Sojung Jun / Pernod Ricard Fellow 2016
In residency in July 2016, January and February 2017
Sojung Jun (South Korea, 1982) received a BFA in Sculpture from Seoul National University and an MFA from Yonsei University. She is known for her video and performance artworks. Sojung Jun has been intrigued by the concept of time and the repetitive experience of emotion in our life. She takes the life stories of individuals she comes across and retells them as part of her work through stage plays, performances and narratives using ancient texts as reference. One of her solo exhibitions, One Man Theater, which was shown in Sungkyun Gallery in Seoul in 2009, demonstrates Jun’s interest in producing a series of related shots that constitute a complete unit of action. In her series Daily Experts, ongoing since 2009, she seeks to mull over life and art by configuring the exclusive tempo, language, colors, sounds and editing for video works in an integrated manner.
STATEMENT OF INTENT
"In 2014, I collaborated with a piano tuner for my work The Twelve Rooms. I used his repeated tuning sounds to create a music piece, and added a particular color tone to the sounds. Inspired by letters exchanged between Wassily Kandinsky and Arnold Schoenberg, I wanted to explore more diverse phenomena linked to synesthesia, beyond the color-sound relations. My concern lied in the fundamental point of how to share this special and individual experience deemed as a pathological or abnormal phenomenon, which led to curiosity in how each of the individual experiences could be channeled into artworks.
The Twelve Rooms triggered a new correspondence between curator Sohyun Ahn and myself, through which we tried to unveil the secrets of synesthesia. We notably discussed graphemic synesthesia (sensing images from alphabet shapes) in Voyelles, by poet Arthur Rimbaud; color auditions in Alexander Scriabin’s music piece, Promethée, Le Poème du feu; and transpositions of forms and senses in Thomas Bernhard’s novel Alte Meister. We explored such notions as Roman Jakobson’s “metonymy”, which connects objects with no seeming causality by the force of differences; and Gilles Deleuze’s “differences” and “intensity”. We were interested in synesthesia as a principle for creating artworks, and as a methodology to create and appreciate artworks. Our set of artistic references triggered the desire for a deeper investigation into the way synesthesia has been explored in Europe, especially in France.
During an earlier, short stay in France in 2012, I was charmed by Louis Aragon’s novel Le Paysan de Paris. The book attempts to collect and give form to a changing city through individual, non-causal elements. As I am currently preparing a new work to propose an alternative view of Seoul as physically torn apart by neo-liberal development projects nationwide, I would like to tap onto Le Paysan de Paris and synesthesia as creative principles."
Image: Sojung Jun, The Twelve Rooms, 2014, 7’35”, single channel video, stereo sound, color, HD. Courtesy: Sojung Jun.