CHOI&LAGER Gallery: Na Hyun - 'Pro-ject' - 31 Jan 2016 to 3 Apr 2016
Na Hyun, Pile-Rhine 2010, 2011, 2013. Three channel video
Opening: Friday 29.01.2016, 7 pm
31.01.2016 - 03.04.2016
Babel Is Not Past
On the subjective writing of history in works by Na Hyun (South Korea).
Na Hyun, who studied in Seoul and Oxford, often brings together historical events from differing cultures and countries in his works. In the process, he employs the means of drawing, film, interviews and diverse archive materials to highlight current social or ecological conflicts.
For his project Missing, made between 2006 and 2009, he researched the disappearance of French soldiers in the Korean War: official sources in France as well as South Korea had provided only insufficient and contradictory information until recently.
A Song of Lorelei (2010–2013) connects the historical course of the Rhine next to Düsseldorf with a gigantic project initiated by the past Korean president Myung Bak Lee to regulate four rivers in South Korea.
Since 2012 Na Hyun has been making steady progress on his project The Babel Tower. It explores and visualises the extent to which the Teufelsberg in Berlin and the Nanjido in Seoul may be considered as contemporary versions of the building of the Tower of Babel. One of the hills is a green area in the city district of Grunewald, which was developed from rubble after the Second World War and is topped until today by a white dome of a former US-American aircraft surveillance post and listening station. In Korea the hill was formed on an island in the Han River in Seoul and grew from 1978 to 1993 into one of the biggest garbage piles in the world. Today, what is called Nanjido has been renaturalised and revitalised with greens and parks, while it still threatens to contaminate the surrounding waters.
Na Hyun presents the analogy between the two hills and the legendary tower by displaying a custom made wooden chest of drawers in the form of a tower with the drawers containing drawings and archive materials he collected. His presentation also adds photographed images of plants found at the Teufelsberg, as well as interviews with foreigners living in Kreuzberg, Berlin and Seoul in South Korea.
The themes Na Hyun explores in his works are often related to violence that is being done to mankind and nature. As an artist he pleads for a diversity in existences and perspectives. His partly scientific, sometimes fictitious research is based on a concept of history that disregards historical certainties as indisputable truths but rather constructed and guided for particular interests: as a consequence, the artist explains that history can be opened up to new insights.
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