Hapjungjigu, artist-run independent space in Seoul is pleased to introduce Sylbee Kim’s solo exhibition Cradle of Regrets. The exhibition questions on the condition of art and labor in the era of late capitalism and rising inequality, through imaginary approaches to open graves and acts of belief. Here, Kim perceives the desire to pursue belief as the core definition of human kind. Kim’s solo exhibition at Hapjungjigu can be viewed in line with the previous exhibition Garden of Regrets (March-April 2018), an awardee solo of the seventh Sindoh Artist Support Program as well as the upcoming presentation of Shrine of Regrets (2018) at Monstrous Moonshine: Collateral Exhibition–Gwangju Biennale (preview opening on September 6).
Entirely consisting of new works, Cradle of Regrets starts with Altar on the Verge of the Real where a candle, and a bowl of pure water and wishfully praying hands toward the moon reenacting the Korean folklore practice appear in contrast to a scale, a symbol of modern rationalism. The surface of the moon is where these two virtually conjoin. On the other side of the window, Memories of an Uptight Heart presents a fake and clumsy conglomerate logo overlaid on the picture of an altar adorned by anonymous caretakers. The main videos, Prayers for Emptiness on the ground floor and Hollow Tombs in the basement share one script, either conveyed by subtitles or a voiceover, edited into two different audio and video tracks. Found footages and sounds, her camera mimicking them as we as 3D renderings melt down deliberately around the contemplation of the current condition of life and death and desire for beliefs. Prayers for Emptiness is accompanied by the wall painting of a repetitive motif that looks like a logo or pattern. Dolmen 1, 2, and 3, 3D printed sculptures to step over, guide the visitor’s way and celebrate Hollow Tombs.
Kim’s prayers for emptiness in the exhibition chants not to be easily deceived by art but to chase art, to express it, remember it, to put up with life and to march with art. It casts a spell on the ones who picked art as work, to live out the labor in dignity.
— Jin Kwon, “Do Not Let Yourselves Be Burdened Again by a Yoke of Slavery,” in: Cradle of Regrets, exhibition publication, Hapjungjigu, Seoul, 2018.