August 9, 2020Comments are off for this post.



LED channel light, ambient sound

Um... is an ongoing series of works installed on water so that the text is read via its reflection.
音, a common Chinese character meaning “sound”, shares the same origin as 言, “to speak”. It is an ancient character, first etched into animal bones in the 2nd millennium BC. “Sound” was only differentiated from “speech” later in Chinese bronze age scripts (c. 800BC). Shirakawa Shizuka has suggested an etymology of the word, 音 that it originally depicted the sound of the shaman’s prayer, and a sensing of the faint sound of spiritual forces. Reflecting the prehistoric origin of the character, Um... was imagined as a message from the remote past, as an utterance voiced in the present.


installation for Hongje Yuyeon public art project, Seoul
image courtesy THE allim

May 6, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Seedling (Cedar)

rendering, in progress

Seedling is a concept rendering reconstructed from a micro-CT scan of a germinating tree, enlarged to an architectural scale. It is designed to be installed in an inverted orientation on the surface of the reflecting pool. Seedling (cedar) is modelled after a western red cedar.

The tree, as an image, plays an interesting role in the history of language. It is used in a rich range of metaphors to describe the “Tree of Life”, the “Tree of Knowledge”, or “The World Tree”. In the Sino- language tradition, the most common modern character for ‘tree’ is 木.

It is interesting to note that archaic version of the same character depicted the tree rather as a symmetrical system, with both branches above ground and roots below. I see this shift in language as indicative of our modern challenge to see beyond the surface image of the natural world, and to understand more completely the holistic nature of living systems. The upside down tree allows the root ‘system for living’ to be exposed, and the young life-form to resonate as a symbol of germination and growth.

tree in Seal script , Bronze Age China

Micro-CT scan: UBC Centre for High-Throughput Phenogenomics
Seedling rendering: Grégoire Dupond

February 17, 2020Comments are off for this post.


6K video projection mapped on the Vancouver Art Gallery, sound, 3'40", 2019

Celebration brings the phrase “Who Can Stop Us from Celebrating”, which is both private and political, into a highly visible public space. Progressing from illegible to legible, the words can function as either a question or as a statement. We bring one or the other into reality, depending on how we interpret the meaning of these words. Celebration raises questions around the nature of the structures of power and authority that govern the spaces that we inhabit. Celebration was commissioned by the Burrard Arts Foundation and the Vancouver Art Gallery for Facade Festival 2019.

Photos by Burrard Arts Foundation

February 16, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Black Book (slideshow)

2 slide projectors, microprocessor, rear projection glass screen, 17:50, 2019

Black Book installation uses analog film projectors controlled via microprocessor for a large screen viewing experience of the original artist’s book. Black Book joins two distinct threads of disparate cultures and histories — Confucian virtues and modern black humour — inquiring into contemporary ideologies such as patriarchy, political coercion, and technological determinism. The artist's book of the same title was published by Information Office in 2018.

In the election office: "when you finish voting, you may lower your arms and slowly walk away from the wall."
투표소에서: "투표가 끝나면 천천히 두 손을 내리고 벽에서 떨어져 걸어 나오시면 됩니다."

Installation views at CSA Space, Vancouver, 2019
Photos by Chris Jones

February 16, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Black Book

artist book, 24 x 16.5 cm, 80 pages, printed silver ink on black paper, hardcover, edition of 500, 2018

Black Book is an artist’s book that joins two distinct threads of disparate cultures and histories — Confucian virtues and black humour — inquiring into contemporary ideologies such as patriarchy and technological determinism.

The illustrations in Black Book are borrowed from a 15th century Confucian text titled Illustrated Conduct of the Three Bonds. The woodblock print book was first published in 1431 by the royal dynasty of the time, as part of an effort to disseminate Confucian principles throughout the kingdom. In the years that followed its appearance, the book was subsequently restructured and reprinted numerous times throughout the Joseon period. Black Book draws primarily from a specific edition now housed at the National Library of Korea, the exact publication date of which is unknown. The majority of the images in Black Book are appropriated from the volume called “Virtuous Women”.

The original jests and cartoon effects in Black Book were collected from various online sources, literary texts, or in some cases by word of mouth. Some are unaltered, but many have been edited to reflect or invoke a more contemporary context. True to the form of black humour, present interpretations belong to the audience.

