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Answer is not from a result, but from a generation
- Andre Bazin

The invention of a telescope and a microscope has widened the limited vision system of people. These inventories, which were invented in the 17th century, introduced what people cannot see because of so small size and far distance to people’s vision. The enlargement of vision itself became the opportunity to widen the scope of people's recognition. Even though the instruments were born for the same reason, they are not likely to exist in the same space. A telescope cannot show the world of a microscope,with its allocation of lenses, and the same goes for the microscope. The world of a telescope stops the world of a microscope, and vice versa. Therefore, it’s impossible for an individual to have both of these vision systems.

Yet, here is the example of showing that people took the two vision systems. In the novel, “Gulliver’s Travels” written by Jonathan Swift, Gulliver views the world sometimes with a telescopic vision, sometimes with a microscopic vision when he voyages to “Lilliput”, “Brobdingnaag”, “Flying island of Laputa”, “the Country of the Houyhnhnms”. Like this, he having the enlarged vision reveals the other side of the world that he has experienced with his savage satire and metaphor. Now about 300 years has passed. Here is the person who has explored here and there familiar with us in Seoul. He is now writing another “Gulliver’s Travels.” Where is he, and what does he look at? I’ll follow the track of his vision.

A city is enormous, refined and magnificent, whichseems to be systematically organized. I’m not sure whether it is still the case in reality, but what Kwon, Soon-Kwan captures, the generalized and overall image of a city, is as follows; a clear sky full of romanceand buildings showing their majestic appearance under it. The appropriate allocation of these things makes Kwon’s photographs seem to be a bird’s-eye-view in order to capture the grand area, “city” at one time. This is the first trace that he leaves. The trace connotes proclamatory statement, "This is a city." To make the statement complete, a "city," a noun indicated by "this,"a demonstrative pronoun should have a system as a signe. Then, in order to make a signe perfect, a significant and a signifie should be met, and it has to be agreed by people. First of all, the size of a significant shown by Kwon to gain the signe, a "city" is enormous, even if it's impossible to become a life-size. His desire to secure a large view and include every place in a city is secretly and closely distributed in every corner of his work, making the photograph of a grand "city."

It is the buildings that are visually at the center of his photograph. Those buildings have nice names of their own: "Hyundai Department Store", "Kiup Bank", "JoonAng Daily", "Kyobo Securities", "SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System)", "HANWHA". The names can be classified as capital (Kiup Bank, Kyobo Securities, and HANWHA), consumption (Hyundai Department Store), media (JoonAng Daily and SBS) pointing the other side of a modern society. A city is systemized, secures its own area, and continues to expand it through a composition of these things. In Kwon's city where everything which should be placed are there, a city seem to make a signe, a "city", complete. However, the meaning determination of a "city" is delayed because Kwon does not give much importance to a significant that he used to define a signe, a "city", as a signifie.

The Hyundai Department Store of Kwon's photograph can exist as Hyundai Department Store and be placed there, and be met with a signifie, "consumption" in our recognition.This is only because the indicator toward the building directs Hyundai Department Store.He does not explain the province of a signifie or the interface between "Hyundai Department Store"and the city.He just pays his attention to the building itself, a significant taking his place in a city.He does not care whether securities are traded, or a newspaper is made.He just matters that the building so called Hyundai Department Store should be always put where it is.The buildings in the shape of a square are a clear but empty significant because they do not have a signifie.
Against this backdrop, the buildings in Kwon's photographs are similar to a sponge in shape and meaning. In his photograph, sponges absorb the viewers' vision regardless of their location. Since a sponge has much room for absorption, it has never excluded what it can receive until it becomes saturated. The province is determined by the judgment of whether what's accessible or not. Accordingly, it has a violation and a taboo, and is maintained and strengthened through the rule. A city follows the rule of the province. To the contrary, Kwon's city being composed of a sponge has no rule. There is no order of absorption and no difference between the absorbed objects. Therefore, the city is a place where a social rule, which inevitably lurks outside the text, is offset. The city systemized by a violation and a taboo is the world of order. Meanwhile, Kwon's city is a disorderly space where empty significants without signifie are floating. In conclusion, the proclamatory statement "This is the city" cannot gain justification and is delayed, slipping into the layer of meaning.

Postponed is delayed, never meant stopped. In order for Kwon to continue his play "This is the city,"he leaves another trace. His second trace exists outside the text, not inside it. It is the title of his work, which is put outside the text but has majesty as an epigram has. While a sponge of Hyundai Department Store absorbs viewers' sight, Kwon requires them to pay their attention to the work "Woman sitting before doughnuts." As he shows the huge building "Kyobo Securities," he requests viewers to take a look at the work "Delivery man fighting against with passerby asking for a direction" in front of the building. It means that his title indicates the life of individual units that were removed in bird's-eye-view for overall view. A sponge indiscriminately receiving the viewer's sight becomes saturated when he starts to recognize the province indicated by the title of works. Then, the sponge can no longer absorb and has to emit the sight that it has with twisting itself. At this time, the sight completely forgets the world of sponge in which it has thus far lived, and is irregularly distributed in the photograph. As we follow the trace, what we can meet is the performances by anonymous people.

They are divided as man or woman, are placed in a certain province, and take an action; they are sittingwith their head bowed, they are standing with holding their briefcase, asking a direction, fighting against with somebody, and hugging a woman.They who do not have their own name and are classified into man and woman are performing on the stage of the province where they are involved.The titles showing some parts of the action lead to a question, "Why does the artist put such a name into his works?"after considering the sequence of time.Yet, his photograph feels cold and provides the opportunity for the third party to objectively take a look at.The sequence of time is empty and should be filled with imagination and reasoning.There are many clues; psychological delicate gestures of performers, face expression to be dimly seen, and the relations with the neighboring environment.

Anonymous being. They are subject not only to people indicated by Kwon's title, but also to people who want to reveal themselves in their province. For example, there is a woman standing idly right after shopping, next to a woman sitting before doughnuts and a man drawing deeply on his cigarette, when sitting in front of a traffic signal. The viewer's sight which came from a sponge and disorderly played will encounter another performer in the work in a disorder way. In other words, the performances by anonymous people are delayed by viewers. This is the right exit for people who are isolated from the province. These people become to secure the mobility through the disorder movement of viewer's sight. This is the mobility making a signe a "city"where empty floating significants reach a signe.

The answer is made through this process. It was resulted not from the suggested outcome, but from the mobility or the process that constituent units make through communicating with viewers. The people in Kwon, Soon-Kwan's photograph are so normal that it quietly performs. The performances are not yet perfect, so they continuously play in the works even at this time, making performances being delayed by taking ordinary actions. The signe of a city from the viewpoint of Kwon with a telescope and a microscope is a significant without a signifie or irregularly distributed signifies, with the viewer's sight. "Despite photographer's masterly skill and model's forced pose, in this image, the work makes viewers try to find a small possibility."(Walter Benjamin) That is the photograph of Kwon, Soon-Kwan, and is our city that we can mention in this article. "This is the city."

By Lee, Dae-Bum / Art Critic


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