《The Phenomenon of the Mind : Facing Yourself》
- Mar. 29th, 2019
- Aug. 18th, 2019
- B1 Gallery 3,4,5
Exhibition Contents :
MoCA Busan presents The Phenomenon of the Mind: Facing Yourself – an exhibition of contemporary art. Focusing on ‘humanity’ from our agenda [nature, new media, humanity], this exhibition is designed to contemplate our existence and our lives under the theme of the human’s ‘mind’, which everyone feels and experiences but often perceived as abstract or fragmentary.
The ‘mind’ is a broad concept that encompasses time and space. It has a wide spectrum from everyday life to humanities, natural sciences, religion, psychology, and psychoanalysis. As can be inferred from the subtitle ‘Facing Yourself,’ the mind in this exhibition is an individual, subjective mind that we feel and experience on a personal level, particularly in terms of sensibility: emotion, mood, and feeling.
We each have our own mind. Although we feel and experience every moment, it is difficult to pin down what the mind is and what condition it is in. Though we can ensure the existence of the mind through our emotion, feeling, and mood, it is difficult to be aware of the existence of the mind in everyday life and its condition. Our mind is constantly changing in line with social change, however then is concealed and disguised. We tend to protect ourselves from external threats by hiding our mind as an insect uses protective coloration.
The exhibition considers the mind and you as one being. The mind is the closest thing you encounter because it is the only one that experiences you via a first-person narrator. No one tries to understand their mind based on data, figures, or theories. The subjectivity of the mind emphasizes that the key to your mind is you. Recognizing the mind means learning more about yourself, and denying the mind means denying the existence of yourself. The only way you can approach your mind is to feel and experience the changes your mind takes on.
Based on these perspectives, The Phenomenon of the Mind: Facing Yourself suggests reflecting on your existence and life by exploring the phenomenon of the mind and by facing your mind with artwork as a tool. This exhibition is comprised of
, , and . These three parts gradually expand and move from the individual to other beings. This is not only about exploring your own mind, but also recognizing the minds of others, making our existence mature and enriching our lives through how our minds project, collide, and coordinate with each other’s.
Many changes are taking place in and out of society today. The advent of AI, Humanoids, and Virtual Reality has deepened the internal deficiency of humanity.
Armed with individualism and indifference, people these days close their minds, isolate themselves, or wander around the online world. What is the only thing that makes us feel human and alive? This exhibition poses the question, “Is it not how our unique minds are intertwined and how we fill our lives in a variety of ways that makes our existence meaningful?”
The Sense, Awakening
We use the word ‘sense’ in daily life. When we say, “good sense”, it means intuition and gut feeling aroused instinctively because of a feeling rather than by considering the facts. In English, we call it ‘the sixth sense.’
This chapter suggests having hands-on experience of the sixth sense within the relationship between space and body. First, the body is not simply located in space. Space controls your body directly or indirectly and evokes a specific bodily form. A posture taken in space is the way the body reacts to space and affects the feelings, moods, and emotions that the body produces. Next, feelings are closely related to your body. Feelings are immediate reactions that occur when nerves that spread throughout the body recognize information from the outside. Being faster and more intense than logic, feelings bring consciousness back to the body and you can vividly feel alive. In short, space, body, and feelings are closely connected. Space affects the body and then the body affects the feelings.
Pay attention to your movements and feelings that respond to the space here. Wang Te-Yu’s enormous installation, and the sound and fragrance that filled the space, not only lead to your direct action, but also create a certain feeling of mind. Now, what is your body and mind like here?
WANG Te-yu, an artist from Taiwan, practices installation in the form of a giant balloon that puts wind into the fabric. Using space itself as the object of the work, the artist changes not only the physical form of space, but also the internal feelings, moods, and the existence of space. Their work has a site-specific character and mystically transforms the existing space, inviting the audience into the work, giving them a new physical and psychological experience. These experiences make you feel and recognize the existence of the space itself, not the space as the background.
The Body, Expressing The Mind
Where is the mind located? Some would point to the head or a chest, others would say they do not know at all. Although we can clearly feel the existence of the mind, we are unsure what it is, where it comes from, and where it goes. Although psychology, the brain and science, philosophy, and psychoanalysis deal with the mind in depth, different perspectives and methodologies only produce different indicators for the mind. For example, the thought experiment ‘Brain in vat’ claims that if the brain is separated from the body and nourished, through proper stimulation by a computer, it can feel senses, feelings and emotions similar to the mind, even without the body. Some, however, criticize that such a reaction is a hallucinogenic mirage and cannot be considered real. They criticize the mind-body dualism view and say that the body is you, which is your mind. This exhibition is in agreement with the latter position. There is no direct way to know that someone is in pain besides seeing them twist their body in pain. The mind is shaped and expressed by the body, not by itself, and our gestures, speech, eyes, facial expressions, and actions reveal it. This chapter introduces these relationships of the body and mind. Now, what kind of mind does your body express?
