Seminar Ⅱ - Sunghui Lee
Seminar 2 - Exhibition Methodologies : Sunghui Lee
Curator Sunghui Lee, whose favorite form of writing is the novel, has developed an exhibition methodology comparable to the mystery genre in fiction. Even though they lack characters or incidents involving criminals or murders, Lee’s exhibitions are born from a curiosity that is similar to how a detective might follow clues to solve a mystery. In Lee’s exhibition methodology, a small clue holds the key to a greater world. This path differs from methods that begin with a macroscopic viewpoint and zoom in to focus on microscopic aspects. Lee’s stories inspired me to imagine how it might be to plan exhibitions that start from ordinary, fragmented parts and expand to present the whole picture.
- Seunga You (DCW 2023)
In the second seminar, Sunghui Lee talked about the exhibitions she curated in the past, some 10 years back in 2012. Exhibitions like A Cabinet in the Washing Machine and Our Hesitant Dialogues, inspired by the personal networks and stories existing between the curator and participating artists, create new narratives and networks as they are brought into a public space to encounter anonymous people. As personal relationships become public, they become more intimate or fraught and the individuals either misunderstand or gain a deeper understanding of each other. Even after curating countless exhibitions for more than 10 years, Lee remains committed to focusing on her inner voice rather than on the larger stories happening outside. Lee claims that the important thing is to find “meaning within oneself” because being satisfied or finding conviction are often the most crucial and difficult tasks.
- Sangyeop Rhii (DCW 2023)
Where do exhibitions begin? Is it acceptable for exhibitions to begin with inner utterance? I ask these questions often. The seminar with curator Sunghui Lee provided a solution to such abstract questions that are usually left unanswered. Lee shared her curatorial and personal experiences related to the exhibition, Art Sonje Open Call #2: Our Hesitant Dialogues (2013). These days, my biggest interests lie in “(human/non-human) aging” and “finitude of time and space,” but before the seminar, it never occurred to me to explore these subjects through my parents. Despite them being the people with whom I share the closest relationship, they also feel somewhat distant at the same time.
Artists are intent on communicating with strangers and society, but neglect communicating about art with their parents, with whom they often have the closest relationship. Many artists in their 30s are going through the important stage of building their careers but by not sharing this experience with their parents, they are missing out on the opportunity to understand each other’s lives. However, the time that they can share with their parents is finite.—Sunghui Lee
This passage would still hold true if the word “artists” was replaced with “curators.” Now that I’m close to my thirties, I often miss my father’s calls. I try to imagine the ambiguous professional roles and functions that Lee must have experienced while preparing the exhibition So-Nyeon-I-Ro Hak-Nan-Seong(少年易老學難成; Youth Grow Old with Ease; but Achieve Studies with Difficulty).
The act of creating art and that of curating art serve as different points of “resolution.” A curator is someone who places artworks and artists within a space and then quietly watches over that process like a royal guard. Are “curators” then simply people who put things in place? I imagine that curating is more about composing a thesis by bringing the inner curiosities and images one wants to see, out to meet the external world.
- Jieon Lee (DCW 2023)