From June 24 to July 14 Space Willing N Dealing presents Look, Shape, Place by artist Hyejin Jo. Having been based on the sculptural medium in her practice, the artist brings the project she has been working on into the specific space of Willing N Dealing. Starting with a commission from an outside project the work is accordingly positioned in a different trajectory in comparison to her existing works. As an effort to narrow the gap and connect the differing texture of the practices the artist constructs a space by creating furniture and equipment for the exhibition that demonstrates the artist's own craftsmanship.
Prior to this exhibition the artist developed Migrating Typeface by collecting the handwriting of immigrants living in Korea, once in 2018 and another time in 2020, as a commission from Kim Kim Gallery. Migrating Typeface begins with 35 participants from 11 countries responding in Korean handwriting to the artist's questionnaire about the individual participants themselves. The artist traced the outline of the handwriting on the collected responses and developed a new typeface of 530 characters, including symbols and numbers, which was distributed free on the web along with existing typefaces. Regarding the typeface as a kind of system wherein power operates, the artist proposes the creation of a small yet subversive situation within it. Additionally, by distributing a form combined with immigrants' bodies—which can only be manifested as immigrants repeatedly use Hangeul(Korean alphabet) in their daily life—as a typeface, the work twists the one-sided relationship that immigrants experience in the process of adapting to Korea while learning and using Hangeul. In this manner the work serves as a beginning to approach these individuals.
The exhibition Look, Shape, Place. is the sculptural interpretation of the output of the artist's Migrating Typeface, that is, the font and a sense of distance experienced inside the project—the indelible boundary between the artist and the subject (immigrants). The artist completes the project by presenting the resulting font in an aesthetic form rather than in a functional one, transferring the "sense of distance" back to the audience. The artist creates furniture for transcription to enable the audience to encounter the Migrating Typeface as an aesthetic form and actively use the typeface. Additionally, adopting the common practice of using songs in language education, Jo attempts to reverse the positions of immigrants and the artist through a video piece that documents a situation wherein she dictates songs of other countries. The artist takes on the role of a mediator who gives a "look" to the "shape" embedded in an individual's typeface, providing a "place." The artist's formal approach that focuses on materials and spatial embodiment to create all these situations is also placed in the exhibition space as a form that reflects the body along with the typeface.
co-curator Minji Lee / In partnership with Multucultural family support center in Yangpyeong County, Child welfare institute in Seoul, Hangang network, Korea Foreign School
F2, 48-1 Jahamunro (Changseong-dong 98-19)
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The gallery is temporarily closed until further notice.
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