Yangachi wins Hermes Foundation Misulsang

5 Sep

The media artist Yangachi has won the 20 million-won art prize from the Hermes Foundation.  The news broke late on September 2 that the Seoul-based artist, who works mostly in video and media installation, was selected for Korea’s most prestigious art prize ahead of finalists Bae Jong-heon and Park Jina.

The prize was founded in 2000 as a way to promote Korean culture and art through generous sponsorship of important  figures in the Korean contemporary art scene.  Previous winners include Kim Beom, Do-ho Suh, Chan-kyong Park, and last year’s Park Yoon-young.


Still from "Bright Dove Hyunsook," Yangachi's award-winning video installation


Yangachi was awarded the prize for his work Bright Dove Hyunsook, which is currently installed at Media City Seoul.  The 2-channel installation uses CCTV cameras to capture the meanderings of Miss Hyunsook.  The unique aesthetic that results from the aerial perspectives and choppy camera panning combines with a snappy soundtrack to create a immersive and intriguing piece that is hard to walk away from.  The use of taxidermic doves, decorative lightbulbs, and gilded, earthen objet trouvés further contextualizes the work by incorporating parts of the video into the installation itself.

The jury committee, composed of Korean and international professionals, said this about their selection: “Yangachi earned an immensely positive assessment by enduring artistic risks and obligations, and making progress by maintaining a variety of values. This particular work’s aim greatly impacted the judges.’’

The artist, whose name means bully or gangster in Korean, has garnered a lot of attention this year, having been one of six finalists earlier this year for the first-ever Asia Art Award, sponsored by the CJ Cultural Foundation (the award was won by another Media City Seoul artist, Apichatpong Weerasethakul).



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