Living world : Empty Space, Crossed gaze


Cheon Meerim, Independent Curator

This content was fist published in the December, 2018 release of :ublic Art and has been re-published on after a negotiaton was reached between Korea Art Management Service and Public Art.

Our general perceptions, or in other words the constant sense of what we take for granted; how does their change present aesthetic experiences? Jeongju Jeong is an artist exploring the ways of human perception. The artist seeks to capsize our perception. The artist seeks to capsize our perception in the simplest way possible: through simultaneously reversing the size of space and person. The artist’s small-scale buildings cause the audience to look relatively large, empowering them with a particular relative power. It is post-human, or perhaps deity-like power that is to be omniscient and omnivident of the subject. As the audience freely explores the scale model, they inadvertenly flip over into the fold as part of the artwork. That flipping-point is what the artist captures. In his work <city of gaze-illusion> seriese(2010) or the <schauhaus> series(2000-2008), the artist observes all audience behavior through a camera within the scale model. The power of sight, of surveillance once again is overturned and the cat-and-mouse game of man and space continues in a treadmill. The physical boundaries of space are drawn metaphorically as a state of mind, and their relationship is combined as a singular organism. The agency of audition as an audience member, and the passivity of becoming a part of an artwork are experienced simultaneously, and this raises an interesting point of interpretation. The camera as the other’s conscious act of viewing causes the audience to perform an act of observation, which reverses the passive aspect of art appreciation. The odd impression of feeling in charge even while no longer so, encourages the audience to reconsider what aesthetic perception actually is. Light and space are important elements of Jeong’s work. 


When we perceive actual objects, we rely on the spatiality painted by light. The presence of light and the lack thereof, shadows and refractions create a sense of space. In other words, it is light that layers space with a sense of materiality. To experience space is to share existential senses, a visual proposition preceding textual delineation. In this context, the way the artist uses light as a strategic means to guarantee the experiential nature of space. 


The direction and flow of light, where it is and isn’t, is juxtaposed with the audience’s gaze and the camera’s scope of  surveillance to visualize what is not. By overlapping layers of metaphors and flows of light and gaze, space becomes real. Another notable point of his work is removal and vacation. The compacting of space is something immediately noticeable about the artist’s works. They draw the five sentences into a narrow angle. The scale modes rid of identifiable details are future abstracted into simpler shapes and clearly reveals the movement of light and gaze. The candidness of his works convey a sense of visual emancipation, frther enriching our aesthetic experience. In that empty space arises empathy. The abstract models, untelling of specific locations or positions, rid the space of subjectivity in exchange for universality. Empathy is achieved by converting the artist/s event into the audience’s. And Jeongju Jeong’s formal attributes ard like a coloring book of simultaneously metaphorical expressions of narratives and an aesthetic-sympathetic experiences.  


His latest interest have been in 3D animations <Nighthwalks>(2017), or <Palace>(2017) have been rid of the human figure in cxchange for anthromorphic representations using the movement of light. The static and the dynamic, the seeable and the unseeable; the exploration of the in-between spaces is of course relevant to the artist’s ongoing installation works. His future plans are to develop, exphand, and integrate sculpture modeling, abstract molding, and animated video work he has been doing with cameras. His future no doubt holds some very interestion developments.