24 May–21 July 2012
Coreana Museum of Art
627–8, Shinsa dong, Gangnam gu
Closed every Sunday
T 82 2 547 9177
Ligyung’s More Light is the solo show of a mid-career artist Coreana Museum of Art has chosen and supported. Ligyung remains unrivalled in installation work addressing philosophical thoughts on humanity and society instead of sensuous spectacle and amusement. In this show featuring a huge installation work taking up the entire space with video and sound, the artist presents a space of floating light. The concept of light has been a significant theme in her work since the early 2000s. In her previous work, light was the medium paradoxically revealing the incompleteness of the human eye trusting all it sees and confirming the existence of darkness whereas in this exhibition the artist pays more attention to phenomena that can be seen and felt here and now with the physical senses. Ligyung’s heterogeneous, floating space of light brimming with emotion and libido is a metaphor for a human division and the present age dominated by anxiety.
More Light, 2012. Laser light, mirror, glass.
The mirrors placed on four sides and glass in layers form a matrix endlessly extended with reflections of spreading green light. Falling into the space of light where the beginning and end is unknown, viewers have divided perceptual experiences and cannot fix their eyes in the limitless space. Diverse focuses come into play with the overlap of numerous psychedelic rays, causing the viewers’ eyes to wander. In this work the light is not visual but tactile. The viewers can experience light with their bodies while seeing it with their eyes.
I am telling a lie, 2012. Laser level, haze mist, video installation, sound.
I am telling a lie is a large-scale synaesthetic installation piece wrapping the whole venue with thin laser rays, dim smoke, video, and sound. Stepping into the venue where pink light hangs, only door and wall images created by thin red rays, vague smoke and sound can be sensed. Every fifteen minutes smoke is emitted and contacts the red rays, generating a long passageway. The passageway appears clear, but the moment the smoke disappears its visual presence becomes ambiguous. In another room, the light is too intense to look at directly. An overlapping image of stairs appears on the opposite wall, seen through the light. If one faces away from the light source, with his back to the source of light, the outline of his body is reflected onto the video image of the stairs.
After the early 2000s, light became a significant part of Ligyung’s installations. In her previous pieces, such as The True Knowledge of Good and Evil (2001/2003) and Seeing is believing, believing is seeing (2003/2004), light was a medium paradoxically revealing the incompleteness of the human eye trusting all it sees and confirming the existence of darkness. These works are in the same context with James Turrel and Olafur Eliasson’s light installations. They stimulate spiritual contemplation with light presupposing divine being and demanding meditation and introspection.
The connotations of light—such as truth, idea, and belief—has changed in the work, More Light. This work alludes to ‘more light’ found here and there, not the rays of light spreading from an empty meditative space. This is not light urging absolute religious faith or self-introspection but visible light felt here and now and associated with our physical experience. It is fluid, variable light covered by or encroached upon by the body rather than an immutable permanent light.
The light to which the artist imparts a new meaning does not exist in an invisible idea but in a concrete world, connected to her perception of society and herself. In some sense, More Light may be a visualization or projection of herself and society, breaking away from the context of her previous work based on an absolute faith. The door and wall images created by the red ray of light and the passageway appearing through light and smoke but soon disappearing are metaphors for the social system controlling us. The image of stairs, turning back the light, and images fused with the body are symbolic of diverse phenomenal worlds we see with our eyes.
Sponsors: Coreana Cosmetics Ltd., Seoul Metropolitan Government, Bread Communication, Arts Council Korea.