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Description for Video and Drawing Installation   

Title: Invisible Masterpiece

Medium: 708 pressed line drawings on paper, 3 DVDs, 3 video projectors
This project uses 708 pressed line drawings on paper as the basis for animation.  It combines drawing and video to focus on issues of representation of the Masterpiece.

Conceptual Background of using pressed line drawing video

My motivation for making artwork is to realize the history of art in terms of its limitations.  I am equally concerned with the human condition and mankind’s attempts at achieving balance in life.  These themes intermingle in my work as I try to transcend their restrictive barriers.

One of the ways to depict these ideas into artwork is to draw objects using no color but a single pressed line on paper, a minimal gesture on a white page, so that the drawing can be seen or not according to the angle of light.  The pressed line on paper embraces visual emergence and disappearance simultaneously with the angle of light.  After making hundreds of these drawings, they are animated at 30 drawings per second.  I start with an image that is then traced frame by frame.  I go from video to drawing back to video.  In this process, I endeavor to combine the main aspects of each of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5thdimensions, as in painting, sculpture, video, and light to see other possible forms in the art.
This method allows me to transfer to objects the idea of existence and non-existence together at the same time, based on the idea of Buddhism and ‘the golden mean,’ one of the eastern philosophies.  The definition of ‘the golden mean’ is a balance between two extreme positions, ideas, etc.   I express this idea by depicting human interactions with other entities – the most common thing between us – within the details of everyday life.  Therefore, I observe relationships between people and other people, people and objects, myself and the other.
Project Description
 “Hans Belting shows the variety of ways in which the status and meaning of the masterpiece have been elevated and denigrated since the early 19th century.  The history of the masterpiece coincided with the history of the public museum. Leonardo's Mona Lisa and other celebrated paintings preoccupied later artists, who felt burdened by the one-time cult of the masterpiece as it had been transformed into the cult of visible works of art. Following Duchamp, artists became increasingly resistant to the notion of the masterpiece. Beginning in the 1960s, Conceptual and Minimal artists concentrated on ephemeral forms and manufactured multiple copies in order to reject the outmoded status of the one-off masterpiece and the art market that fed off it.”
I have three clips of people walking around and watching the artworks in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.  These clips are transferred to the pressed line drawing animation on paper based on each drawing for each frame of the video.  I did not draw actual artworks but drew only outline of viewers watching the artworks in the museum so that there are pressed lined movement of people watching empty space on paper.  Some viewers are continuously watching the empty space and some people are talking with other people about the empty space, actually they were talking about the masterpiece.  And some will just walk around in the emptiness facing to the empty space.  Even though I erase the masterpiece and make exhibition room empty, there are still restored connections between the people and the empty space because there were already the relationships between viewers and the masterpiece.  Those relationships are not eliminated by the loss of one element.
There are three different scenes from exhibition rooms of Impressionism, the 17centry European painting, and Contemporary as historical art movements.  It takes 708 drawings on paper to transfer three clips to drawings.   After making the drawings I filmed each drawing for animation at 30 drawings per second matching the original video frame rate.  Each of three videos will be looped continuously on DVD and projected onto three 9 feet by 12 feet rear projection screen (ideal size, but size is vary).  And the drawings will be installed on the other side of the wall if there is enough space. 
When viewers see this work they would question where the masterpieces are, because of its title, Invisible Masterpiece, or even they don’t see the title they would think that the viewers in this work are watching artworks because of the museumgoer’s sacred action of watching artworks.  Therefore, the real viewers, watching this work, see the emptiness of artworks.  I was trying to depict void of artworks especially with so-called masterpiece, which I thought a symbol of power that sometimes blinds other possible creativities in art and leads us to passive reaction to what is happening in our daily life.   There are three layers to complete this works-the viewers in my works, real viewer watching this work and the invisible masterpieces.  Since the viewers in this work are only visualized by an angle of light, no other extra material needed, because of its colorless drawings on paper, everything becomes void again.  Finally, the actual viewers become aware of their reaction to this work.

By Shinil Kim / Artist

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