Various rhetorical professionals reading the artist's script for a speech at the opening of the Biennale
Baek Hyunjin (Singer, Actor)
Chung Jinhong (TV Moderator, Journalist)
Hwang Chi Woo (Poet)
Kim Sanghyun (Radio Performer)
Robert Halley (Laywer, TV Entertainer)
Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Yang Haegue, and I would like to welcome you warmly to our Busan Biennale.
Sometimes we have an impression that an art exhibition might become a presentation of ability, overflowing with mannerism. Sometimes I ask to myself whether nowadays art is nothing but a rich menu of visual experiences like a sports festival advocating the slogan higher, faster, and farther, or whether the artist is no more than a modernist-progressive who does his best to present only something good in the name of 'artistic creation'. So, here in front of you, I would like to share my opinions and feelings about my creative activities and life that I can express as a young artist. The reason why I insist on doing this in this place is that the form of the exhibition seems to have been unable to represent life and everydayness veraciously and actively, though they are inseparable from the artist's creation and always function as an mirror to reflect the life of his own as well. Be them positive or negative, be them beautiful or heartbreaking, the emotions and impressions that I have got in my everyday life have been the fundamental source of my work and provided motifs and contents to it. The indigent, necessitous life brings forth a content related to destitute and poverty, and the days with strong experiences and impressions about the people and events around me produce more appealing works. Of course, like those of other ordinary people, my personal daily lives are mainly composed of simple observations and experiences, far from a succession of great marvelous ones. Everything, however, that I receive from people as well as my surroundings constitutes the basis of my art. Here, one might ask where the exclusive realm peculiar to art is, and where the true creativity of the artist is located. I think that the answer depends on how we define what the finished work is. Unfortunately, the practical problems and worries many artists share with one another everyday are left behind the curtains by the cause of 'artistic creation'. Similarly, big or small ideas emerging from seemingly unartistic reflections and anguishes are just looked upon as mere informal episodes. These stories and scenes 'behind the curtains' have held my interest and affection. And here, I cannot help asking a question in return whether it is a too narrow definition of art if it assimilates all of them only from the plastic point of view. I feel the necessity of artistic attempts and experiments to enlarge the realm of art and to generate new experiences and reflections in everyday life.
Today, I could have made a lengthy speech again under the pretext of 'art', taking a great deal of your time. One of you might wonder where, then, my work is at all. I am afraid that I cannot but return disappointment mingled with a slight sense of betrayal or dubiety to you, rather than show some original imaginations and ideas resulting form a certain gift, or a novel spectacle. But it is the privilege in the name of art that gave me today's opportunity. This Speaker's Corner owed its existence to it. So, I would like to ascribe your unsatisfied expectations and my emotions of gratitude toward who I do not know only exclusively to art.
Thank you for listening to me today.
Busan Biennale, Busan, Korea, 2004
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