“Only visual art bears materiality. Other forms of art, such as poetry, literature, film, and music, do not exist in flesh. It is because of this materiality that the value of visual art is determined by an estimated worth. The conceptual art that constitutes the bedrock of my practice is fundamentally founded on the commitment to removing all materiality from visual art.” –Sung Neung Kyung
Gallery Hyundai proudly presents the solo exhibition of Sung Neung Kyung (b. 1944), Botched art: the meanderings of Sung Neung Kyung, from August 23 through October 8. This exhibition marks the first collaboration between Gallery Hyundai – a leading gallery that has cast new light on Korean experimental art since the early 2010s – and Sung Neung Kyung, widely recognized as a pioneer of Korean conceptual art. The terms “botched art” and “meanderings” in the exhibition’s title are keywords that encapsulate Sung Neung Kyung’s unique aesthetic of irony. By staying true to his non-mainstream identity and labeling his own works as “botched art,” the artist reflects on traditional aesthetics and enacts on a daily basis variations on performances that question conventional grammars of art and the conditions of human life itself.
Botched art: the meanderings of Sung Neung Kyung presents a selection of 140 works spanning the artist’s career in the form of a mini retrospective. The works are arranged compactly, beginning with iconic works from his conceptual art period, Contraction and Expansion and Index Finger, and his 1980s Venue series, where he re-edited photos from newspaper reports and transformed them into a site-specific photo-installation that varies based on particularities of the space. Continuing to trace the trajectory of his career, the exhibition presents the artist’s innovative photos and photo-installations from the 1990s to 2000s, including S’s Posterity: Botched Art Is More Beautiful and Master Bedroom (the artist’s self-proclaimed “botched art” based on his personal narrative as a son and a father of four children); a humorous performance enacting the phrase, “art is short and the avant-garde life is long”; and Everyday English, Index Finger, and Drawing by Your Bottom – artworks arising at the fissure of everyday life and art that the now-elderly experimental artist has engaged in since the 2010s through the present.