Young-Churl Shim's Technological Arts - A Faith Confession in ELECTRONIC GARDEN : Jae-Gil Yoo > Review

'Love' is the motive of my art world

Shim, Young Churl
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'Love' is the motive of my art world

Young-Churl Shim's Technological Arts - A Faith Confession in ELECTRON…

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Young-Churl Shim's Technological Arts - A Faith Confession in ELECTRONIC  GARDEN 



 It is not a surprising fact today that the contemporary art has quite naturally adopted a scientific technology for its art works.

 The current technological art is no longer reflected to us as a strange phenomenon with such works including moving sculpture, neon devices, video art hologram, etc. Specifically, the video art is quite well acquainted among along its emergence in the reality as predicted early by our one of the most intimate Nam-Joon Paik, a video artist, saying "Some day in the future, artists would begin to apply TV monitor or phonograph in place of the existing tools of brush, pigments and marble, etc." As a matter of fact, most of people are still accustomed a traditional method of expression in the art and sculpture and are still devoted in an aesthetic consciousness:however, it is true that they have began to have interest in the changes in the art which has already started to apply the modern scientific technology.

 Artist Young-Churl Shim is the foremost leading artist among all others having a vital interests in the demand of new changes and devoted in an artistic research and experiment as a technological artist. Consequently, Shim, beginning with composition of shape in his sculptural work, has now been transformed into an experimental installation artist by introducing a various scientific technologies into his art works. Since after 1990s, the electronic garden typically introduced to the public by him has been regarded as a composite kinetic art, offering us a fresh aesthetic concept and a particular visual pleasure, which undertakes and plays an important role in a new stream of contemporary art. As though it was his realization of artistic experiment in compliance with the meaning of manifesto of the early kinetic artists: "Now, the art is married to science", and he has thus vividly visualized concretely his ideal of the art.

 Before taking a reference with his art works, "The Electronic Garden", which is shown to us in a quite different artistic impression as Shim's recent technological works, the writer would refer to briefly of the particular features of technological art in order to serve better understanding of the viewers in the public. The current technological art lies in the extended line continued from the European Kinetic art that evoked popularity during 1960s. The Kinetic artists are inclined to seek for a dynamic art objects suitable to the scientific age rather than pursuance of a formative art and logical source from the contemporary art. For example, they would weigh on a moving mechanical objects much more than a static look of human body and begin to add an uncommon formative element to their art works featured by moving impression rather than adopting the objects of landscapes, figures or an abstract and pure formative expression of aesthetic elements. Also, their art works would not be satisfied hung on a wall, but are placed in the midst of our whirl of social life, breathing with the people, directing itself toward an environmental art. The technological art, the project of which is to give that familiar form, a new context and a new meaning, may be classified into the following three similarities.

 Firstly, starting from Alexander Calder who applied natural force to a moving mechanism creating a sculpture of mobile by which he won a recognition by the public, Puburi who created a moving 

globe Shape object above a water spout, George Ricky who an abstract sculpture movable by force of gravity and wind and Tarkis who made a moving object by magnetic force. Their sculptures are, as a whole characterized by delicate movement and delivers a dynamic beauty reflecting to the eyes of the viewer along the changing trends of the sculptural objects.

 Secondly, the sort of sculpture which applies light to form a formative object including neon of other artificial illuminations such as fluorescent lamp as well as a sculpture pursuing mechanical movement. At times, these objects would induce a changeable shape by organization of viewers. The electric light and mechanical movement was made by Mohyulri Nagi for the first time of its kind in 1930 namely, "Light machine", and the term of kinetic was become commonly used during 1960s when Tingkeli created a sculptural object moved mechanically by power of motor. The mechanical function supported by motors spurred itself to move dynamically so that it could draw a keen attention of the viewers in way that the viewers can touch it and operate them by manipulation of switches. Unlike a passive appreciation of art works in the past, the objects would aggressively induce the viewers join its functions, expanding the aesthetic concept of art.

 Thirdly, the technological art of this similarity is usually composed by complex objects of an advanced medium and technology to form a complex shape, and thus it requires a formative work with the such elements as mass media of T.V. and radio, laser, hologram and sensor. The works which is composed of electronic application which represents various images through a broad experiment is originated from cybernetics theory. By adoption of computer, which is called 'artificial brain of the art', a new ream of art was established, and the representing artists in this realm of art would be Nicholas Sheffer and Jaiming who have devoted in this art since 1950s, and the video artist Nam-Joon Paik.

 As mentioned above, those artists who would often contemplate a new formative element of 'movement' and boldly execute experiment for adoption of technology to the art have now emerged among us as witnesses of today's scientific culture age. Their works being created along the experiment of visual and formative changes in movement within a space would magnificently evoke our artistic sentiment rather than a result of scientific research, and offer us a new exciting beauty which we have never felt before.

 The viewers of the art would be enchanted by the constantly moving objects, ceaselessly changing shape and light and the vibration and sounds and eventually they would experience in a technological art, the composite arts.

