Jikji, the Golden Seed Exhibition Press Release
jikji the Golden Seed Invite
JIKJI, THE GOLDEN SEED
An immersive exhibition of architecture, art, design, fashion, media and VR
Cheongju Art Centre, Jikji Cultural Zone, Cheongju, South Korea
1 Sept – 8 Sept 2016, 9am-9pm
Title Exhibition of Jikji Korea International Festival 1 – 8 September 2016, 9am to 9pm
JIKJI, THE GOLDEN SEED is an exhibition celebrating the world’s first book printed with metal moveable type – or Jikji – and the impact that the printed word has had on the world ever since. It was created in the Korean city of Cheongju in 1377, 78 years before Gutenberg’s famous bible was printed in Germany. With exhibits ranging from 600-year old cultural artefacts to a 360 degree virtual reality film, a controversial “portrait” created on glass from human cells and a ceramic work comprised of thousands of pieces of the word “Seed” written in the Hangul (Korean) alphabet, Jikji is interpreted not just as type, but as innovation, and the show demonstrates how important such technological shifts are to human development.
Curator Stephanie Seungmin Kim has brought together 35 contemporary artists, architects and designers from Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Israel, Italy, Korea, South Africa, Turkey, the UK and the USA, with some producing new work for the exhibition, all involved in engaging critically with the idea of invention. The historic cultural works come from the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz and the Old Printing Museum in Cheongju.
“Moveable metal type printing allowed knowledge to be shared by the many,” explains Stephanie Seungmin Kim. “In the West it played a crucial role in the Renaissance and the Enlightenment and has allowed the dissemination of scientific knowledge. The “Golden Seed” of the exhibition title refers to the potential for knowledge to spread, it is the seed from which the modern world grows.”
The exhibition advisor Mike Stubbs, Director of FACT, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool says, “As new technologies are both informed by and inform the development of human communication and language, is it any surprise that language has transmuted into the digital and biological, the transmission of share thinking is exponentially growing and need significant speed, storage and transcoding.”
The exhibition has been designed by Ab Rogers, whose studio is based in London, but who has previously worked in Song do and Seoul. “This is a celebration of craft and innovation,” says Ab Rogers. “We have tried to create a visual language to unite a collection of extraordinary artworks and objects which inhabit a shared landscape between technology, design and art and create one coherent and immersive experience while privileging the individual sensation of each exhibit.” To this end, Ab Rogers Design has introduced a flowing sea of the colour red which wraps around each object as it leads the visitor through the show, which is divided into eight “episodes”.
A pavilion by the Israeli designer Ron Arad will also be unveiled. “The bound book has become so ingrained in our lives,” says Arad, “so I have chosen to celebrate it by creating a pavilion that’s like a book that’s been opened and is being pushed down onto a flat surface. The thickness increases where the pages fan out, and the metal binding of the structure is derived from a traditional spine.”
Sangsoo Ahn, Ron Arad, Bien-U Bae, Jeremy Bailey, Dario Bartolini,
Advisor Professor Mike Stubbs, FACT Liverpool
JIKJI, THE GOLDEN SEED is hosted by Cheongju City, and organised by Jikji Korea Organising Committee
Media View : Tuesday, 30 August 2016, 3pm
‘Jikji, the Golden Seed’ has been conceived as eight episodes: Ron Arad’s Jikji Pavillion, Prologue, World’s View, Media Procession, Passage, Artists’ Diorama, Flashback/Flashforward and Future’s Monument.
Prologuestarts with Sangsoo Ahn’s monumental Alpha to Hiut Façade installation and includes a commission by Jeong Hwa Choi who will create a multiverse metal sculpture – an iceberg covered in calligraphy by 900 young people and professional calligraphers – and a series of sculptures devoted to the teaching of the Jikji book. Bae Bien-U’s photographic series Tripitaka Koreana, and Lee Leenam’s waterfalls presented on LCD screens mix tradition with technology.
World’s View is framed by a timeline of language and printing devised by the UK scholar Beth McKillop. The timeline is represented graphically by Dario Bartolini and Moonassi’s newly commissioned mural-style illustrations of the ‘four steps of the information revolution’.
This section also considers printing in the light of religious and philosophical exchange. Printing is directly connected to Buddhism, Christianity and Confucianism. A replica of Pure Light Dharani Sutra (684-704) is shown alongside the recently excavated Zeungdoga metal type (1239), a precursor of Jikji, illustrating how Buddhism led the development of printing technology in Korea. Gutenberg’s earlier inventions include the mirror for pilgrims to hold and Indulgences that also served commercial interests and led to further inventions by Gutenberg. The exhibition adds examples of 15th century printing in Hangul (Korean characters) and demonstrates the Confucian transformation of Korea in the early Joseon period.
