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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Chun Sung-Myung

Chun Sung-Myung

Chun, Sung-Myung  received his B.F.A and M.F.A from Suwon University. His 6th solo exhibition "Swallowing the Shadow" was held at Gallery SUN contemporary, 5th solo exhibition "Hang Under Moonlight" was held at Gallery Sang, Seoul at 2005. He has participated in ARCO 2007, Art Rotterdam 2007, Busan Biennale 2006 and Gwangju Biennale 2000 as well as various group shows. Recently, he has opened his shop "chunsungmyungin" to exhibit and merchandise his artworks in pursuit of build up new space which has differ business methods with galleries.
Cheon, Seong-myong has been indulged only in sculpture in a local area near Seoul, as if he were one of the hard-working manual laborers in the nation. The sculptor had already been well-known for his dark and restless self-portrait sculpture. At his current solo exhibition "Swallowing the Shadow", he presented 12 human figure sculptures which looks like the artist himself and created the space as a theatre, showing his work in the theme of ‘scar’ upon a person. Chun is planning to have three-chaptered that are connected by dramatic plot. Every each chapter has different time period and happening. For example, the first chapter which will be held in 6th solo exhibition portrays around noon, next second chapter around evening, and third chapter around midnight until drawn. These narrative exhibitions will show Chun’s phantasmal story more dramatic. He shows ordinary situations, human actions created sensitively and captures usual actions in daily lives and changes them into something uncanny. Humans in our modern society try to avoid themselves from getting hurt, but eventually people find themselves hurt mentally or physically. Moreover, whether it is mentally hurt or not, curing a gash cannot be treated thoroughly. He desires wounded audience to be able to stand alone strong because sometimes bringing out the worst into brighter place rather than hiding can be a better method.

He depicts the desolate and dismal landscapes into the sculpture only to attract the audience into his own stories suggesting some dramatic scenes and literary narratives. Through such works, he seems to attempt not to reveal the scars to excite compassion or express sympathy but to heal body and soul hurt. The typical images created by Cheon, Seong myong-shaven head, striped shirts, man having adult's face but kid's body, lethargic expression and attitude, strangely pale gray tone and so on-look not grotesque but familiar, because they stimulate our imagination about our own self-images as well as his own one oppressed heavily by the weight of existence. Another ego in 'me' attacks and threatens me brutally, or an image sits with a miserable look, revealing its unshapely damaged look. The images may have been deformed as such not just by some physical violence but by our society and its systems. Probably, they are just our own images. As it is, we can see in his works self-affection and self-abuse overlaid and crossed sensitively, and in this context, it may not be far wide off the mark to regard his works as role plays suggested to the audience. In these role plays with neither winner nor loser, we can be either protagonists or antagonists confronting him. The huge figure in a cloak reveals a desire to be a ruler, but he can hardly rule even his another ego in himself, and therefore, he would be further hurt, yearning for an existence helpful to him. Chun says that the boy covered with bird and the girl holding fish-shaped pyoong-kyung will be shown continuously on to the next exhibitions. Fish, the only beings that never close their eyes even at asleep, symbolizes always-awakened mentally in Buddhism. Yet, we cannot predict what will happen to these characters in the following chapter but let’s keep in staying watching.


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