Published by Information Office, Vancouver

Black Book was published with support from the Canada Council for the Arts and British Columbia Arts Council.

February 15, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Intended for you Alone

banner, 50m 2017

'Everyone strives for the Law', says the woman, 'how is it then that over all these years no one but me has asked to be let in?' The doorkeeper sees the woman is nearing the end of her life and, to reach her failing ears, he shouts to her:'No one else could gain admission here, since this door was intended for you alone. Now I am going to close it.'

Originally produced for the exhibition Trauma, Memory and the story of Canada, Intended for you Alone is based on research into the Komagata Maru incident in 1914, especially the experiences of women who were prevented from joining their families, and whose lives were shifted dramatically in the new land. The artwork consists of a 50m banner wrapped around a construction site in Vancouver’s rapidly changing Punjabi market. The text is appropriated from Kafka’s well-known parable Before the Law; a Q&A excerpt reflects the dynamics of global migration across jurisdictions.

Review by Zool Suleman on Rungh.

Intended for you Alone  was commissioned by the South Asian Canadian Histories Association (SACHA) and curated by Raghavendra Rao K.V.

February 15, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Door Phase

門의 위상 Door Phase, single channel moving image 11'07", loop

A clip from Door Phase

February 15, 2020Comments are off for this post.

門 The Doors

The Doors, pigment print on backlit film 152cm x 122cm
Door Phase, single channel moving image 11'07", loop

The Doors (2016) is Hyung-Min Yoon’s third work to utilize text as sculpture for an outdoor installation. In particular, this series positions the text on a body of water in order to generate a reflection, and in so doing, activates the artwork as an ephemeral manifestation of light. Furthermore, in this instance the sculpture has been designed for mobility, to be transported and documented in multiple locations, thus to broaden the possible associated narratives.

The sculpture consists of a single Chinese character 門, meaning “door” or “gate”. This character is one of the most prevalent in use today, but it is also one of the oldest known characters in the Sino language group. The eminent scholar Shirakawa Shizuka has suggested that 門 originally referred to the door of a shrine, and so the script therefore had a spiritual connotation (Shizuka, 2005, p. 66). In this way, the character 門 was not just a pragmatic symbol of the everyday, rather it was a metaphor for a portal, a border or a space ‘in-between’ worlds. This metaphor forms the basis for compound meanings produced by inserting other characters between the ‘doors’, such as 閂, 閃, 閒, 間, etc. The Doors echoes this ancient production of meaning by bringing the metaphor into a relation with specific sites.

In this work, the ‘real’ object and the ephemeral reflection holds a tension in the landscape, balanced by the central metaphor. Water - the medium and the activator, the primordial soup, the beginning - connects the past and present, as well as all the sites. The surface of the water vibrates sometimes subtly, other times violently by wind, rain or a bird’s movement; the appearance of the reflected character is subject to constant change. At a certain time, when the surroundings agree, still water reveals the ancient character. As the critic and writer Lucy R. Lippard has said, “If one distrusts the value systems of this society, where does one look for alternatives? Back to the beginnings.” (1983, p. 90)

The Doors was produced with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.




small_doors_installation2 Installation at Trunk gallery, Seoul


A clip from Door Phase

February 15, 2020Comments are off for this post.

The Gesture of Writing

PVC vinyl print, 280cm x 100cm 2016

The Gesture of Writing (When You Realize There Is Nothing Lacking The Whole World Belongs To You) is the second iteration of the series that spells out a 6th century BC Daoist aphorism. From a distance, the message appears as though written in a peculiar sort of calligraphy. At closer observation, the viewer discovers the letters are made with a DIY hand alphabet resembling sign language. This form of lettering mystifies and slows down the reading to a speed that is necessary to contemplate the depth of the aphorism.

Installed on the façade of the Nakwon market, an old traditional market in the centre of historic downtown Seoul, the quote from Dao De Jig positively reflects the past and the present of the area.

Photo: Jung Jungho (World Script Symposia 2016)

February 14, 2020Comments are off for this post.

