CHO Duck Hyun

At Media City Seoul 2010

Herstory Museum (2010)

sound installation

Simpson Memorial Hall, Ehwa Girls’ High School

Artist Profile

Born 1957; Lives and works in Seoul

Cho Duck Hyun presents contemporary artworks whereby he microscopically binds and refocuses the general scenes of life that have been either omitted or excluded from the existing history, intersperses macro-discourse, and reproduces them through various media such as painting, installation, video, and virtual reality projects. He objectively examines historical reality independent of media biases into which he interpolates his own personal opinions to arrive at a unique anthropological assessment of a past dragged into the present, over and beyond a mere reproduction of the truth of the past.

Simpson Memorial Hall, the site of Cho’s installation for Media City Seoul, is a modern Korean cultural asset. Built in 1915, it has played an important role in the education of Korean women and the representation of their history. Here, in Herstory Museum (2010), the artist looks back at history from a woman’s perspective in order to reexamine the value of the lives and stories omitted from the macro-discourse during times of rapid social change. While other museum projects are typically based on tangible objects displayed for the viewer, Herstory Museum intentionally eliminates them and fills the entire space with intangible elements. The “stories,” as delivered by a hundred or so women’s voices, are released into the empty space and embody the main exhibited work. This is an attempt to reassess history as constructed by a male-oriented ideology and restore a sense of balance by reestablishing women as an integrated part of that history.

Cho Duck Hyun invited ten or so women, including his own daughter, to be a part of this work. The women, who are all in their 20s, researched, discussed and gathered reference material about the past, present and future of Korean women, thereby participating jointly in the exhibit.

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