25 February, 2010

? ? ?

No documentation

"Disposition" to reject documentation and presentation.

24 February, 2010




A week for collecting both urines I made and bottles I drank water from.
Are in display in living room.
Talking of this experience in toilet-related situation.

documentation (detail, 3 months later)

Looking for further experiment continuing exploration of this project.



documentation (detail)

Asking tutor to talk about their works in given tutorial situation.
Giving tutorials to fellow students independent from college.

23 February, 2010

Glass-spit (cancelled)


documentation (detail)

A photograph of performance piece which was intended to be installed in
studio space within a wooden picture frame. (cancelled)
The performance was the response to the situation related to a found glass and
following actions, few days before the performance was executed.
The image depicts two polaroids, the glass, and notes which was used as place
to record ideas when I worked on this.

New commitment

written by Taeung Moon 2010

"If one considers an article of manufacture - as, for exmaple, a book or a paper-knife - one sees that it has been made by an artisan who had a conception of it...paper-knife is an article producible in a certain manner and one which, on the other hand, serves a definite purpose... Let us say, then, of the paper knife that its essence precedes its existence...if God does not exist, there is at least one being whose existence comes before its essence, a being which exists before it can be defined by any conception of it...Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself... man is responsible for what he is...And, when we say that man is responsible for himself, we do not mean that he is responsible only for his own individuality , but that he is responsible for all men...in choosing for himself he chooses for all men... " - Sartre, 'Existentialism and humanism'.

When we do not believe in God again, it is quite certain that there was no art in pre-Big bang anyway. If we imagine the moment of the birth of art then, regardless of whether the essence comes first or the existence, there must be the first being who 'invented' conception of art (essence) in the human history or at least a piece of thought which will lead to conception of art, because otherwise there will be no concept of art today. When I say conception of art, I do not mean linguistic term designating particular human activity, neither the activity itself but the conceptualised activity. This first idea of art, then has been evolving through interactions with different conception of art proposed by others from later generations which are ranging from magic to contemporary each involving different functions, different technics, different theoretical horizons and context, bearing variations which eventually consist what we call history of art. To be more specific, each piece of writing and each work of art or even piece of dialogue about art from different culture and different times, 'commit' themselves to all human beings to either re-affirm the conventional concept of art or show new possibility. By choosing to paint religious painting in middle ages in western europe, one position himself in the role of advocator of all that artistic circumstances in the epoch. Like yesterday, humans continue to be born today, and when they are born, they do not come with what art is. They must be free to choose. Enumeration of individual commitments, countless possibilities worked out by ancestors and present generation, history of art, should open up insight into what art can be and what matters to decide what art is. It is our historical responsibility not to let history of art becoming authoritative historicist obssession in narrative, if we mean responsibility for later generation by historical responsibility.

What is art? when we ask this question, it seems we are not asking what it is, but we are asking what should it be since defining what it is in itself is impossible. When young child, for example, first encountered computer or anything, he is not looking at the total contingency, but he is trying to analyse its function to formulate a concept of computer. This process, when applied to question we are asking, inevitably brings abstraction and reduction of individual commitments. When this question performs on the level of collectivity, it puts subjective concept of art in danger, as we know well that though totality comes from individuals, it does not show individuals. I am not critiqueing this attempt to somehow grasp understanding in art - it is necessary process, otherwise it is only contingency, however, what matters is its form and affects in collective level; authority. This process of defining art, cut off art from its root in origin (individual commitments), and makes it to become abstract, autonomous entity - 'art context'. Art context does not exist because art exists, however, precisely 'becoming to exist' because of this process of drawing a boundary. When one defines art as anything that is in whitecube for example, then whitecube becomes art context. This idea 'art context' when it works on the level of collectivity, as Marcel Duchamp already criticized with his urinal about its framing function, acts as a signifier of art, thus plays significant role in formulation of idea of art in individuals. There is a space that we physically can experience this - art institution. It is physical realisation of art context. If we take Tate for example, it demonstrates powerful authority of established art museums over the audience on their decision about what is art and why it is. This is partly because limited experience of diversity of art due to limited access to galleries - if public is the case - except goverment supported big museums but also because primary and secondary art education encourage these public to regard art in such museums as a kind of standard of what art should be like. Modernist art, which these museums usually displays, because of its historicist nature, is difficult to understand without prior knowledge in history of art, thus producing public to mystify these art works as if they do not understand the work because it is such a high, profound, true art. This is precisely how the individuals give up their right to 'invent' and remains under prison of authority. They do not see art, however, they see the frame. This is not only discourse in public. Even if it is not direct, there is implications without speaking to encourage students to look at certain kinds of art in certain way in art education. This boundary, idea of 'passive' art context is needed to be rejected. Art context is something has to be 'activated' by the individual, re-structured and re-defined with their own terms of aesthetic judgement and spontaneity. In order to do so, art, has to run out from gallery and strip off itself, waiting individual judgement.

