The 2nd VH AWARD
The 2nd VH AWARD
Provided by HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP VH AWARD
VH AWARD discovers and supports emerging Asian media artists engaged with the context and future of Asia.
About the Works
To transport one’s mind is a near daily occurrence. It happens gazing out the window, waiting for the bus or sometimes in the middle of another thought or conversation. But to feel...
To transport one’s mind is a near daily occurrence. It happens gazing out the window, waiting for the bus or sometimes in the middle of another thought or conversation. But to feel as if one’s body is transported is an entirely different sensation—one that is happening more and more as the possibilities of the screen expand and artists experiment within this new space.
Hyundai Motor Group supports artists who are working at the edges of audiovisual creation and challenging us to think differently about the divide between the digital and the real. Now in its second year, the VH AWARD recognizes Korean artists who are making screen-based works that expand ways of making as well as how we understand ourselves and each other in relation to the past, present and future..
The 2nd VH Award Grand Prix winner Hyungkyu Kim’s Hear the Wind Across the Border opens with a black screen. A small space cracks open on the right side and slides left, revealing slivers of different landscapes: horizon lines, a city center flooded with people and neon lights. The screen breaks into a grid and suddenly it’s as if you are in a speeding car. And then instantly you are immersed in the panorama of a time-lapsed cityscape, witnessing night become day. Kim weaves in footage of early dynastic Korean heritage sites taken over many hours and compressed into minutes. The result is a feeling of simultaneous presence and reflection as witnessing such landmarks puts viewers both in the middle of history and beyond it. Viewing Hear the Wind Across the Border is an experience that transcends the immediacy of time and space. Here, the screen becomes a means of shaking free from physical limits.
In Mantra, finalist Hwayong Jung’s CGI meditation on beauty, monks perform a traditional Seungmu dance within an otherworldly space. Clad in hooded robes with colored sashes, the monks move throughout the VR construction as colors and textures shift around them. Subtle chanting evolves into rhythmic drumming that brings viewers into the space as it doubles in on itself, collapses and reemerges. Slowly, the movements of the dancers become the space itself as they multiply and mirror themselves generating the form and color of the video itself. As with Kim’s piece, ideas of time become malleable here. Mantra embodies a beauty created by human beings from images made by machine. Inside of endless communication between them, a new experiential form of vision and sound emerge.
Fellow finalist Sungrok Choi builds out a bodily anticipation as the CGI figure in Stroll, Scroll, and Sight moves through a sort of obstacle course. Opening with an aerial view of a desert, a CGI figure runs through the desert as giant, menacing balls roll in the opposite direction. Verdant peaks in the next scene give way to the figure once again running through an obstacle course of sorts, dodging giant concrete blocks that crash down in his path. Finally, everything goes into freefall, as if a tornado had swept through the digital atmosphere, dislodging everything in its path. A pair of hands is also floating. Presumably they are us, we are them. They are finding their way. We are finding our way. By placing the viewer within the work in this way, Choi dissolves the screen, making clear that our analog and digital lives are no longer separated by it.