Swan Song 2023
29.7 x 42 cm
29.7 x 42 cm
This project is about an artistic collaboration with a Korean woman who was born during the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945) and survived not only the Korean War (1950-1953) but also the period of Korean dictatorship (1961-1987). The artist's grandmother, Lee Soon-shim, was born in 1942 on the small island, Namhae in southern South Korea. During this tragic period, her grandmother was unable to complete her elementary school education because she was a woman, but she maintained an interest in learning arts and crafts throughout her life.
Technological advancements, such as photography, have made it easier for individuals to pursue artistic endeavors. However, the distinction between hobbyist art and recognized art is primarily determined by institutional certifications, specifically those who have graduated from art school. In a capitalist society, every activity and product is predominantly assigned a monetary value. Without official certification, contemporary artwork lacks monetary worth. Contemporary decorative paintings and sculptures are often criticized not only for their lack of meaningful concepts but also because they are created by amateur artists who have not attended art school. In other words, the artistic value and its impact on non-Occidental countries are determined by an intellectual Western male group.
Therefore, this project aims to produce a photo series featuring Lee Soon-shim in order to challenge the perception of art as a luxury and exclusive domain accessible only to highly educated individuals. This project specifically critiques the institutional system, the certification of art education in the art market, and artistic practice.
This project is supported by the Austrian Ministry of Arts, Culture, the Civil Service, and Sport (BMKÖS).