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    21c AGP The Fourth Activity

    ArtMessenger - The experiences and the communications of art in cyberspaces

    ArtMessenger- 누가 내 초밥을 옮겼을까 + 이야기의 시작

    Beginning of the story _ Visual music Jung Bong Won

    Society on a Sushi Conveyor Belt

    The conveyer belt in the movie Modern Times was often used as a symbol for the mechanized and standardized human life in industrialized society. The streets, junctions, escalators and elevators of modern cities were also codified with the same meaning as the conveyor belt. Artist Kuimi You delves into this symbolic meaning of the conveyor belt. She reads modern urban life and traits of human life embedded in the diversely colorful sushi dishes on a sushi conveyor belt. Her work revolves around ‘sushi;’ she personifies sushi to display various scenes. According to her, the sushi appearing on the screen – including among others egg sushi, salmon sushi, and tuna sushi - are incarnations of different characters, all with different traits. As sushi in a rotating sushi restaurant is priced according to the color of its dish, the value of the various types of sushi shown on screen is predetermined. Kuimi uses this concept of predetermined value as a medium for communicating the various scenes reflecting human society. However, she does not utilize sushi simply as a vehicle for criticizing society, but to express snapshots of modern society with humor and wit. For example, the work paints the busy scene of riverside drive using sushi on a conveyor belt. The myriad cars on the street are represented with different types of sushi, the bridge becomes chopsticks, the mountain is a side of fish, and Yeoui-island is depicted as a sushi dish. Kuimi changed the competitive race of modern urban life into a sumptuous landscape of sushi. invokes the sweetness of sushi to illuminate the moonlit cityscape as endearing and beautiful.

    Kuimi also fills her paintings with Korean tradition. , , are the major examples. Inspired by the Joseon Dynasty-era 8-fold screen documentary painting which depicts King Jeongjo visiting his father Prince Sadoseja’s grave, she tells varied stories of modern society. She expresses in sushi images from traditional documentary paintings, including in which the passing candidates of the civil service exam are announced, and which depicts training soldiers. The work is a satire of the scene of modern college entrance examinations, manifest in the form of civil service examinations from the Joseon Dynasty. There are hanging banners at the entrance of the examination hall with various dishes drawn on them. Mothers are praying. A late student laments that he is not permitted to enter. On either side, there are flags from top private academic institutes and prestigious high schools. Eel and mackerel sushi, which seem to be soldiers, are holding various tools for punishment. Soldiers in the front are holding bows and arrows to prevent cheating, and there is spicy soy sauce ready for interrogation purposes. Outside the palace, to the north, a landscape of teary-eyed fish heads is spread out, as if to communicate the tears shed in the vicious war for college acceptance. a depiction of , portrays the process of military enlistment and training. The water clock, sundial, and hourglass in the work metaphorically show the mandatory 2-year period of military service in Korea. There are two eggs in the king’s palace; the work shows the slightly lonely yet charming scene of the eggs being left after the cuckoo has left the nest. depicts the more irrational side of modern society, including various crimes, political fights, absurdity, arson, and floods, that occur despite the safety institutions ostensibly in place. Kuimi also expresses through her kitchen series diverse social issues such as religion and education, beauty pageants and terror, and crime. She portrays through these works the images of people who subordinate themselves to social power, and those who control it.

    Kuimi’s work, which draws out snapshots of modern society through elaborate scenes of sushi, criticizes the standardization of society that seeks to control all aspects of human life by the scale of social values including finances, appearance, education, and prestige. This criticism is a mechanism through which the viewer can become conscious of these values as being a constant yoke and halter, neverending like the conveyor belt in a sushi bar. The artist hopes that the diverse landscapes of society can be overlapped by endearing scenes of sushi. As we leisurely enjoy sushi, if we could look on life and think of it as a ‘romance,’ Kuimi’s sushi landscapes will fill invaluable, beautiful dishes.

    Paik Gon(Aesthetics) translated by Wonho Jung

    Kuimi You's exhibition

    'Who moved my sushi?'

    December 2th~December 8th 2009


    The conversation with the Artist

    pm 4 December 6th, 2009


    ArtMessenger- 유귀미 인터뷰 1 / 2

    The conversation video script

    KWANHOON GALLERY _ 198 kwanhoon-dong, jongro-gu, seoul

    kwanhoongallery.com Tel. 82_2_733_6469


    We, Art Messenger want to be media getting over the countries and races with the visual arts allowing the variety of the values. Besides, we hope new values would be created by understanding the differences between individuals and groups. We hope you would be your own Art Messengers by sharing our contents within your web communities. As a result, you could find the positive reactions of the diversities.

    Kuimi You's exhibition 'Who moved my sushi?'


    Art Messenger – Coexistence of various view points makes lives better!


TitelDay of peace / Kuimi You's exhibition 'Who moved my sushi?'
Material, Technikchinese ink, color on korean paper
Format 180x92cm
Jahr, Ort2009
    Info2260 1