When I prepared my graduate show at Hongik University in South Korea in 2008, I tried to show our social behaviour. Actually, there were two concepts for the Exhibition. Although I installed just one of them, I want to introduce them both now.
The first is about inheritance of social rank. When I read Pierre Bourdieu’s theory which states that our culture is also inherited by the next generation, I wanted to represent Korean Society based on some of his ideas but I also wondered why our society is separated by the generation gap. Without judging social rank, I wanted to show this phenomenon and observe an audience’s reaction.
This simulation shows how to each person relates with other people depending on their education, property and age. I searched public data from Korean Statistical Information Service and then I merged the data into my work. Each icon represents a person in our society and each of them shows three different kinds of information. Each character is depicted showing how many educational courses he has done with a small book shaped graphical icon. In the centre and bottom of the character, these numbers show age and property. As the screen plays on, the superior character of the two connect with another character who has sufficient status to become a friend. When a main character reaches the average marriage age; he starts to try to connect with a female character that is coloured orange and after in one to four years later, they give a birth. When each character reaches the average life expectancy, they randomly die. This simulation is set in perpetual motion.
This tool or digital media representation is an efficient way of showing statistics about our demography and far more effective than a graph.
The Second project, which was actually installed at my graduation exhibition, is about religious addiction. When I have seen a religious movement in our society, sometimes they seem to forget their basis. For example, when the Protestant faith first came into our society, in early days they took care of poor people and shared their minds. However, nowadays, religions have become a most powerful group of Korean society and they have forgotten their early attitudes. Therefore, I decided to show this phenomenon. However, rather than showing an objective description, I represented my personal opinion.
In this second work, there are three different type of character and each group represents a different religious group, a poor group and a general group. Basically, religious group tend to help poor group and when they approach the poor, a small movie clip, which shows helping another people, is displayed and can be played repeatedly. However, when an audience flips the pages of bible in front of display, religious group stop helping the poor and gather to a certain point of the screen. When they are gathered, this group push out the poor and the general group moving around the display. In this work, I use a bible as a metaphor to blame a doctrine-centred religious attitude.
Although I actually exhibited the second work, I prefer the first work. That is because I don’t want to add my personal judgement into my work if I can possibly avoid it; I just want to let them to observe my work and realise something for themselves.
Hong-Ik Graduate Show