 The technological artists after 1980s have much more advanced application of electronic systems in forming programs, and they draw pictures by keyboard and mouse instead of using brush.

 As mentioned above, the technological artists who applied electronic engineering have applied the scientific culture to the maximum extent, and has railed two channels for themselves and the viewers to reach their works instead of one way lane, so that they have dedicated themselves for the common people to experience in finding a fresh aesthetic objects and artistic creativity. Consequently, Shim's works are created on the basis of the result of research of the visual phenomena and history of technological art, and also his aesthetic feature possesses a common point of fundamental concept which was pursued by the Kinetic artists. In this respect, he has clarified the traits of his art as a composite and art open to the public in an effort to closely connect between scientific technology and figuration.

 Taking a view over his art piece "Electronic Garden" being displayed at his individual art exhibition and the materials applied to the works, we may find some crude wooden poles and pigments, TV monitor, neon, optical fiber, hologram + rock, computer and the touch screen which would be manipulated by the viewers, etc.

 So widely ranged and varied, and he has magnificently weaved a premise of time and space where a meeting is provided for science and arts, and nature and man. By application of the experimental materials and the technology, Shim's unrestrained formative worked of representation would keenly evoke the hearts of the viewers to move into a strange realm of technology and art. The composition of hologram applied to a rock, hologram of pendulum of a clock and relief hologram work have drawn the attention of viewers as it was the first attempt in Korea: and the closely connected objects of coldly impressed artificial objects and the warm and religious subject matter has impressed the viewers a fresh realm of the art well balanced with the experimental technology. In Addition, his art pieces would

treat the viewers as artists rather than mere viewers. The viewers, in the art works would be considerably be affectionate with the technological art by participating themselves in creative work with the artist. His works to be exhibited for this time, including the imageries of moving sculpture and computer graphic, hologram which manifests a sold and concrete imagery, or the relief work of geometric and abstract shapes and water spout, etc. are the very 'integrated works of man's emotional aspect and environment through the coining result between nature and technology' as the artist asserted. The space with the image of nature being revealed through the materials of real wooden pieces, clay, water and iron together with the highly refined scientific technology and figuration is worth noticeable.

 Such an art work as his give us a dream of coining nature and man within the midst of willingness of mechanism due to the composite technological art and abounds our imagination by coming across the real time and space. Shim's scheme of 'Electronic Garden' is a providence of God and man in the religious faith and is pursing man's desperate aspiration and despair and the meaning of life.

 The 'providence of God' manifested in 'Electronic Garden' have been described and revealed the significant meaning of the 'Last Super' and the 'Crown', a symbol of glory of Christ or 'Crucifixion', while 'Providence of nature' is represented by the appearance of an alligator with impression of a fossil of the primitive age. His subject matter of art works contained a religious meaning also contains the endless grace of God and our aspiration that functions coining our minds.

 After 1970s, the technological art was once staggered for its over application of technique. within indication that the art should be based on formative expression along the traditional aesthetic consciousness. However, in the case of Young-Churl Shim, he has constantly developed his artistic view and technique, understanding the mattered points, on the basis of the relationship between God and man by containing his soul in his art pieces rather than tracing the way of development or invention of scientific objects. By accepting the instructive admixes of the technological arts who point out the limits of scientific research and technical invention, he has attempted to represent the providence of God and man, and in the same time he has added an amusing element to the technological art, so that he could draw the wieners to play their own roles with the artist in a partnership and thus he has attempted to find a new possibility in the contemporary art. In fact, the exhibition of 'Electronic Garden' and other minor works and the water spout, which is constantly moving, will enchant the viewers visited to the premise by their visual beauty and the birth of strange space. On he other hand, Shim's formative expression is exquisitely formed by coining together with the pure geometric abstract including global shape, which is the fundamental shape of nature, triangle and square, and hologram which functions a direct transmission of a religious excitement.

 The Last Supper' hologram appeared in the works is marvelously impressed to us as a church, more than appreciation of art works.

 Lastly, the fact which is relative to his technological art is the very attitude of the artist representing the contemporary feature and future directing posture. No one ever can tell the what the art to be in the future, but in the development of scientific culture and age of technology the writer believes that the meeting of the art and science is inevitable and has verified already. The artists of today would be free from their aesthetic attitude by being isolated and last modernists and require to explore and seek for their own selves. This is the point Shim has had pursued and eventually transformed our spiritual world and environment.

 The will of Young-Churl Shim as an artist who attempts to find an artistic expression well balanced with our environment and spiritual life in the similar way of scientific exploration is impressed to us as extremely great in a word. As if being an expeditionist who directs toward the unknown planets, Shim has found another possibility of technology in his artistic pursuance and result of art work and the writer expect his future art works regrading his sincere and genuine exploring attitude.

 Consequently, we are now able to contemplate the bright future of contemporary art by depending upon his continued effort in coining the well harmonized forms of the art and technology.


Jae-Gil Yoo / Art Critic


Source : MISOOL SIDAE, May 2001

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