Now in its 8th iteration this year, the Sindoh Artist Support Program (SINAP) designated the artists of the year in November and held a certification ceremony at its Seoul HQ.
In an effort to facilitate the globalization of Korean modern art by fostering young artists, Sindoh has been running its own SINAP (Sindoh Artist Support Program) since 2011. The program designates three new but promising Korean artists and awards subsidies in the form of art and literature promotion fund. The works of the three SINAP artists -- Baek Seung-woo, Jeong Hee-seung, and Jin GI-jong -- will be displayed at the “Sindoh Cultural Space” in the Seoul HQ of Sindoh from next year.
SINAP evaluated artistic completeness and global competitiveness based on the rigorous judgments of local and international judges. The three artists are drawing attention from the global artistic circles by offering excellent works with their own philosophies in diverse fields such as photography, paintings, sculpture, and video.
▲ <Blow up series>, 2005 - 2007
Photographer Baek Seong-woo precisely recognizes the characteristics and limitations of photographs and actively utilizes or openly discloses them. He manipulates the images in the photograph and reconstructs the network of their meaning to reveal the subtle boundaries of reality and unreality, actual and virtual worlds, and hidden/visible things.
His works especially feature constant recognition of the unique political situations of Korea -- currently the only divided country in the world -- and endlessly question what we consider to be reality. In other words, the works of Baek imply that the potential errors that can be created in the process of interpreting the images and revealing the manipulation and concealment themselves rather than what is simply hidden in the back. Baek manages to make us realize the fictitiousness of the world that we see with our eyes.
▲ <Still-Life series>, 2009~
Jeong Hee-seung specializes in capturing a specific moment of the subject, which constantly transforms in the floating relations. Photographs are known as the representative media of reproduction. Jeong focuses on the inherent limitations and properties of photographs. Her works present a sensible, poetic atmosphere by visualizing unstable and floating subjects amid the flow of time such as person, human body, plant, and space.
She attempts to deliver the meanings of photographs through diverse series of works. “Meaning” here means that it exists not in the scenery of reality that the photograph shows to us but in what the photograph cannot express or even that which it hides.
▲ <Difficulty of imitating nature series>, 2017
Jin Gi-jong utilizes diverse media for the humorous delivery of current social issues. He shows the kind of error from the differences between reality and the way we look at the world.
Jin deals with various topics such as media manipulation, environmental destruction, connection of politics and society, and existence of a god. The artist provides new perspectives by reconstructing reality in interesting ways with diverse media such as diorama that uses miniatures closely depicting reality, life-sized super real sculptures, and finely edited video clips.
SINAP 2018 was joined by renowned judges such as Massimiliano Gioni, the art director of Fondazione Nicola Trussardi and the vice chief of the New Museum of New York, as well as Do Hyung-Teh, the CEO of Gallery Hyundai.
As one of the most popular and active curators in the modern art scene, Mr. Gioni has taken an interest in the artists of Korea after working as the director of the Gwangju Biennale in 2010 and noted that the overall art of Korea has made quite a leap after his last service at the 5th SINAP. According to him, he was sincerely surprised at the excellence and uniqueness of the works that clearly present the artistic concept of the artists through new forms of expression.
Do Hyung-Teh, the CEO and an active art director of Gallery Hyundai, has endeavored to introduce Korean artists to the global art scene while covering globally renowned artists in Korean media. He also set up “Do Art Beijing” in China in the late 2000s as part of such efforts. “Do Art Gallery” and “16 Bungee Gallery” are the results of his willingness to identify and support new artists in planning numerous exhibitions.
Many of us believe that art is far from reality, but the works of the 8th SINAP say otherwise. Our very current issues are expressed in unique forms of art that deliver artistic values while questioning us on important points worth pondering over. Sindoh will keep providing support to new and promising artists so that they can utilize their capabilities and creativity to the maximum.
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