SunMoonMoonSun (detail)

light object H 80 cm x W 53 cm x D 8 cm (stainless steel, acrylic, LED light)
steel cylinder diameter 100cm, water drip system 2020/2015

February 14, 2020No Comments

SunMoonMoonSun 日月月日

light object H 80 cm x W 53 cm x D 8 cm (stainless steel, acrylic, LED light) steel cylinder diameter 100cm, water drip system 2015

The sun is 400 times bigger than the Moon, but since the distance from the Earth to the Sun is coincidentally 400 times greater than the distance between the Moon and the Earth, the factors match and both bodies appear to be a similar size. Humans have always applied symbolic, and also contrasting, meanings to these two bright spheres in the sky: fire and water, male and female, yin and yang, stasis and change etc... SunMoonMoonSun brings the two opposing concepts together to form a resulting Chinese ideographic meaning: “bright”. Day and night are opposites, but together they are unified as a single day.

SunMoonMoonSun draws on these natural ambiguities through reflection. The relationship between real and illusion, original and reproduction, ideology and situation are not just contrasting but reversible, and therefore complementing. For everything to exist, there needs to be just the right distance between two opposites; we need to hold our ground here in the middle of these celestial spheres, between the sky and its reflections.

Installation view of Gwenessa Lam and Hyung-Min Yoon: Trace, exhibition at the Art Gallery at Evergreen, 2020. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography

태양은 달의 크기보다 400배가 크지만, 지구에서 태양까지의 거리가 지구에서 달까지의 거리보다 또 마침 400배가 멀어 둘의 크기는 거의 같아 보인다. 인간은 하늘에 빛나는 이 두 개의 구체를 두고 물과 불, 남성과 여성, 음과 양, 불변성과 가변성 등 반대의 의미를 지닌 다양한 상징들을 부여해왔다. 서로 대비되는 태양과 달이 합쳐진 한자 明은 새로이 밝다는 의미를 갖는다. 또 낮과 밤은 반대인 동시에 함께 하루라는 시간을 구성한다.

이렇게 확장되는 반대의 개념은 이 작품에서 물 위의 반영으로 이어진다. 즉, 실체와 허상, 원본과 복제품, 이념과 상황은 모두 단순히 상반되는 개념이 아니라, 서로 뒤바뀔 수 있으며 긴밀히 연결되는 보완의 관계다. 그리고 이러한 두 개념들의 사이에는 적절한 거리를 필요로 한다. 하늘의 태양과 달, 그리고 그 반영들 사이에 우리가 서있는 땅이 존재하는 것처럼.
(작가노트 중)

February 13, 2020Comments are off for this post.

天上 天下 Earth Heavens

3D aluminum channel letters W 104cm x H 170cm x D 17cm, LED light, metal support post 2014 Taehwa River Eco Art Festival

天上, the character for “Heaven”, when reflected in the river, reads 天下, “Earth”.

天上天下는 도덕경의 한 구절 (人法地, 地法天, 天法道, 道法自然 사람은 땅을 본받고, 땅은 하늘을 본받고, 하늘은 도를 본받고, 도는 스스로 그러함을 본받는다, 25장) 을 재해석한다. 上 과 下의 형태와 물의 반사를 이용한 조형물은 반대말인 천상과 천하를 서로 반영하게 함으로써 둘을 이분하지 않는다. 작품은 자연현상, 즉 바람이나 물결에 따라 이미지가 생기고 흐려지며, 물 높이의 변화에 따라 두 세계의 거리를 좁히고 넓히기도 한다.



Photo: Jiyeon Seo

February 12, 2020Comments are off for this post.

The Book of Jests (video)

single channel video 23'50"

February 12, 2020Comments are off for this post.

The Book of Jests

artist's book 30.5cm x 43cm (12"x17") edition of 3+2AP+1PP
inkjet print each 50.8cm x 71cm (20"x28")
single-channel video 23'50"

The Book of Jests is an artist book that combines religious iconography and political jokes. The iconography is sourced from Albrecht Durer’s Marginal drawings for the Prayer of Emperor Maximilian I c.1515. The book contains 25 jests, each printed on their original language. The series includes: English, Italian, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, French, German, Greek, Czech, Russian and Turkish.

The work explores the relativity of language and the role of printing technologies in the spread of ideology through the ages.

