photo: KIOKU Keizo

Public Blank (Kanazawa version)

Year2006 / 2016
Material/ Techniquepigment print on paper
Size/ Durationeach H60×W42cm (set of 24)
Copyright Notice© Gimhongsok
Year of acquisition/ donation2017
DescriptionBorn in Seoul, Korea in 1964. Lives and works there.

Gimhongsok directs a critical gaze at contemporary society in creating artworks in a variety of media including drawing, sculpture and video. Through his creation of a fictional society he gives expression in a humorous, ironical fashion to the problems of labor, education, inequality and ethics that arise among people of different cultural backgrounds and social classes. Deviating from fixed ideas, he pointedly poses questions on the evils of unawareness and the lack of thinking underlying all manner of subjects.

"Public Blank (Kanazawa Version)" is a work that proposes the installation of unrealistic public art in public spaces, and consists of drawings produced by the artist based on his own humorous interpretations and accompanying texts in English and Japanese. The texts are handwritten by the artist and consist of words he wrote in his mother tongue of Korean that have been translated into English and then Japanese. The way the meanings of words in their original language change as a result of repeated translations has long been of interest to the artist. "This is Rabbit" is an installation piece in which a person in a rabbit costume and accompanying texts form a set. The text explains that the person in the rabbit costume is an illegal immigrant worker, that they are performing at the museum, and that they are being paid for the performance. As well as showing in an extremely simple manner the relationship between employment and labor, the work also asks questions concerning “ethics,” such as whether any kind of relationship is possible as long as compensation is paid. The problems concerning immigration and illegal residence highlighted in this work are both an extension of the earnest studies carried out by the artist himself as someone from the Korean peninsula, which is divided into North Korea and South Korea, and an issue of concern to global society as a whole.