Arario Gallery Seoul opens a two-part solo exhibition I have no idea, because I have no idea and Joy of Painting by Insane Park. Through the continual experimentation of collecting, reproducing, and transforming images made by and for mass media, the artist aims to portray and reveal the essential problems hidden behind the duality of cultural experiences faced by the current generation.
The first of the two exhibitions, I have no idea, because I have no idea, is comprised of installations and video art that appropriate memes, which oversaturate the internet, in an art historical narrative. Moving images and GIFs, even as short as 20 odd seconds, instantaneously capture the emotions and thoughts of a fleeting moment by referencing various modes of online communication. Through his body of work, Insane Park highlights the positioning of memes as a social trend through exponential reproduction and distribution, often taken out of context. This process guides the audience to challenge the tolerance of today's vapid societal structure, which encourages industries, founded upon the material desires of individuals, to spread and flourish through the channel of mass media.
By parodying the widely popular TV program of the same title, Joy of Painting—the second of the two exhibitions—humorously satirizes the value of art determined by the art world system. Insane Park collages scenes from the program in order to fabricate an episode in which Bob Ross, American painter and original host of the show, gives an 'easy-to-follow' tutorial on becoming a Korean Abstract artist. The works on view, which have been created by borrowing from and imitating elements of the show, pinpoint the mechanism of the art market through the language of memes. This also reflects the artist's intrigue in questioning the role of art in the contemporary art market within the structure of capitalism.
Insane Park incorporates pop culture and internet slang as artistic devices in his new body of work and recalls these subtle references within the context of a contemporary art exhibition. GIFs and memes, which imitate and duplicate fragments of the past, are overlapped with the detached and flat interactions of today in order to elucidate the contradictions and problems faced by society. The artist not only speaks of the reality in which humor and hatred, aspiration and desire, commodities and trash, and art and memes coexist and but also confronts the instantaneous and unfiltered consumption of the dichotomy of reality.
Insane Park (b. 1980) was awarded the ETRO Art Prize in 2013, which initiated the launch of his career. Taking a seemingly relaxed approach towards the multifaceted societal issues, the artist creates an intuitive and stimulating narrative through his multidisciplinary works. Often perceived as provocative, certain video works have been permanently blocked on platforms such as YouTube"and Vimeo. Park's solo exhibition Sexhibition at Arario Museum, Dongmun Motel II in 2018, became the focus of public interest. The artist has held solo exhibitions in MakeShop Art Space, Paju in 2017; Art Project CZ, Shanghai in 2015; ARARIO Gallery, Seoul in 2014; Youngeun Art Space, Gwangju in 2012 among various other institutions in Korea. He has been featured in group exhibitions, which include Gyeongnam Art Museum, Gyeongnam in 2017, Savina Museum, Seoul in 2016, Nam June Paik Art Centre, Seoul in 2015. Park was artist-in-residence at Gyeonggi Creation Centre, Gyeonggi-Do in 2015 and at Youngeun Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwangju from 2011 to 2013.
Press release courtesy Arario Gallery.