Read Interview with artist Kim Beom (excerpt from the exhibition catalogue Under My Skin,2016 Hite Collection)




installation_web Installation photo: Hite Collection

<만담집 The Book of Jests>은 성상화와 정치 만담이라는 서로 다른 두 가지 장르를 통해 이념의 역사를 다룬다. 알브렉트 뒤러의 <황제의 기도문을 위한 삽화>(1515)에서 차용한 성상화는 한때 38개 국어로 번역된 기도문으로 채워지기도 했던 드로잉이다. 판화의 전통에서 자연스럽게 드러나는 인쇄술의 역사와 이념의 전파, 그리고 여기에 겹쳐 놓은 만담은 그것의 사회적 역할, 언어와 권력의 관계와 같은 이슈를 확장시켜 나간다.

리소그라피로 제작된 책은 원어로 쓰인 여러 나라의 정치 풍자 (한국어, 중국어, 러시아어, 영어, 불어, 독어, 일어, 히브루어, 인도어, 스페인어, 아랍어, 그리스어, 이탈리아어, 체코어, 터키어를 포함)와 영문 번역과 주석으로 이루어져있다.

February 11, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Magic Hands

Series of 14 silk screen on antique paper
approximate each print size 33cm x 43cm (13" x 17"), 2013
Edition of 5

"In the final instance, magic is not a knowledge of names but a gesture, a breaking free from the name. That is why a child is never more content than when he invents a secret language." Giorgio Agamben, Profanations

Magic Hands is a series of prints that link sacred Renaissance hand gestures with text edited from instructional magic manuals. Inspired by Albrecht Dürer's famous drawing Praying Hands, the 12 images allude to the persistent allure of the enigmatic throughout the ages. The instructions from a common book of magic tricks are edited to remove any specific objects or tools, producing an awkward poetry that at once obscures any meaning even while hinting at its influence. The essence of the rite is interrupted, made secret, but it also affirms its existence. The artist has printed on antique papers circa 1850 that were once owned by Albertina museum; existing pencil and glue marks reveal a further layering onto inaccessible histories.

Magic Hands was produced with support from Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna during the KEX Residency.




Installation view, Far Away So Close: Part I, Access Gallery, Vancouver  2014 Photo courtesy of Dennis Ha

February 10, 2020Comments are off for this post.

The Heavens Reflects the Earth

polystyrene, dimensions variable, 2011

The Heavens Reflects the Earth is a site-specific installation made for the pond at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Inspired by a 6th century BC Taoist saying, the floating work is read via its reflection. Each word in the phrase floats independently, allowing it to become rearranged with a current or breeze. The potential of this natural grammatical wordplay presents ambiguity in multiple readings, both religious and secular. English words in traditional Chinese garden might seem incongruous, but it too reflects a singular cultural moment in Vancouver's Chinatown.



February 10, 2020Comments are off for this post.

The Gesture of Writing

Print on paper, 91.5cm x 137cm (36”x54”) 2013

The Gesture of Writing (Whoever Can See Through All Fear Will Always Be Safe) is a print on paper that spells out a 6th century BC Daoist aphorism. From a distance, the message appears as though written in a peculiar sort of calligraphy. At closer obervation, the viewer discovers the letters are made with a DIY hand alphabet resembling sign language. This form of lettering mystifies and slows down the reading to a speed that is necessary to contemplate the depth of the aphorism.

In present day Vancouver, the Dao De Jing is an enigmatic text, existing in a post- ideological status somewhere between politics, philosophy and religion. Displayed on the façade of the Cryingroom on East Cordova, Whoever... takes on site-specific implications, reflecting the complicated history and social environment of the Downtown Eastside.



February 5, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Translation Services

Translation Services is a project constituting a workshop, three-part exhibition and publication developed with 221A artist-run centre during the Curatorial Residencies program (2011-2012).

Translation is derived from the Latin translatio meaning “to carry across, to transport”. This origin of the word implies a bridge, as well as the potential for something to be dropped along the way – an imperfect path from original to copy.  Through the workshop with ESL children, series of exhibitions and discussions, Translation Services seeks to understand translation in a new way; rather than as the process of representing an essential origin, we explore translation as a beguiling, contentious space for abstraction and emergent cultural production. In these works translation is a space in which is revealed normally invisible levers of cultural power, the autonomy of objects, and the potential for creative liberation through subversion.

