2022. 01. 12 - 01. 30
Artist(s): minges (Bobae Jeon, You Lee)
Curated by sangheeut
sangheeut is pleased to announce the first exhibition of 2022 teletube which marks the debut of the artist duo minges founded by Bobae Jeon and You Lee on view from January 12 through January 30. Jeon and Lee set up sangheeut as the temporary landscape called ‘teletube’. Teletube is a hybrid term of minges derived from the English prefix ‘tele’ meaning far combined with ‘tube’ as a medium. Jeon’s work highlights the degraded and manufactured nature while Lee focuses on the distorted meaning found in the materialisation of the digital image. Utilising a similar visual language, two artists separately explore different subjects and build their own artistic world. In teletube which visualises this unique interaction, each work is placed as an individual while at the same time crossing over and forming minges’s distinct contour. Deeply rooted in different conceptual approaches to material and narrative, their works somehow encounter at the intersection teletube and converge at minges.
As we spend most of the time online, the image plays an enormously important role when identifying one’s external appearance. In a digital world, the power dynamics of signifier and signified lies in continuous turnover. minges’s works showcased in teletube relentlessly reflect how we consume digital images and material through their own methodology. Focused on the complex process revealed in the distribution of manufactured goods or images born out of individual and social desires, they create the voyeuristic space mixed with conflicting ideas of concept and material, production and consumption, and useful and useless.
Bobae Jeon presents a body of totem-like sculptures with a sense of volume. A series of works in teletube, which demonstrates the artist’s attempt to capture images that float when figuring nature being processed into a commodity and give materiality to them, settle without any clear order forming the uncanny terrain. Jeon elaborates on the social phenomenon of effortless consumption of nature through documentary films, cosmetics and nutritional supplements. Jeon’s practice sheds a light upon the distorted state of nature that now becomes so far away from its reality and transforms into a mere signifier while being consumed via media channels after the countless steps of process and manufacture. We are so accustomed to the processed images of nature that we absorb, admire, and emulate them without any doubt or hesitation. For instance, the smooth surface of glazed and kilned pottery is considered to be desirable for blemish-free skin and we use cosmetics made of natural extracts. ah… is a mixture of refined materials including raw silicon, kombucha, protein extracts and vitamins, and raw ceramics soil and metal. By mixing the materials with clear yet different purposes in the non-linear process, the artist presents something useless whose function is ambiguous with no marketability.
The idea of mobility and consumerism lies at the core of Lee’s artistic practice. Hung in the entrance, the collage work with layers of images Hey I'm sorry of course oppa but it's still very hot the impression of a kiss is ah she hasn't finished cleaning yet surely intrigues visitors. Selected images are layered, difficult to notice their positions and the most important image is deliberately placed in the back hardly seen with tiny holes. Hey I’m sorry alludes to a sort of plastic easily found in the package of toys—a common trick of marketing to make consumers have no choice but to buy it wanting to know what is inside. The artist speculates the devolution of power between producer and consumer during certain processes of selecting and buying the product. An artificial rock attached with a flyer and tightened with a belt and a harness is located on the corner of the exhibition. Buckling the belt and harness—a symbol of mobility device—on what seems to have zero kinetic energy, the artist brings mobility and activity to the rock, intervening in and reassessing the relationship between two conflicting characteristic objects, one (rock) and another (mobility device). Hence the artist urges viewers to stop accepting the material based on its exterior and approach with a new perspective instead of prior experience. Foot Locker, transparent plastic chains, is located randomly within the exhibition. While the chain has historically been used to move and lift a heavy thing on the industrial site, a plastic chain or toy chain only bears the industrial chain’s exterior and functions sentimentally. The materiality of works allows Lee to highlight the visual property of the material and suggest ‘the tactile sensibility can be replaced by the visual sensibility in the contemporary world.’ In this context, this seemingly useless object challenges the shared concept in society and its visual justification.
About the Artists
Bobae Jeon (b. 1992) lives and works in Seoul, Korea. After she graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London with a BA in Fine Art, she has participated in group exhibitions including Out and Linked (2020) and Happy Hour: 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 (2021).
You Lee (b. 1994) lives and works in Seoul, Korea. Lee achieved her BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2019. In 2021, she held the first solo exhibition Soft Orgasm at art space Hyeong, Seoul and participated in group exhibitions including Embedded Tactility.