CHANG Sungeun has been interested in the daily abstract expression of space, such as ‘small’ and ‘wide,’ and has been working on photography to express them clearly using the body as a medium. Starting in 2016, the artist changed her focus on space into the inside of the body, presenting Writing Play called ‘Portrait of Emotion.’ By comparing life to a play, this work captures the mind that is lucidly revealed by an exaggerated or concealed body.
The choreographer LEE Yunjung is the representative of “The Dance Project Picking,” and explores various ‘relationships’ through choreographies of repeating, modifying, and developing the body’s unit movements. With the critical approach to the customs, prejudices and social absurdities that suppress the individual, she sends a message through gestures that the power to change yourself lies inside of the individual, which is the mind.
The Relationship, Other Beings
We tend to project our mind onto everything alive. We say that birds sing when we are happy and cry when we are depressed. In other words, we are used to projecting our subjective feelings on others to infer and guess them. This kind of projection of the mind develops into empathy, sharing each other’s feelings, sympathy, and is used as a tool for connecting us and others, and for people to live together. However, if you project your mind without refining it and define others, confusion and conflict may arise, and sometimes others may feel like bad as a result. Then how should we understand others? This chapter explores your relationships with other beings who also have a mind.
Look at yourself. Although your arms and legs are in sight, your whole image cannot be seen without a mirror. Others are mirrors that reflect you. Have you ever found another image of yourself you have never known, through others? We know more about ourselves, learn, and grow up through the mirror called other beings. The relationship with others, who share both similarities and differences with you, weaves our lives as if weft and warp threads has been intertwined. Now, let’s explore the other beings who have the mind.
Through continuous and repetitive labor, CHO Sohee’s artistic practice has been providing disposable products such as tissues, napkins, papers, and threads, with a new existence. The Letter is a work that transforms each day into one word and repeatedly types them onto thin pieces of paper since 2007. The daily practice of writing the letter, gives an ordinary day a new meaning and this accumulation reveals the existence of time and mind. This work will be completed after the artist’s death by sending it to anonymous people.
Lisa PARK creates art installations and performance using sensor technology that visualize the emotional states of herself and others. Heartmonic is a work where the minds of each performer are digitized by heart rate and converted to the sound of different instruments after performers, wearing biosensors, promptly act out various movement with others, ie. gazing at each other, holding hands, or hugging, along with the guide of the artist. The gesture and minds exchanged by performers turn their heartbeats into a symphonic ensemble in real time.
Starting from photography, CHUN Kyungwoo has presented on various works including performance art, public art, and interdisciplinary art, which encompass individuals and communities. His performance allows himself to become the planner and the anonymous ordinary people to become the performer, aiming to cast light on values often disregarded in ourselves and daily life. Including both private and public, and meditative aspects, his performance reminds us of the existence of ourselves and others, making us think about how we live together.
Park Hyesoo focuses on the individual’s lost values in modern society – dream, love, time and memory – and reinterprets the outcome of the fieldwork in formative language. In the form of an archive and questionnaire, Broken Heart Collection is a collection of the traces of love, holding the most intimate relationships of others. The love that has gone away, though it was the past tense, accumulates in us and made us realize indirectly that the passing love completes who we are now.
YANG So-young is interested in cognitive psychology as a media artist and filmmaker who majored in psychology. The artist defines the reality as “a fantasy which certain individuals perceive as reality” and reveals how subjective the social ideals, beliefs, and objective measures of an individual are, through a documentary that reconstructs everyday life. Her video work, as if it were a combination of pure and commercial art, has no boundaries of expression, and has a comprehensive artistic character collaborating with performing and dramatic art groups. The entry The FUSION is the first feature film, which was distributed online through European based Pantafix.com.
WANG Te-yu, CHANG Sungeun, LEE Yunjung, CHO Sohee, Lisa PARK, CHUN Kyungwoo, PARK Hyesoo, YANG So-young
* 1000 Names by CHUN Kyungwoo
* 1 and 4 by LEE Yungjung
* Letter-Life project by CHO Sohee