SQUID came out of its EGG!

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soon, we will be strangers

2021. 09. 01 - 09.12

Artist(s): Jina Hyun 

Curated by sangheeut

Time is strange in the way we allow it to unfold in our consciousness and unconsciousness: time “stretches” when things move slowly, time “flies” in moments of happiness or crisis, time “suspends” and even ceases to exist entirely when we are lost in a daydream. We conceptualize time as if it is its own entity which we are enslaved to in the present when in reality, we play and manipulate time every day and every moment we tap into our recollection of the past or projection of the future. Time does not exist in a steady linear movement, rather it flows and ebbs and manifests into the present through memory. The anterior state rises into the present, the past and present co-exist in the crystalized time-image.


The expanse of time between an infliction of pain and the markings of recovery does not exist linearly or chronologically: the past does not follow the present but rather, unravels simultaneously. The memories linger and survive in a circuit of strange psychosexual, psychophysical inflictions in moments of intimacy. Recovery does not necessarily entail amnesia and contrary to the popular saying time does not heal––time endures, time is relentless, time is disciplined, and time is cruel. 

- Artist statement (2021) 


Based in the United States and South Korea, new media artist Jina Hyun explores themes of pain and memory by manipulating various material mediums including the moving image, computer programming, and textile work. For her solo show at sangheeut, Hyun presents Dreadful Things Done by Dreadful Girls (2021), a series of works composed of 27 individual fabric pieces. The body of work, on which images and texts were hand embroidered, explores girlhood inextricable from mourning, violence, and exploitation. Each sheet of ramie fabric, which evokes a diary page or a letter, fills the exhibition space and visualizes memory which is fragmented and split rather than flow in linear movement. Located in the small room is I prayed to Set My Hands on Fire (2021). In this point-click video game, the player leads a faceless girl into a room by clicking through a key, a door, an error sign, and a bed frame. The story is predetermined––although the player may feel a sense of agency with the choice/action to “click”, it is but a façade of free will. The girl in the game will never be able to leave the circuit of narrative, nor will the player.


Surely, the past precedes the present, but philosopher Henri Bergson argues that what we believe as the isolated present is actually the co-existence of past and present. The past and memories we continuously encounter and their relationship with the present are the main motifs for Hyun. The crystal image mentioned above refers to Bergson and Deleuze’s theories about time. Time here seems dichotomized, but it is cyclical in essence. The present ebbs into the past, but the past is then preserved back into the present. Time consists of this split, and in its convergence, we see the crystal image. Hyun’s work reminds the viewer of the nonlinearity of memories and the pain associated with them. To the artist, they are not healed with time nor buried in oblivion, but rather go through repeated ebbs and flows until we become strangers to them. 


About the Artist 

Born in 1998, Jina Hyun now lives and works in the US. Hyun received her BA in Fine Art from Washington University in 2021. She has participated in group shows including, Varsity XXIV (2020) at Art St. Louis, St. Louis; Yard Sale (2020) at The Punish Babies, St. Louis; and From the Year Above (2021) at The Chapel - Sanctuary for the Arts. In 2021, Hyun held a two-person exhibition with artist Betsy Ellison at Parapet Real Humans. She is the recipient of John T. Milliken Award in Foreign Travel (2021), Morris Horowitz Award in New Media and Photography (2021), the Mary Ottoson Travel Award(2021), and was an Artist in Residence at Anderson Ranch Arts Center (2020).