CUAM Keeping it Real

Jeffrey Lubbers

April 30th

Exhibition Paper

CUAM Keeping it real

Keeping it Real an exhibition of Korean artists at the CU Art Museum, has developed a connotation around the subject, as being the “Korean Art Show.” When meandering through the exhibits and discussing it with the people I was with, we came to the conclusion that there is nothing inherently “Korean” about the exhibits. 

The most striking work to me is Hyungkoo Lee’s “Felis Catus Animatus & Mus Animatus” due to the life likeness of the work as well as the space that is positioned in. This work is to amalgamations of skeletons that have such great expression and energy that we want to be real, at times we desire the two animals to be real. They aren’t. In our memories they are, Tom and Jerry are the models that are the armature for the skeletons. Tom a slightly larger than life cat, is caught mid pounce upon in a posture that is so obviously attack, but yet no animal holds this pose. Jerry, a precious mouse sculpture standing approx. 4 inches high, runs in a fleeing motion where his body leads, upright ahead. Jerry maintains a whimsical nature about him with the impression that he is about run off the pedestal before Tom is fall.

Unnoticed to some, crucial element that really expresses the cartoonistic nature of this work is this elongation in the movement and the space in which it inhabits. The simple shape of a pedestal that is only 3or 4 inches high in a trapezoid that is 15 20 ft long, lead us to this sense in unreality and energy within the activity that the characters are in gauged in. Tom and Jerry is the only lit objects within the space. Softly spotted to illuminate every detail upon the realistic skeletons.

Shin-il Kim’s “Active Anesthesia”  a truly ingenious abstraction of film. Composed of a 6 in wall that is being projected through to simplify

the image. Regular television is being projected through this specially de

signed wall so that the some of each area, is an average summation of the projection. From one side of the wall the image is indistinguishable and has some sort of f

luidity that is familiar on a semi subconscious level. Along with the video proj

ection is an audio track that compliments the video by only using the bass frequencies of roughly 60hz and lower, just above human hearing. Anesthesia is the dulling of the senses and this work succeeds on the level of simplifying the auditory and visual senses. The lower tones representing the base and fundamental frequencies that explain what we hear. Little more is needed for us to understand what is heard, although it still is just inaudible. As done with with the visual stimulus.

Kim’s work I feel is destroyed by unveiling how it is done. The projector is projecting upon baffles that bend the light into small tunnels to be averaged upon the projection screen. Something that is so simple and done by nothing but simple physics shouldn’t be explained, but instead left to the imagination of the view of how it happens.

2 Responses

  1. It is interesting that we both chose the same piece (Felis Catus) and yet chose such different aspects of it to write about! I thought purely about the studied realism of the sculpture, and your perspective on the energy of the piece is very interesting.

  2. I also wrote on Hyungkoo Lee’s sculpture, and I highly recommend to both of you to check out his other works. He uses a scientific like method of art making that is very unique and relevant to our increasingly technology driven world.

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