Political Pop Art by Mina Cheon
Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea 2012
POLIPOP (Political Pop Art) by Mina Cheon
Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, South Korea : January 13 – March 11, 2012
Press Preview: Wednesday, January 11, 12noon / Opening: Thursday, January 12, 5PM / Mina Cheon’s Artist Talk: Saturday, January 14, 3PM
Korean-American new media artist Mina Cheon showcases POLIPOP (Political Pop Art) at the Sungkok Art Museum in Seoul, the first of three installments of Cheon’s consecutive solo-exhibitions to be held in 2012. After Seoul, Polipop projects will show at the Maryland Art Place in Baltimore and working towards showing at White Box in New York City. Polipop is a compilation of artistic research that intersects politics and pop art that looks at contested spaces and geopolitics of global media culture. Through a postcolonial perspective, Cheon instigates the relationship between the East and West, as well as the relationship between Asian countries such as South and North Korea, and Korea, Japan, and China. As once occurred with Chairman Mao, today’s plethora of images of President Barack Obama are political pop, hence Cheon highlights Obama as the polipop icon of our time. Cheon dedicates a gallery in the museum to him, thematically dividing the show into three large themes that reflect today’s political pop culture. The museum show includes the Obama Room, the Dokdo Room, and the Diamond Room. From the iconic American President and the War in the Middle East to the rise of the Asian Century and circulation of global media, the exhibition includes artworks on Obama, race, pop culture, technology, and capitalism.
Cheon’s Polipop includes more than 50 new pieces. There are over 40 new 8x5 feet digital paintings that look like propaganda banners gone pop art; animation of Obama dancing to Ally McBeal’s dancing baby “Ooga Chaka” song; video installation of traveling to Dokdo island, the contested island that sits between Korea and Japan, both physically by boat and virtually through Google Earth, Second Life, and Dokdo Internet virtual tours; and a mirrored room of massive light installation in the shape of diamonds. Image a Day: Occupy 2011 is an installation made of digital photo frames which rotates 365 images selected from the Internet (one image per day) to document global events all throughout 2011. In a glance, 2011 begins with the up rise in Egypt and ends with Occupy Demonstrations all over the world, with some other media worthy events such as the British Royal Wedding, Japan’s Tsunami and nuclear crisis, on-going global natural disasters, and the passing of Steve Jobs and Kim Jong-il.
The POLIPOP exhibition full colored 170-page catalog include writings from the Sungkok Art Museum’s chief curator Tcheon-nahm Park; art historian and scholar on race and culture, Leslie King-Hammond; cyber-feminist scholar Irina Aristarkhova; and cultural critic Pamela Haag. Cheon’s interest in political pop art began in 2004 when she visited the North Korea’s Mt. Kumkangsan and made artwork about the Korean Demilitarized Zone, and continued as she traveled to Japan during the 2008 Summer Olympics in China specifically to interview Japanese people what they thought of the Olympics in Beijing, and highlighted while traveling to Doko in 2009. Cheon’s past solo exhibitions include showing at the Lance Fung Gallery in New York (2002), Insa Art Space, Arts Council, Seoul (2005), and at the C.Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore (2008). Previous projects include looking at the triangular relationship between South and North Korea and America and focused on North Korean woman, such as in the interactive media installation Half Moon Eyes. Cheon’s doll installation 99 Miss Kim(s) and series of prints Dresses for Different Events highlight the North and South Korean conflict portrayed in girls’ playthings, everyday objects, and products of mass media. Cheon is a full-time Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and was a visiting professor at Ewha Woman’s University in fall 2011, her Alma mater. Cheon received her PhD in Philosophy of Media and Communications from the European Graduate School (EGS) in Switzerland, and published her book Shamanism + Cyberspace (Atropos Press, NY and Dresden) in 2009. Cheon received an MFA in painting from MICA (1999) and an MFA in Imaging Digital Arts from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2002). Her BFA is in painting from Ewha Woman’s University (1996), Seoul, Korea.
Sungkok Art Museum
1-101 Shinmoon-ro 2ga, Jongro-gu, SEOUL 110-062, KOREA
T. +82 (0)2 737 7650 / http://www.sungkokmuseum.com