Chun Youngpaik

Professor of Hong-ik University Art History & Theory Department

Director of Hong-ik Museum of Art and East Asia Culture & Art Research Center


As a director of Hong-ik Museum of Art, I have frequent contact with many young South Korean artists. In my experience, I find the young artists of this nation have their own unique characteristics in terms of artistic work themes, forms, and preparation process.


Regarding theme, most of their work reflects social problems, or focuses on debates concerning people's daily life, and therefore operates from a subjective perspective. In other words, they do not speak simply of objective facts, but rather try to interpret various contradictions in society from their own perspective on how to look at social and cultural issues. Young South Korean artists delve into the myriad problems of their commercialized, capitalist society, the predicament of marginalized classes, and the idiosyncratic problems of their own generation.


As for form, conceptual art appears as the main expressive tool for rendering the contemporary world as they experience it. South Korea's young artists prefer to express their ideas through devices, documentary, performance, and other media. A lot of behavior or performance art makes use of interaction between artists and audience or some non - professionals.


Concerning the preparatory steps of creation, many of them have recently devoted themselves to the study of archive, such as survey materials. When some young artists try to make a selection in the face of a large amount of new media, they may well fall into some conafusion or doubt, and be left wondering how they might make better use of it. To overcome this information overload, many will now often go beyond a singular focus on themselves in the creative process, cooperating with experts in the field and working together to see a work through to completion.


There are both differences and similarities between young South Korean artists and young Chinese artists. This year, as the judge of Art Nova 100, I am very pleased and privileged to have the opportunity to get to know them in greater depth. I wish the Art Nova 100 exhibition a great success, and hope that it can serve as an intermediary and platform for Chinese and South Korean art, and perhaps even Asian art in general, granting help and support to aspiring young artists.