Project director / artist: Byoungho Kim
Mechanical design: Dongju Kim
Curatorial advice: Namhee Park, Sieun Lee
Location: Songgwangsa Temple (100, Songgwangsaan-gil, Songgwang-myeon, Suncheon-si, Jeollanam-do, Korea)
Bronze casting & CNC machine work: Daehan Nonferrous Metals
Construction: Studio Sungshin
Work title: Mediated Memory | 3SBCP
Work size: 3,660(H)x1,080x1,080mm
Exhibition period: Oct. 2016 ─ Oct. 2017
Support: Amorepacific Museum of Art, Songgwangsa Temple
Conceptual and Constructive Scenery
written by Park Sungjin | materials provided by Byoungho Kim
The sound of a bell ringing wakes up the mountains every morning. As the monks remove the white cloth as the bell rings, it finally reveals its form. A golden ray of light creates a modest wavelength at the autumn mountain’s edge. At the moment, mountain climbers and Buddhists stop what they are doing and carefully gaze upon this unusual object. It was at that moment when Mediated Memory, an artwork by Byoungho Kim, was being installed at the entrance to the Songgwangsa Temple in Suncheon. The launch of the work didn’t create as much noise as it ought to have, considering the long history behind the works of sculpture, installation and sound by the artist in question. However, the artist states with bold intention that this is his first true work of art facing the reality, escaping the modernist white cube. This sounded like more of a self-declaration of his future works, rather than a denial of his past. What aspects of this work will lead the artist to encounter a different world? I would like to recall three different kinds of scenery that surround Mediated Memory, which contributed towards the simple unveiling ceremony that took place last autumn.
© Moon Soyoung
The audience would accept and recognise the piece, each with their own unique personal interpretation. Regrets of the past, expectations for the present, wishes for the future are all contained in the eyes and hands of those who encounter the work.
Conceptual Scenery_ Mediated Memory is in the form of a pagoda. The pagoda is a universal symbol and a form that penetrates the shamanistic-mythological-spiritual period of the human history, especially in Buddhism. The reason why this piece is not known as the pagoda does not limit the universality of the piece to a certain religious context. However, in the context of a Songgwangsa Temple, over one year, it achieves the meaning of being within the doctrine of Buddhism while also existing as a pagoda. The spatial theory of Buddhism, which can be compressed into the Samcheon Daecheonsegye, expands into Socheon Segye (collection of 1,000 worlds), Jungcheon Segye (collection of 1,000 Socheon Segye), and Daechoen Segye (collection of 1,000 Jungcheon Segye). It demonstrates the existence and order of an entity within the infinite expansion of the world.
The term ‘gwanyum’ (concept) comes from a term in Buddhism, which was later adapted to philosophy and daily lives. It has a meaning to ‘observe Buddha and the truth’. Mediated Memory is the ‘gwanyum’ that has a physical form. The artist explained by comparing the connection and expansion of the physical structure of the piece under the conceptual spatial theory of Buddhism. The formality of the pagoda and the Songgwangsa Temple leads the people into the conceptual scenery.
Constructive Scenery_ The pagoda, which is built by piling rocks, is fundamentally constructive. Lower body, main body, and upper body make up the pagoda. However, the elements of a pagoda noted in Mediated Memory has been deconstructed and reduced to that of a silhouette. The form is made by piling and framing 1907 pieces of symmetrical bronze cones that are 72mm wide and 250mm high. In order to express the ‘aesthetics of antigravity’, the connection between these intuitive pieces should be hidden while achieving a structural stability. Byoungho Kim’s past works have long displayed the methods of module and units, but the relationship between parts and the whole was never physically constructive or intimate. Because of this shadow of the pagoda, the relationship became more intimate and constructive in this work. The vertical and horizontal connecting structure of the bolts causes a cohesive force inside in order to connect 4345 individual pieces without welding. Because the units were connected without a board, Mediated Memory can theoretically expand or shrink as much as it wants. This physical constitutive principle is adjacent to the conceptual spatial theory of Buddhism. However, the module is a mere method to the artist, whereas the meaning and statement of the work is much more important.
The form is made by piling and framing 1907 pieces of symmetrical bronze cones that are 72mm wide and 250mm high.
Relative Scenery_ The opening for Mediated Memory was different to that of an ordinary exhibition. Seven monks performed the ceremony, allowing nature and the lands to know that a new being came to its territory. The performance of Heart Sutra by the monk made the pedestrians stop and gather their hands together to pray. The audience would accept and recognise the piece, each with their own unique personal interpretation. Regrets of the past, expectations for the present, wishes for the future are all contained in the eyes and hands of those who encounter the work. This is unique scenic quality created by Mediated Memory. The scenery displays the mediation between transcendence and reality, nature and the artificial, concepts and reasoning, art and religion, past and present, time and space. The unclear and ambiguous form and context create relationships with various layers. The collision of style is lesser because it is not located inside the temple, but it still creates new scenery between art and religion.
Mediated Memory is not a one-shot operation; a series of works will follow after. However, the future works does not have to have the form of a pagoda. The form, law, scale, and material will vary, depending on the subject of mediation. Mediated Memory will permeate the memory and time of its place, as it appears to be doing so now.
The collision of style is lesser because it is not located inside the temple, but it still creates new scenery between art and religion.
Byoungho Kim obtained his B.F.A in Dept of Printmaking, College of Fine Arts at Hongik University and M.S in Major of Technology Art, Graduate School of Advanced Imaging science, Multimedia & Film at Chungang University. Beside his several solo exhibitions including ‘Garden in the Garden’(Arario Gallery, Cheonan, Korea, 2013), other prominent exhibitions are as followed; ‘Artificial Fairyland’(Suzhou Jinji Lake Art Museum, Suzhou, China, 2015), ‘Korea Tomorrow’(DDP, Seoul, Korea, 2014), APMAP 2014 jeju ─ ‘BETWEEN WAVES’(Seogwang Tea Garden/OSULLOC, Jeju, Korea, 2014), ‘Jing’an International Sculpture Project’ (Jing’an Sculpture Park, Shanghai, China, 2012) and ‘Korean Eye’ (Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, 2012). His artworks are held in numerous collections such as IFC Seoul, Johnnie Walker House Seoul, Amorepacific Museum of Art, ILSHIN Foundation, SEONHWA Art and Culture Foundation and Government Complex Sejong.