discovered myself the mother on earth who gives the birth to idea for celebrating art.
15. Leaving You For Awhile, 2018
I was leaving my time machine for a while to study abroad in London. It was taken at the Algomotion Exhibition, before I deconstructed and sent to the storage. It had been in my apartment for five months, living together, talking each other, and completed our dialogue. My love for this artwork is huge.
14. Creator, 2017
8" x 14"
This photo was taken when the pendulum was born. The last four months were very intense period of time for me, but the result was beautiful.
16. Our Hope, 2018
통일, 2m 31s (left)
One Territory, 11m 56s (right)
We still suffer from the sense of the exile from each other, having the tension of demilitarized zone between us. The fading memory of one country becomes a fantasy in my generation, which is now sublimed into a collective hope for reunification “통일” of Korea.
This diptych of videos will be on view during night on each of the middle window panes at Sharp, projected onto Hanji which is Korean traditional paper (semi-translucent), the longest lasting paper ever invented in history. I am delivering the beauty of Korea with our hope for the reunification (통일). The contact transducers will be attached to the windows for the sound to be heard from outside— the same technique I used for The Activator.
Find more historical backgrounds:
17. TAKELSD, 2018
Red Cedar, Metal Sheet 14G, Resin, and Chain
35" (L) x 24" (H) x 3.5" (W)
How can one become completely selfless and boundless to the world? The answer is the key for understanding the nature of our intuition which can lead to a higher state of mind. The boundary between illusion and reality affirms an order in the sense of present. Gravity of history forces you to see what is real, while the atmosphere of imagination creates what you believe. Can one be completely free from the boundary and still maintaining the stable conscious? The state of selfless can be terrifying, painful, and even sad, as it is an aggressive act of forgetting your home. But it might be the beginning of the appreciation for everything that decides who you are, and realizing that the illusions are also solid as the past reality. The present is truly a precious fragment of the physical freedom apart from the chaos.
All process and material can be found:
18. Home, 2017-2018
1. My Window (2018) 6”x 3.5”, inkjet
2. Pimlico (2018), 25”x 25”, inkjet
3. Going Home I (2018), 1m 05s (Loop), 28” TV
4. Going Home II (2018), 27s (Loop), 28” TV
5. Home in Dream (2017), 25”x 20”, Oil Pastel on Paper
This work was curated in September 2018. Home is the space where I always feel longing. Making artwork about home is to take possession of this space as an object to make home a real home in my mind.
Please visit for more detail:
I have two lovely dogs at home, Homie and Ryan. I feel very connected with them when I am home. This painting depicts dream of Homie (on the right).
19. TOYS, 2018
Six Pipes (2018)
Powder coated pipe fittings
Old House (2017)
Soil and wood
Inseparable Identity (2018)
Powder coated a pair of locks
This series of powder coated object was to challenge painting that takes for granted the use of canvas and painting, without asking questions of materials. I was selling these objects in the context of painting at Art Sale in Spring 2018 at the average price for painting which was considered as very expensive for the pipes. None of the objects was sold at Art Sale.
20. Memory as Physical Object, 2016-2017
1. Asteroids of Memory (2016)
15” x 10”, Inkjet
2. Birthday Night (2017)
15” x 10”, Inkjet
3. Flashback (2016)
23 Seconds (loop) 40” LED TV
Is our memory eternally stored in the universe? Can I capture the fleeting light containing my memory? How does it then affirm itself a physical form? How do you respond to the spark of reminiscence— the moment of time where past collides with the present? What is the significance of birthday which only exists in other’s memory?
21. Accumulation of History, 2016
1. The Artworks (2015) 18” x 12”
Pencil on Paper
2. The Pagoda (2016) 8” x 12”
Human can sacrifice life for what he/she believes in. Accumulation of the sacrifices is the present I live in. The birth of an idea is a remarkable event in history that gives a new identity to humanity.
22. Past Diaries, 2012-2015
Archive of Thirteen Books
Pencil on Paper
Before I decided to go to the art school, writing was the only practice that could engage myself into a dialogue with idea. This archive contains important documentation about my transition into a devout Christian. I have written a lot about God, and created many dialogues through frequent prayer and writing the letters until 2015.