Sinae Yoo at Kunsthaus Langenthal

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Artist: Sinae Yoo

Exhibition title: What A Silencer Sounds Like

Curated by: Raffael Dörig

Venue: Kunsthaus Langenthal, Langenthal, Switzerland

Date:  February 4 – April 3, 2016

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Kunsthaus Langenthal

Productive misinterpretations of situations and things in pop culture and cultural exchange is the departing point for the artistic work of Sinae Yoo (*1985). The Korean artist, now living in Switzerland, has produced a large new work series with videos, installations and ceramics for the exhibition in Langenthal. Yoo’s Narcissistic Ghost and Borderless Intimacy (2016) is a triptych painted with Niveacreme, depicting Korean spirits or keepers, who, in popular belief, protect the village and are posted at the village entrances. The magical “protection” is put into analogy with the profane skin-protection of Nivea, a now globally available European product, as well as the blue tarpaulin. The triptych can be seen as a reference to the European religious tradition. The contrast between the “sleek” industrial products and the traces of Sinae Yoo’s manual work can also be seen in other works. Central to the exhibition are the ceramic from the series Ridiculous Accuracy in Our Time (2016), shown on tailor-made displays in two rooms. Some of the ceramics recall antique, Asian pottery and ink-pots, others are formed to design imaginary Asian writing characters. Yoo’s interest focuses on the European gaze onto Asia, always influenced by the traditional imagination of the exotic and the archaic. Some objects could also stem from a Science-Fiction movie, while in the presentation, manually and industrially produced objects are put into juxtaposition. Some ceramics are presented under a Plexiglas cover, illuminated by LED-Lamps and are reminiscent of shop-displays and incised with drawings based on tribal-tattoos. These tattoos, who became popular during the 1990s through Californian fashion designers and movies, appropriate the Polynesian tattoo-tradition. The longing for something “archaic” and exotic is already visible in the name of these “tribal” tattoos. Yoo’s interest in the construction of exoticism and local tradition turned pop- and consumer-culture is also visible in her work where she combines ceramics with sushi-trays. Sushi, which became the synonym for Japanese food and Asian-fast-food via California, is served in similar plastic trays all over the globe. These sushi boxes also appear in Yoo’s video Enemy, where it is turned into a 3D snake-like creature, floating through landscapes filmed on different continents. Something digital has been introduced into our real, physical world. A second video, More or Less Human, shown on a tablet and connected to a bass shaker, lets a table resonate with its bass vibrations. The soundtrack, which is always of imminent importance in her work, consists of sounds coming from sports. The video accompanied a performance, where the artist acted on a home trainer, with this underlying sound and video.

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Sinae Yoo, Ridiculous Accuracy In Our Time (Teil der Serie), 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Ridiculous Accuracy In Our Time (Teil der Serie), 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Battles On The Outside Fear On The Inside, 2013

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Sinae Yoo, Battles On The Outside Fear On The Inside, 2013

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Sinae Yoo, Ridiculous Accuracy In Our Time (Teil der Serie), 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Ridiculous Accuracy In Our Time (Teil der Serie), 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Ridiculous Accuracy In Our Time (Teil der Serie), 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Ridiculous Accuracy In Our Time (Teil der Serie), 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Ridiculous Accuracy In Our Time (Teil der Serie), 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Ridiculous Accuracy In Our Time (Teil der Serie), 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Ridiculous Accuracy In Our Time (Teil der Serie), 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Ridiculous Accuracy In Our Time (Teil der Serie), 2016

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Sinae Yoo, More or Less Human, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, More or Less Human, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, More or Less Human, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, More or Less Human, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, More or Less Human, 2016

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 14.16.26

Sinae Yoo, More or Less Human, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, More or Less Human, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, More or Less Human, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, More or Less Human, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, More or Less Human, 2016

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 14.18.00

Sinae Yoo, More or Less Human, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Narcissistic Ghost And Borderless Intimacy, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Narcissistic Ghost And Borderless Intimacy, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Narcissistic Ghost And Borderless Intimacy, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Narcissistic Ghost And Borderless Intimacy, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Narcissistic Ghost And Borderless Intimacy, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Narcissistic Ghost And Borderless Intimacy, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Enemy, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Enemy, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Enemy, 2016

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Sinae Yoo, Enemy, 2016 (still from video)

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Sinae Yoo, Enemy, 2016 (still from video)

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Sinae Yoo, Enemy, 2016 (still from video)

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Sinae Yoo, Enemy, 2016 (still from video)

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Sinae Yoo, Enemy, 2016 (still from video)

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Sinae Yoo, Enemy, 2016 (still from video)

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