BEAK Jungki: All in One
ARARIO GALLERY Seoul presents BEAK Jungki’s solo exhibition All in One from 24 May to 1 July 2023. The works of BEAK Jungki (b. 1981) are constructed through a process that delves profoundly into the essence of materials and explores specific subjects of interest through deep research and scientific experimentation, through a hands-on-approach conducted personally by the artist for the visualization of his in-depth explorations. This exhibition showcases three series of works which BEAK has continuously explored and developed; <Candle Generator and Egg Incubator> (2023), <Active Statue> (2023), and a selection of <Is of> (2018~2023), presented on B1, 1st, 3rd floors of the gallery space. Although each series is displayed separately on each floor of the gallery space, all three works commonly communicate about the themes of creation, dissolution and transformation which are recurrent subjects in BEAK’s works.
<Candle Generator and Egg Incubator>, displayed on B1 level of the gallery is an installation work that exemplifies a transformative process, converting the intangible, spiritual energy of wishing imbued in a candle into a more material energy. The space accommodates ten candle generators which harness heat from the candle to generate electrical energy, and in the center one egg incubator. This work shows the process of hatching of baby chicks during the exhibition period, uniquely through the electrical energy generated by the candle generator rather than the standard electrical power source. The candle generator and egg incubator represents a fusion of functional mechanical device and various religious ornaments that carry symbolic meanings related to wishes, achievements and aspirations. Born from the convergence of scientific technology and decorative art, this special installation work expresses the themes on cycle and rebirth.
The <Active Statue> series installed on the first floor is a sound installation piece that exists in the continuum of <Memorial Antenna>, a project that BEAK has been working on from 2011 until now. He created statues by 3D scanning actual statues, such as Jeon Tae Il, Son Kee Jeong, Lee Seung Bok, Jung Jae Soo, Sisters Reading Books, and The Dog of Osu, maintaining similar physical appearances but adding imagination to create slightly transformed figures. He used these monumental cold casted statues as transmission antennas, completing them as a single installation piece with sound. These statues transmit a voice reading a mysterious novel and intermittent cello performances as radio waves, and the audience listens to these new electromagnetic waves and languages through radios placed throughout the gallery space. By using the statue as an antenna to visualize latent sounds, BEAK encourages reconsideration of the significance of existence, directing attention to the materiality of the medium rather than the meaning or symbolism embodied in the statue's appearance.
On the third floor, past and new selected photographic works which depict natural landscape are shown. <Is of> series are photographic works that BEAK started in 2011, characterized by his unique experimental process and the distinctiveness of the materials used to create the photographs. At a glance, they may seem like faded landscape photographs, but BEAK's photos are prints made using pigments extracted from natural materials found in the places captured in the photos. Natural materials such as maple leaves and green tea leaves are used and by creating works using components of nature, BEAK presents visual works that reflect nature's essence, attributes, creation, extinction, and transformation. He has been working on various photography series for a long time and since 2017, he has researched ways to preserve them. As a result, the photographs are completed by applying an impregnation method that wraps the entire photograph front and back using transparent resin. This act of freezing time prompts reflections on the personal desires and actions of humans attempting to halt what naturally changes.
BEAK Jungki studied sculpture in Kookmin University, Korea, and carried on his education in fine art at Glasgow School of Art, UK. From 2006 until 2023, he has held 12 solo exhibitions, at Alt Space Loop and OCI Museum just to name a few. From 2004 until now he has participated in many museum exhibitions in Korea, such shows held at The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul Museum of Art, Amore Pacific Museum of Art, Ulsan Art Museum, Songeun Art Museum, Leeum, Nam June Paik Art Center, Posco Art Museum and Daegu Art Museum. He has also participated in many group shows internationally in Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Italy, USA, Venezuela, Israel, China, Singapore and Hong Kong. In 2012 he was awarded the Songeun Art Award, 2019 the Kimsechoong Art Prize for sculpture, and in 2023 IFVA Media Art Gold Award, Hong Kong Arts Center. His works are in public collections such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Busan and Ulsan Art Museum in Korea.