Media Procession mixes the old with contemporary artworks. It contains the recently recovered and recreated Jikji metal types and Gutenberg’s press machine with demonstration for printing bible pages. There is a rare book collection by archivist and scholar Daljin Kim, and work by Burcu Yagcıoğlu, the Turkish artist known for her intricate drawings use the images and the texts excerpted from “The Wonder Book of Animals”, an encyclopaedia printed in the 1960s in England. Suhee Kim’s presents an interpretation of reading e-books and tablets. Jian Kwon alludes to the proliferation of information in an SNS installation.
In Passage a clear glass wall and spiral staircases are transformed into stained glass by a new collaboration between painter Phil Dobson and fashion designer/artist Brigitte Stepputtis whose reference to McLuhan’s book The Gutenberg Galaxy will be visible. A temporary bridge by Notion Architecture will be created from metal scaffolding and contain immersive environments. Hyeyoung Ku performs on this bridge, citing the Jikji’s core message in rap, and Guem Minjeong’s project recreates the National Library of France in digital form.
The Artists’ Diorama looks at artists’ interpretation of the past and the inspiration taken from the complexities and intricacies of early metal printing. Inho Lim is an Important Intengible Cultural Heritage specializes in metal types and reconstructed 5538 kinds of metal types. Mimi Jeong’s ceramics are thousands of casted pieces of the word “seed” in Hangul characters. Hanuk Jung paints over laser cut words, while experimenting with thousand-year-old techniques. Kwangho Lee’s copper stools are inspired by the frame to hold movable metal type, Yongil Shin’s paintings are philosophically linked with Buddhist teaching as the words made in clay are painted over then rubbed away. Hyukyong Um’s wooden sculptures are literally inspired by the book as object. Spread over the floors are the beautiful installation by Jürgen Dünhofen of seeds, waiting to be awaken.
Flashback – the Present. Artists interactions with technology include Miao Xiaochun using 3D technology to layer a 2D image onto a virtual 3D scene to bring new interpretation to old masterpieces. Seung Ae Lee recent recipient of the Valerie Beston Young Artist’s prize, has created moving images from 1,000 pencils drawings on a single sheet of paper. Suhee Kim’s three channel video shows a trio playing string instruments, though the musical notation is an interpretation of braille. Sang Un Jeon’s new work is a physical visualisation of the current topography of the world wide web, based on data from Korea and France, interfaced with two sets of keyboards where the interaction of the virtual and real world take place. This virtual landscape takes another turn with Shona Kitchen who creates a magnetic landscape, accessed by running a magnetic gloved hand over the surface. Sangjin Kim prints the bible on water, deconstructing the beginning of the constructive cognition period while Kyoungtack Hong’s oil painting inspired by traditional Korean folk paintingChaekgeoli (Scholars’ bookshelf) is presented alongside new media work based on his painting.
Future Monument first was inspired by COLLIDE International, a joint residency award organized since 2015 between FACT in Liverpool and CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. FACT Liverpool, a collaborating partner for this exhibition has been active agent in promoting creative artists to excel and CERN, the birth place of world wide web where both scientists and artists can inspire each other are the forefront of the future. It includes the Asian premier of Ryoichi Kurokawa’s unfold, created from a conversation with astrophysists at CEA-Irfu about cosmological history of star formation over the course of 10 billion years. Marshmallow Laser Feast has created a 360º virtual reality film called In the Eyes of the Animals and in this Asian Premier; one can experience an artistic interpretation of the sensory perspectives of four species. Gina Czarnecki and John Hunt’s Heirloom grows living portraits of Gina’s daughters from their own cells tonto delicate glass casts of their faces suggesting the future of 3D printing in biomedical reconstruction and what this could mean for DIY culture and ethics. Semiconductor, recent beneficiary of a CERN residency, offers innovative solution to invisible factors such as magnetic fields and frequencies in two beautiful moving images. Jeremy Bailey’s Future of Television touches on the future of the media.
A special screening of William Kentridge’s Notes Towards a Model Opera – a three-channel projection exploring dynamics of cultural diffusion and the transformation and the mixture and overlay of different world’s context–ia s powerful animation of india ink drawings on Chinese books’, alluding to western-centric history of the world.
Notes to Editor