Workshop: Hyung-Min Yoon and Jessica Jang, Language Kitchen 

Part 1: Ryu Hankil, Description for Other Things 
Part 2: Jarrod Sanderson, What difference between me and you? 
Part 3:  Andrea Francke and Jackson Lam, Please Translate 

Read the introduction in the publication Translation Services and other accompanying texts.

February 5, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Inadvertent Painting

C-print 61cm x 61cm (24"x24") 2010

Inadvertent painting traces old painting marks on the floor of a painter's studio at the Banff Centre. The frames of pictures were randomly cut and collected.




February 1, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Language Kitchen

Language Kitchen is a workshop designed by artists Hyung-Min Yoon and Jessica Jang. Originally conceived by Yoon as a part of her curatorial project Translation Services (Sep 4 - Nov 3 2012) at 221A, the first workshop Language Kitchen was intended to offer (particularly ESL) children a space to share their experiences and to recognise their capacity as a producer of language. In spring 2013, Language Kitchen works with the schools in Burnaby as a part of education programs at Burnaby Art Gallery.




February 1, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Backwards Metamorphosis

print on paper
dimensions variable 2008-

Backwards Metamorphosis is a reversed writing of Kafka's famous novella Metamorphosis, sentence by sentence. The idea was to turn Gregor into a human again by reversing the story, but in the end it retraces his tragedy and ends as he wakes transformed into a terrible vermin. The work has been shown as a book and also installed on a wall.

거꾸로 쓴 변신은 카프카의 소설 <변신>을 맨 뒤에서 앞으로 거꾸로 문장 단위 되쓴 텍스트 작업이다. 본래는 주인공 그레고르를 이야기를 되감음에 따라 다시 인간으로 돌아오게 하려는 아이디어에서 시작되었다.  실제로는 주인공이 침대에서 자신이 벌레로 변했음을 깨달으며 일어나는 장면으로 끝나게 된다.


Backwards Metamorphosis, Korean 2014 Blue Square
Photo: Jiyeon Seo, courtesy of Public Art

February 1, 2020Comments are off for this post.


newspaper, rubberbands
dimensions variable

Skyline is an installation constructed with images of the sky from rolled local newspaper, linking place with publishing industry. News is hidden but present in the work.





Skyline, Vancouver installation at Equinox Gallery, Vancouver 2013

January 2, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Speaking the space not spoken for

installation of photographs, each 7×7cm
dimensions variable, 2008

Speaking the space not spoken for was conceived in response to the issue of allotting space in city, and in this case, in a busy group exhibition as a metaphor. Presented at Creekside Open 2009 A.P.T Gallery, London, small photos of pigeons are spread out in space near the ceiling, or the floor.
Like pigeons themselves, they fit into left over spaces.

Installation at Creekside Open 2009 A.P.T Gallery, London

도시의 공간 문제를 전시장 공간 신경전에 빗대어 만든 작품이다. 전시를 위해 가로 세로 7cm 의 비둘기 사진 수십장이 천정이나 바닥 근처에 붙여진다. 마치 도시의 비둘기가 그렇듯 사진은 특별한 자리를 필요로 하지 않으며 잔여 공간에 위치하지만, 도처에 존재한다.
제목 Speaking the space not spoken for  자리가 이미 차지해져 정해진 것이 아니라 공간을 스스로 찾아간다는 뜻이다.

January 2, 2020Comments are off for this post.


reassembled glassworks, C-print 20cm x 30.5cm (8"x12") 2008

Puzzled is reassembled glassworks that the artist had once broken and glued them back together. It is an impossible task to be done perfectly in the first place, as one unavoidably loses bits of it. Therefore after reassembling the shape of the glass is subtly or sometimes widely different.

Puzzled 는 먼저 유리병이나 잔을 깨뜨린 다음 다시 붙인 작업이다. 물론 이것은 유리의 파편가루까지 모아 맞출 수는 없기 때문에 애시당초 완벽할 수 없는 일이다. 다시 붙인 이후의 병은 이전의 모양을 하고 있으나 확연히  다른 존재다. 익숙한 주변의 재료를 통해 삶의, 혹은 예술가들의 어처구니 없는 듯한 행위를 나타낸다.




January 1, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Shoes (from 270mm to 240mm)

altered leather shoes, 2006

A pair of leather shoes which once belonged to the artist's father. The shoes have been altered to fit the artist.