in Frieze Seoul | 21 AUG 23

HONG LEE Hyun-sook: In the Neighborhood of Seokgwangsa/ Being a Lion / Being a Whale

in Frieze Seoul | 21 AUG 23

1. HONG LEE Hyun-sook, In the Neighborhood of Seokgwangsa, 2020, single-channel video, 15 min 47 sec

2. HONG LEE Hyun-sook, Being a Lion, 2017, single-channel video, 4 min 17 sec

3. HONG LEE Hyun-sook, Being a Whale, 2018, single-channel video, 7 min 12 sec

All rights reserved by the artist

HONG LEE Hyun-sook continually challenges and disrupts the norms of society and universal perceptions through her work, thereby questioning and overturning the schematic structure of life. Recently, she has been focusing on the relationships and the interactions between humans and non-humans, moving away from the anthropocentric way thinking whereby nature and animals are subjects of conquest, domination, and tools. She dismantles the modern human rationality through performances and videos to expand beyond our fixed and pre-existing perceptions, and invites the audience to engage with the shamanistic acts she imagines. In Being a Lion (2017), Being a Whale (2018) and In the Neighbourhood of Seokgwangsa (2020), the artist turns her attention to non-human entities – lions, whales, long-tailed cats – and attempts to harmonize with their language and bodily gestures. This can be seen as an attitude of “alliance,” an attempt to establish relationships in order to understand different beings, rather than simply mimicking them. The appearance of the other enacted through the artist’s body, prompts us to reevaluate our conventional thinking, offering an opportunity to break free from the habitual behaviors dictated by society and expand our way of thinking. HONG LEE’s works force us to take a moment from the rush our everyday lives, questioning the systems we believe in and demanding fundamental reflections on human-centric perspectives.

About the artist

Born in South Korea, HONG LEE Hyun-sook majored in sculpture in college, primarily utilizing performance and video installation in her artistic practice. She currently works between Gyeonggi Province and Seoul. She is a member of the seminar group “ALiM”, which stands for “Animals Reflect Me,” focusing on discussions around animal rights.