In addition to this, if we can agree with Benedetto Croce's idea of art, art as activity of intuitive cognition using imagination distinguished from physical realisation (performance), the boundary between artist and audience (idea of non-artist rather than onlooker in whitecube) also becomes blurred since they both do essentially the same thing - reading. One can do art simply by looking at his hand and contemplating its dirtiness in extreme case. There still can be an argument that artist has additional role which can distinguish artist from audience - artist creates their own materials for new cognition. Through participation and Bourraiud's idea of relational form, or even through every-day activity, audience truly creates in contemporary art. Why cup of water that you drank yesterday cannot be art? Even audience in National gallery, they don't have to look at paintings in the same way like the day it was created, but they might see relational form between beholder and paintings, even though painting was not designed for it.

Artist should now be irresponsible, precisely because of social responsibility. Traditionally, artists have been fighting to function as critical community for society, in which case, it is inevitable that art becomes sub-system in society and loses its autonomy. Art is not gear, and that is something that we have to remember. Romanticist model of artist should be renovated and reclaimed to maintain autonomy of art. Aritst should work with their own terms pursuing their own purpose, not to say that they should put themselves in the box of limits of subjectivity, however, to engage with society. Social responsibility now is not to function critically, but rather It is something that actually makes audience to be creative, critical practitioner. We have gained forms and strategy to make this happen and circumstances to make this possible. The only remain is individual artists to 'commit' themselves.


Nicolas Bourraiud (1998) Relational aesthetics, les presses du reel, Paris
Jung-kwon Chin (1994) Aesthetic odyssey, Humanist, Seoul
Roland Barthes (1967) The death of the author [Online] http://a.aaaarg.org/text/1061/death-author [accessed 12 Feb 2010]
Jean-paul Sartre "From 'Existentialism and humanism' " in Harrison and Wood (2003) Art in Theory 1900-2000, Blackwell, Oxford
Clement Greenberg "Avant-Garde and Kitsch" in Harrison and Wood (2003) Art in Theory 1900-2000, Blackwell, Oxford
Theodor W. Adorno "From 'Commitment' " in Harrison and Wood (2003) Art in Theory 1900-2000, Blackwell, Oxford

29 January, 2010

Sketchbook2 (Multi-plug)

Series of independent projects which will be based on collaborative on-line brain storming software.
The project will be processed by certain collaborators chosen by myself 
for certain period without any decision/agreement in direction of the use of the project.
Project 1 - To be confiremd.

26 December, 2009




Contact: taeungmoon@gmail.com

24 December, 2009

Discussion Group for International students


Poster on the notice board in college

 response to circumstancesaround international students in college. 

07 December, 2009

Blueroom workshop




Exhibited as part of 2nd year fine art student show.
contains 2 parts - discussion based workshop and curation of photographic documentation of the works
which was being exhibited in the student show. The workshop was taken place during private view, aiming to discuss questions below.

1. Why are you making art?
2. What does your art cover in terms of subject matter?
3. What function do you expect your art does?

*Click here to download the questionnaire.

16 November, 2009

Sketchbook1 (open-source projection)


Ongoing project replacing my sketch/idea notebook.
(*The project is not in active state since March 2010).

