Hyundai Artlab

The Ways of Folding Space & Flying

2015
Korean Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia Arte
Installation view, The Ways of Folding Space & Flying.
Installation view, The Ways of Folding Space & Flying.
© Korea Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2015. Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho.

The Ways of Folding Space & Flying

May 9 2015 – November 22 2015, Korean Pavilion, Venice Biennale

About the Exhibition

The artistic duo Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho have worked in collaboration since 2009 and have developed a critically acclaimed body of work, including the film installation News fr...

The artistic duo Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho have worked in collaboration since 2009 and have developed a critically acclaimed body of work, including the film installation News from Nowhere which was shown at the documenta 13 in 2012. The Ways of Folding Space & Flying, a multi-channel film installation, explores an archaeological quest into human civilization that interweaves history with visions of the future as told through a future-retrospective narrative. It also alludes to the institutional structure and historic evolution of the Venice Biennale, the scale and influence of which have been acquired within a shifting socio-political landscape. The title of the project stems from the Korean words ‘chukjibeop’ and‘bihaengsul’. Originating from Taoist practice, ‘chukjibeop’means a hypothetical method of contracting physical distance. ‘Bihaengsul’ refers to a supernatural power to levitate, fly and travel across time and space. They reflect the human desire to surpass the physical and perceived barriers and structures that bind us, despite the apparent absurdity of such conceptions. The project is part of an ongoing survey for Moon & Jeon to make sense of what the function of art is in uncertain times. The artists propose ways of imagining the future where existing notions of art may no longer be relevant. As with the title and the meanings they hold on the surface, for them, art is a crucial yet curiously unexplainable facet of complex human desires that compel us to reframe, imagine, hope and challenge.

The film, The Ways of Folding Space & Flying, leads us to a distant time in the future. Lying deep under water, the City of Venice that we used to know, along with the other glories of past civilization, no longer exists. The only visible vestige of the Giardini’s rich history is the Korean Pavilion—the last national pavilion to have been established within the garden and at its highest point. The site no longer serves as a place for art. The pavilion is now a laboratory for archaeological investigation of the past civilization. Here within this site, our protagonist awakes to consciousness.

The collaborative project, News from Nowhere (2012), began with contemplating the social function and role of art, while acknowledging the constantly evolving nature of the topic. By way of art, News from Nowhere embodies questions about the world that envelops human life. Will today’s systems still be valid in the future? What are the values that underpin human life? Will art survive? Will we still be touched by the sunset? Bringing various disciplines around the world, this offers the audience a chance to question the purpose of art and canvass our future with a wider array of perceptions stemming from the various fields of education, architecture, science, politics and religion. 

The artists, Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho live and work in Seoul and their collaborative works have been showcased at numerous international exhibitions and art festivals from 2012, including documenta 13 in Kassel in 2012; the Korea Artist Prize 2012 exhibition at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (2012); the Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2013); Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (2015); and Tate Liverpool (2018).