This is the ninth year of the SINAP program, which was launched to support young artists and nurture them as leaders of Korean modern art. Sindoh held the selection ceremony at its head office in Seoul on November 6, after subjecting the candidates to a rigorous screening. The international judges of SINAP evaluated the submitted works with the focus on artistic perfection and global competitiveness, and selected three winners, namely, Jang Seo-yeong, Jeong Hee-min, and Yoon Doo-hyeon. We met up with the three artists and future leaders of Korean modern art and discussed their work, which is introduced below.

SINAP (Sindoh Artist Support Program)

Since 2011 Sindoh has been sponsoring SINAP to discover and nurture promising young artists as potential leaders of Korean modern art as part of its social contribution program. SINAP selects three Korean artists who are currently active in Korea and other countries via a rigorous screening process and provides them with grants through an arts and literature promotion fund. It also exhibits the works and projects produced with the grant at the Sindoh Art Center located at Sindoh’s home office in Seoul each year.

Introduction of three artists selected by the 9th SINAP

The 9th SINAP held the preliminary screening, the document screening based on a survey, and the PT screening beginning in June. The three promising young artists selected for their artistic perfection and global competitiveness are introduced below.

Jang Seo-yeong, who explores the origin of our unstable existence

Jang Seo-yeong explores the relationship between being and absence and between existence and perception based on his concerns about the “imperfect subject”. The artist pays attention to the human value, in particular, that exists in the non-productive state. She expresses it by describing the way in which the body exists through sensual images, while expressing human characters who repeat verbal elements, such as text and narration, and physical actions.

Chang's video works induce unstable human feelings in general and explore the origins of being which may or may not exist in the social value system. It is interesting to see what Jang, who raises profound questions about the state of being, will talk about in the future.

Jeong Hee-min, who combines digital and traditional painting in a three-dimensional form of expression

Jeong Hee-min experiments with various conflicting points by overlapping frequently recurring images of our digital age with traditional two-dimensional paintings. She argues that modern people suppress their instincts due to a lack of tactile experience caused by the flood of images exposed on screens. She bears witness to what she sees as the degenerative behaviors caused by this, and tries to discover how abstract concepts adapt to the modern world.

The artist has a unique way of working that combines software with picturesque images. Her work mode embodies abstract human desires such as love and dreams, picturesquely based on digital images. Jeong’s three-dimensional expression of the conflict between modern and traditional images has been favorably received as a new artistic attempt to reflect the current age.

Yoon Doo-hyeon, who explores the boundaries between images and sculptures

Yoon Doo-hyeon probes and questions the boundaries of the virtual world and reality while exploring the transformation, expandability, and weight of images and shapes. For his recent work titled Mojave, the artist commented that he witnessed a default desktop image of a computer operating system (OS) attempting a transformation of nature that could not be implemented in the digital environment. He printed it out and then decomposed, reassembled, and expanded it to create another environment and observed the roles of the virtual and real images and the boundaries between the digital and analog worlds.

The printed image has a certain weight and space as a paper medium. It is differentiated from the existing vast and surreal images after being cut, reassembled, and installed. In this way, the artist presents the boundary between images and shapes, and the transformation, expandability, and weight of images. We look forward to his future exploration of the boundaries between images and sculptures based on the contemporary environment.

Introduction of the judges of the 2019 SINAP

For this year’s SINAP, Massimiliano Gioni (second from the left in the above photo), the director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and Doh Hyeong-tae, the director of Gallery Hyundai, kindly participated as the judges.

Massimiliano Gioni is also the art director of the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi in Milan, and is one of the most active art curators in the world. He consolidated his status as the world’s leading planner after the sensational 55th Venice Biennale, for which he served as the art director, in 2013. Signor Gioni disclosed that he was pleased to meet young Korean artists who diverse works suit the digital age. He also expressed his hope that the three selected artists would fully demonstrate their creativity and artistic talent through the SINAP support. 

Doh Hyeong-tae has managed various exhibition centers, such as Doart, 16th Street, and Window Gallery, as well as discovering and supporting young artists in Korea. He is currently concentrating on reconstructing the genealogy of figurative art, which, along with abstract art, are the pillars of Korean art history, and is promoting Korean experimental art, which is less well known abroad.

The works selected by the 9th SINAP are particularly notable as three-dimensional expressions of the artists’ concerns through various media. The artists also raise implications for modern life by crossing the borders between present and past and between reality and unreality. These concerns are delivered uniquely from the viewpoint of the digital age. Sindoh plans to continue supporting young artists and their efforts to lead Korean modern art by fully promoting and exhibiting their talent.

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