[The Neighborhood Artists] Hidden Stories Discovering Artists

Euiwang_Jaewoo Oh’s Studio

Whole (Arts) Fraud

When being introduced artist Jaewoon Oh’s works, I was impressed by his intelligence felt from the multi-layered works. Most prominently, it is introduced that <Collectors’ Choice> at Art Lounge Divang in 2011 exhibited the works of modern art’s masters such as Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Damien Hirst, and Chapman Brothers by liaising with collectors and renting the works. The exhibition reminds me of <LIVING ROOM: Collection 1> held by Daelim Museum in 2006, and you can read an introduction to <LIVING ROOM: Collection 1> saying that the exhibition is a special invitation to the living rooms of six collectors, from famous modern arts to designers’ furniture and Chinese antique collections. They make it clear that the exhibition has differentiation from the existing artificial way of exhibition in terms of ‘bring the real living rooms of collectors into the museum’ Then, is <Collectors’ Choice> an imitator of <LIVING ROOM: Collection 1>?

Is <Collectors’ Choice> an obsolete way, not breaking from the convention? The artist’s addition to the showroom was interviews on the purchase of works with collectors, certificates and the photos of the actual spaces with the works and so on. Even though apparently they have similarities, the dramatic reverse of <Collectors’ Choice> is that all the plans are fakes cooked up by the artist. He invented the whole things by copying works of masters like Rothko, Warhol and Hirst in person, sending the copied works to the fake collectors and collaborating with them.

For the open studio, I read his proposal and heard his working from Jaewoo Oh. He said that he was preparing for the open studio in line with <Cigar Poem>, <Still Life_Oil>, <Book titled poem>. A part of Palestine of <Cigar Poem> is as follows, for example.


Peace light

simple VISION


...... ......

The artist said he would run a project of <Book Title Poem> at the open studio because he thought it would be easier to write verses based on the book title like the project of <Book Title Poem> than based on the names of cigarette like the project of <Cigar Poem> in which MDF boxes were arranged with cigarette case-printed photographic papers covered up. I thought that it would be the best choice for the audience of the open studio. Furthermore, he said that he planned to exhibit the audience’s poem in the studio so that they could take the photos. I thought he is such a smart artist that he considers the reactions from the audience. At the day of the open studio, the bookshelves were filled with books. The books were placed by color and early birds started to engage themselves in the fabulous project. While all participants boasted of their originality, and artist Oh and his staff took the photos in the lights and the white background, put them in frames, and gave them to the participants. Students from Ansan High School were delighted with the unboring workshop where they could take part in. A part of the audience’s works is as follow;

What do you call me

Selfish genome

The woman who lives more beautifully with getting old

To live is to draw

The time to lose the solitude

Hope sincerely, act enthusiastically.

One of high school students wrote this poem, which includes the world from their perspective. Everyone is happy to participate in the workshop and satisfied, and this is a best practice of the participatory workshop, I thought. It has been long time since the successful open studio was over. And when I recalled what the actions on the day were again, a doubt started to grow.

To create is a direct action. When we see the internal attribution to the action, its attribution of contents and its form can be different depending on whether it has a fundamental power to create or it adds nature of imitation or reproduction. A work of art is the case and writing a poem might assume a similar aspect. When a simile and a metaphor are mingled, we admire for the creative style of a poet, and the conventional articulation of everyday is introduced to the poem, new effects can be produced. <Cigar Poem> and <Still Life> by artist Jaewoo Oh are not composed of factors of individual objects. In <Cigar Poem>, the artist transfers the symbolic nature of an object, and in <Still Life>, the time that flows with the camera’s movement is the artist’s choice. The project of <Book Title Poem> has relatively limited intervention of the artist compared to <Cigar Poem> and <Still Life>. There are direct actions like selecting and arranging books, but there are no words the artist adds as a selector and a creator. Therefore, the project of <Book Title Poem> itself is assigning the limited role to the artist’s direct action. The limited role fits the condition of limited time in the workshop. So in order to run the project of having an artistic experience under the given condition, this is an appropriate choice of the planner.