Interview with Joongho 17 August 2018
Please tell us how your work under the skin came into being in relation to the theme of the exhibition, Faultlines and Imagined Borders.
For me, â€˜placeâ€™ is an important aspect and I cannot deny that my thoughts about Gwangju were already fixed into this particular aspect. To be honest, I started this project with the question of how I can escape from the stereotypes [of Gwangju.] I attempted to consider how this can be turned into an illusion because photography itself is based on documenting. From my point of view, borders arenâ€™t pre-existing conditions, but are man made. Borders exist in several aspects, in capital, the society, and even in the artsâ€”from elitism to popular art. These borders transform into hierarchies and through these hierarchies, the idea of superiority is formed. Questioning the role of art in these layers of hierarchy, I thought about how I could escape from elitism in art. I thought a lot about this when I was working on this project: how can I create something more insignificant, trivial and superficial?
Please explain in detail how you displayed and actualised the exhibition at the former Provincial Office.
My works are exhibited at the basement of the former Provincial Office. Apparently it was an arsenal where the citizens gathered their weapons. After the renovation, the floor was made much thicker, so the heights of the arsenal walls are now only around 180 cm tall. In the basement, I will be exhibiting the photographs I took at the Military Hospital with a mirror as part of the installation. The viewer, the photograph and the reflection of the viewer in the mirror is a representation of the divided ego coming together with the photographs. I will also be exhibiting on the staircase, presenting the photographs like how public offices used to hang photographsâ€”with old fashioned frames and marks that show its age. The title of my exhibition is deep inside the skin in Korean, which actually came from a mistake. Originally, I was inspired from the Mygale, a novel by Thierry Jonquet, which was produced into a movie called The Skin I Live In (2011) directed by Pedro AlmodÃ³var. I read the novel and then watched the movie, but because itâ€™s been a while since I watched it, I only remembered the title. So thinking about the movie and the novel, I came up with the title deep inside the skin. I got the title wrong, but my mistake felt closer to my intention. Its English title is under the skin, which is slightly different from deep inside the skin. The space, to me, was like a large animal or a monster and the title reflects my attempt to see deep inside the monster.