Nayon Yon is interested in putting judgment on hold. Closing(2020) withholds appreciation from common image of homeless and clears a passage to the byway. Therefore, the work reveals the state of ‘voluntary isolation’ rather than positive change of site or eliminated minorities.
Seeking the machinery of null -
Stepping out, moving body, tilting head, and turning attention. In the era of the disappearance of these physical communions, a question about the web being suitable exhibition environment has arisen. The methodology of works is lost as they move into this environment. Performance and installation works, differing according to the condition of outside space, are more so.
But this disappearance is not hopeless, because it has become the starting point of a new experiment under forced quarantine. This experiment makes us wonder if what we thought of as disappearance was a legitimate ‘omission’ or ‘creation’ during a border-crossing from one media to another. In the process of omission and creation, serious consideration has begun; how performance and installation works, which are difficult to capture in two dimensions, are transformed on the web; what kind of new methodology is taken in the process of media conversion; and how this process is different from simple archivism.
Nayon Yon and Yerin Joo, who question the method of existence, have revealed ‘voluntary isolation’ and ‘a voyeuristic interest in acquaintance’s life’, respectively. Broadly interpreted, their main questions are in line with the media conversion process suggested by the web environment. Certain elements are isolated in the process of conversion and appreciation of visitors, and exposed to voyeurism by the screen interaction.
Apart from the success or failure of this small experiment, the implication of the result is clear. It is continuing endless consideration of the media’s completeness while recognizing the existence of discarded or newly created ‘machinery’. To break down, disassemble, assemble, and operate this machinery, which is within the range of nulls.
Curator Curie Lee
Individual Work Essay
What is isolation? The image of a person left alone in a quiet, sealed space comes to mind. Then what is voluntary isolation? Perhaps it is choosing to be cut off in a situation where a person cannot be isolated. In Closing, this situation is portrayed as a noisy and chaotic Hongdae street where the artist has lived for about 20 years.
If there is an isolated entity even in these situations, it is homeless people. They are isolated in a sad and mysterious way. People consider them as objects that naturally exist on the streets. This became Nayon Yon’s motif. In order to practice free isolation, the artist decided to defense herself, by carrying a huge blocking device on her back. This device has a soft texture so it seems like part of the artist’s body. Therefore, it practices ‘Closing’ by defending the artist and becomes an independent ‘island’.
However, this island is eye-catching rather than being invisible. So this work has the duality of wanting to be out of sight but simultaneously drawing attention. This makes us wonder if ‘voluntary isolation’ is ultimately impossible, and whether this performance actually craves relief from the other. It may be a plea to discover an individual who has reached the point of choosing to throw away all senses voluntarily.
Strangely enough, this island is reminiscent of the image of death. Through the device, the artist sees nothing, hears nothing, takes no charge, and reaches a state of death, which is sense-less. In particular, the scene in which the artist slowly enters and disappears into the sensory deprivation device reminds us of the form of the earthenware jar-coffin. The spectator sees the sculpture on the street rather than a person hidden in the coffin, that is, an inanimate object.
The temporary damage of sense by visual pollution, smells, and noise, represents the moment of being hurt in an oppressive situation. As a way out of such moments, the artist presents voluntary isolation, in other words, death. If one cannot accept the forced adaptation in an already created environment, what one can do is to block one's senses one by one and eventually head toward death, which is a completely isolated state. This seemingly lethargic ending says; I tried my best, but it didn't work.
Curator Curie Lee