People, the Next People, 2017
high definition video
Courtesy of the artist
Part-Time Suite’s video work People, the Next People reflects on the role that images of Minjung art played during South Korea’s Democratization Movement, while at the same time trying to come to terms with their current role in our Internet-driven times—thus weaving intricate connections between past and present. Minjung painting often exposed the individual and the collective reality of common people in large canvases displayed in the public space, in what was meant to work as a reminder of the civil rights struggles of the working class under the dictatorship. Almost four decades later, the conception of individual representation, mediated by digital and social media, has become a ubiquitous form of expression, communication, and over-exposure of the self. This over-exposure has backlashed as forms of control, both by way of illegal filming and distribution of private images, and through the widespread use of facial recognition tools by governments all around the world. Through the gaze of a fictional child— who wanders the underground paths of Seoul, performs shamanic rituals, sings an old protest song, and walks around Itaewon on a Halloween night—this work explores the distance between the two different relationships to image and reality; and the transformation, over time, from a tool of social resistance to Cold War ideology to one of neoliberal social control.
Part-Time Suite (est. 2009, Korea), is a duo consisting of Miyeon Lee and Jaeyoung Park. Since 2013, they extended their area of exploration into the prevailing economy-centrism and media environment that dominate the foundation for everyday life, as well as the power that the arts can create in and against such conditions, however minute it may be. The artists also perform as a musical project band, Part-Time Suite Sound, and have released two EPs. Their works so far have focused on the question of art and society in the context of cityscapes and narratives in spaces—rough, yet poetic performance videos and installations in which limitations and constraints in the circumstances are transformed into point of interests through the artists’ intervention and initiation. Their recent solo shows include: The Ballad of Real Estates (ARTZONE, Kyoto, Japan, 2017) and AIR (Hapjungjigu, Seoul, 2019). They have participated in numerous groups shows, such as Rendez-vous 13 (Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, France, 2013), Afterpiece (Arko Art Center, Seoul, 2015), Choreographic Society (June Paik Art Center, Yongin, Korea, 2015), GRAVEDAD CERO: El Ranchito Corea–Japón (Matadero Madrid, 2015), Seoul Mediacity Biennale (2016), Working for the Future Past (SeMA, Seoul, 2017), The Square (MMCA, Seoul, 2019), Belief, Hope and Love Media Punk (Arko Art Center, Seoul, 2019).