The Art Sonje Center is pleased to present Connect 1: Still Acts to be held from August 27 to November 20, 2016. Artists Chung Seoyoung, Sora Kim and Lee Bul will participate in the exhibition, which constitutes the first part of the Connect series, a survey of the history and collection of Art Sonje.
Starting from Ssak, the first exhibition held in 1995 at the former location of Art Sonje, the curatorial series "Connect" aims to revisit the 20-year journey of Art Sonje since its first opening in 1998 to the present. The three solo exhibitions in Connect 1: Still Acts present an overview of the programs that took place at the center between 1998 and 2004. Since its opening, Art Sonje has been in hiatus twice due to restorations, first from Spring 2005 to Fall 2006 and second from Winter 2015 to Summer 2016. Connect 1: Still Acts focuses on the phase before the first ‘break’ and reexamines Art Sonje’s activities introducing new works, mainly through commissions for solo exhibitions, and the establishment of its collection.
Connect 1: Still Acts consists of three solo exhibitions by Chung Seoyoung, Sora Kim and Lee Bul, occupying each floor of Art Sonje. On the ground floor, Sora Kim’s Library (2004) is reinterpreted from an earlier version presented at her exhibition Antarctica held in 2004. On the upper floor, three works Lookout (1999), Flower (1999) and Gatehouse (2000) from Chung Seoyoung’s 2000 solo exhibition Lookout will be reinstalled, accompanied by new work. On the top floor, Lee Bul’s Cyborg (1998) series shown at her solo exhibition Lee Bul in 1998 – which was actually Art Sonje’s first exhibition – will be installed, together with a rearranged version of Majestic Splendor (2016), a work seldom presented at museums since the 90s. Along with these works, projects by “Museum,” an artist group from the 80s including Lee and other artists such as Sen Chung, Kang Hong-Goo, Nak-Beom Kho, Nakamura Masato and Seth Franklin Snyder will be included to visualize the context of Lee’s early practice as well as anticipating the upcoming retrospective of “Museum.” All three female artists in this exhibition share an interest in inventing individual aesthetic languages to articulate the contemporaneity of each time period. Connect 1: Still Acts, which reexamines their major works created between the late 90s and early 2000s, is an attempt to open up discussions anew by re-contextualizing the Art Sonje Center’s collection in the present light, instead of reconstructing past works and exhibitions in a petrified manner.
Connect 1: Still Acts is the first in a series of collection-based exhibitions currently under way. Art Sonje Center will continue to investigate its collection and past exhibitions, and approach future exhibitions with the consciousness of sustainability, linking actions from yesterday and today with those of tomorrow. Indeed, “The Connect” exhibition series has been developed in order to evaluate our activities over the past 20 years, and to offer the audience a platform for the exchange of ideas and opinions about the institution. It will reexamine and organize past exhibitions, thematically divided into the simple categories of “solo exhibition” and “group exhibition” that will nonetheless explore relationships between the past and the current artworks. Perhaps all of the efforts may not lead to finding new curatorial praxis, or they may even be inadequate for overcoming customary historicizing procedures; however, I truly believe that the driving force behind Art Sonje Center for the last 20 years has been the courage against uncertainties, and the ceaseless will to move forward. The set of values that Art Sonje has pursued and upheld could not have been established without enduring the formative struggles and failures of our past. Through our perseverance and the perspective we have achieved today, we have come to view these former challenges as our good fortune. Now is the time to share this opportunity.
—Excerpt from Sunjung Kim, “Connect 1: Still Acts”