Conditions of post-colonial subjectivity in global culture

written by Taeung Moon 2009

It needs long and complex description to illustrate contemporary global culture. As Arjun Appadurai pointed out in his book Modernity at Large, the politics between sameness and difference seems the key process in global culture. Although it is easy to assume that globalization is homogeneous process with its vast array of evidences, there is growing evidence of heterogeneous process of globalization. This series of what can be called anti-globalization movement which apparently, largely ends up without success, in most cases, are based on the assumption that the globalization will eventually homogenize every cultural diversity into one global culture that is found on basement of western civilization. They argue because the culture now is being lost and forgotten, we should cherish or somehow protect them. Though is true that imperialist movement and colonial practices of European civilization in recent few hundreds of years did bring significant transformation to the rest of the world as well as themselves, however, is it right to say the culture is being lost, forgotten and fragile thus it needs extra careful handling? It seems very strange to ask one to cherish one's culture before it disappear. Did not the culture mean the way people live - particular shared value, belief, and etc? If we agree with this definition of culture, there is no space for holding back or saving, recovery, or any kind of obsession in culture. It is just the way it is. Salmon Rushdie argued, 'Do culture actually exist as separate, pure, and defensible entities? We are all mongrels rooted everywhere. Idea of pure culture, home is dangerous myth.' Where does this contradiction come from? Why do people tend to protect, cherish and recover their lost culture in spite of the very nature of culture itself is not such a thing? Why do people not just accept it? Globalization is not new phenomenon at all. It does have a history as long as human history. China, Islam, and Rome are all examples of homogeneous globalization and today, it does seem no one cry bitterly for what they have done. Then, why now?

 I think, first, we should acknowledge that along with the globalization, it seems the classical idea of culture - the way people live - is obsoleted long ago and now we have new idea of culture. Culture now is more about how we label ourselves. This is very different. The interesting aspect of globalization is in the gaze of the Other and its politics. Unlike the past, when the culture was regarded as the way people live, thus unconscious, inertial, and immaterial, the culture we now have seems very conscious, political, artificial and material. As the world globalized, we have whole phenomena of the group's past become museum archives and historical texts, of tremendous amounts of possible other images generated from media, of diasporic movement especially tourists becomes more and more dynamic, of markets full of products from around the globe. These examples are rich evidence of what I would like to call as Materialisation of culture. This materiality of culture is very crucial. Today, we don't experience most of the culture that we think we know in traditional way.  With the advent of electronic media, we see Other's material culture; way of dressing, food, landscape, architecture, politicians, vocal language, written character and etc. In other words, we experience culture materially, identify it materially and remember it materially. So we all know, in a sense, French culture, materially, even though we have never been there; French language, food, history, literature, film, Eiffel tower, Notre-Dame, Chanel, wine, perfume, nation flag, colonial practices, and etc. One may argue this is only superficial aspect of culture but this superficiality is the way we identify Other culture. When you meet a person who says himself is from Paris but at the same time, doesn't know anything mentioned above, will you identify him as a french from Paris? As we can see here, there is another implication of Materialisation of culture; as culture materialised, it becomes de-contextualised, delivered to the Other available as manipulatable entity and eventually creates gaze of the Other - exotic expectation on Other culture. Culture doesn't exist in the way people live but it becomes a picture, sculpture, clothes, furniture, or book travels around the world allowing Other to abuse it - creative process of labeling Other. When this way of seeing Other start to apply to the way to the way we identify ourselves - when we start to see ourselves with materials that surround us - , the political dimension of culture emerges. With the popularization of idea of self-expression or self-representation - My space and Face book in internet for example - which allow us to experience culture as some kind of projected or objectified entity, we inescapably question, how to label ourselves? Materiality of culture and political dimension of culture are closely linked and they feed each other. Cultural reproduction now is not about accumulation of traditions. Cultural reproduction today does not offer any kind of way of living or idea of home but rather, it rapes subject with variety of cultural politics until subject become anxious, and uncertain thus embedding ambivalent and disoriented but powerful nostalgia in the subject looking for subject's own representation. Problem arosen when this subject, whether homeless or exile, try to locate himself within cultural materials in global scale. Cultural politics, under the ideology of Multiculturalism, which embraces the cultural difference and cultural diversity, place Other subject in new concept of marginality. The crucial point is that multiculturalism works incredibly different way in West and Non-west. Whereas the Multiculturalism provides variety of tasteful, consumable cultural diversity and safe borderline thus securing west from impure cultural mixing with Other for West, for Non-west, it works incredibly violent. Western cultural materials in the market and media in global scale, accompanied with its political power, advanced technology, and economic wealth, produce what I would like to call Fantasy of modern and this fantasy covers the name, West, with the name of Modern. This idea of Modern - being rational, scientific, democratic, civil, moral, autonomous, and whole concept of western produced Universialist assumption which is very distinctive thought in comparison with rest of the world and historical constructed in particular area at particular era, with its advanced technological materials like TV, inescapably linked with westernization and standardize itself versus Other and legitimate its standardization. For Non-west, Multiculturalism doesn't mean their own standard and exotic variation like what West gets. For Non-west, it means primitive or traditional their own and Others versus West and the modern West. There is no their own present for Non-West. Historical narrative is cut off at certain point whether by political power or economic penetration and instead they have variation of the modern West. Even more, It is western archaeologists and historians who build up groups' past. This, together with relatively new disciplines they brought like science which is essential in modern era and the idea of modern I earlier discussed, creates legitimacy and authority of the West over the Other. With this authority and legitimacy, Multiculturalism ask Other to turn themselves into products or objects for investigation and exploitation often provoking idea of cultural purity or even what I would like to call Extreme culture. What I mean by this term is that the kind of culture that is transformed through gaze of Other - one's demanding expectation on Other culture. This is similar concept with male gaze and women as object in feminist theory. Oriental cuisine, Oriental martial arts film, Oriental arts are all examples of this. Multiculturalism, just like global capitalism is no more than new clever strategy of Neo-colonialism which legitimate West's continuing rape and exploitation that has been started from the very early moment of european colonial practices and imperialist movement with pretty slogan saying advocate of difference. It seems this strategy works incredibly effective. When I was doing A-level equivalent in South korea, few years ago, my art tutor told me, if I try to make western art, I cannot make art that is as good as what western artist produce because I'm purely making copies, because I'm not western minded. He said what I can do is showing deep essence of East. My father told me the same thing; 'do not turn yourself into copy of the West'. The danger of this kind of thinking or cultural essentialism, is that it puts its cultural subject into prison of the unchanging past. At this point, as I constantly use the term West in offensive way, one might ask where does this idea of West come from? Non-west tend to put their position against the notion of the West but technically, West is a group of historically and culturally different nations. However, It is evident that this group of nations called West have some sort of shared value and civilisation which are distinctive in comparison with rest of the world. Perhaps the right question to ask is how does this notion of Non-west versus West being produced? Non-west designates vast area of the world only except Europe continent and its few settler colonies like America. Is this not strange? West and Non-west, In this binary opposition, as post-structuralist pointed out, there is always certain side which has dominance over its counter part and As Arjun Appadurai pointed out, if one is natural the Other is artificial. The critical point is in, like any other kind of discourse, the very fact that we cannot escape from being artificial, being set the direction, turning ourselves into counter-product, somehow. Few days ago, when I had a discussion with our class on Japanese student's art work where I argued his work is heavily engaged with aesthetics of Japanese Manga, One of classmate said 'If you are talking about Japanese Manga in east, that is okay but you are in the western art school.  I mean we are not that familiar with Japanese Manga. So please tell us about it. That is the good thing about this variety, isn't it?'

 Globalization is not just an interesting issue to discuss, but it is significant phenomenon that generates permanent changes in global scale. Globalization left us many questions. Gordon Mathews in his book Global culture/Individual identity, argues that contemporary global culture is becoming individual consumer choice and we are becoming consumers who pick and choose our culture from global cultural supermarket, ultimately resulting individuals rooting themselves all over the world, yet different from other individuals. But is it?


Aschroft, Bill. 2008, Post colonial studies: the key concepts, Routledge, New York.
Appadurai, Arjun. 1996, Modernity at large : cultural dimensions of globalization, University of Minnesota Press, London.
King, Catherine. 1999, Views of difference : different views of art, Yale University Press in association with the Open University, London.
Mathews, Gorden. 2000, Global culture/individual identity : searching for home in the cultural supermarket, Routledge, London.

07 May, 2009


pic 5

Installation in which audience will be given a flashlight
to explore light-off, empty gallery.

27 April, 2009

Cube piece

pic 3

documentation (detail)

Installation in gallery space consists of the image on A4 paper
depicting development figure of cube and photocopy machine.

20 April, 2009



In response to the architectural project by MVRDV,
consisting consists written and visual descriptions, Press review and comments.

For larger image, click here.

26 February, 2009

Day sublime


Day sublime, 2009

The photograph was taken while myself was having early dinner at his home.

For larger image - click here.

19 December, 2008

Visual research


                 documentation (detail)

This is an ongoing, massive project exploring and analysing images using various resources and methodologies.