JANG Jongwan: Organic Farm
Since the beginning of the history of mankind, humans have had an unquenched thirst and desire for salvation in order to fulfill the uncertainties and emptiness of life through envisaging Utopia. Until the Renaissance period, humans have dispersed the idea of ‘heaven’ or ‘paradise’ of their imagination through visual language. When modernity started reshaping the world, people believed that they can realize their own Utopia through industrialization and rationality. However, such Utopia also have failed to actualize itself and lost its possibility due to ceaseless struggles over power and tensions between different ideologies.
Self-centered human beings heavily relying on their rationale, dominating the world they reside, also continue to carry a contradicting mindset of disquiet anxiety. JANG Jongwan, in his own cynical yet heart-warming visual language, recreates and pokes at such characteristics of our contemporary society. The artist utilizes rather kitschy, thrown-away, or forgotten animal leathers as his canvas portraying familiar but easily disregarded visual imageries eliminating any potential of lavishness. These leathers, then, become a wholly new entity as a work of art, fully embodying the artist’s nuanced humorous message. Furthermore, JANG is creating his own fable by personifying curious or eerie animals and their animal farm. This fable shares a story of humans’ zealous belief on salvation, absolute and almost fanatical sets of conviction, and the final disillusionment re-confronted with one’s uncertainties and doubts. Utopia no longer is a resplendent promised land, but a fragment of humans’ imagination bore from their endless rapaciousness.
Organic Farm asks people, who no longer believe in totems and consider themselves to be civilized individuals, to re-evaluate their beliefs and values that are considered absolute in their life. Further, it re-examines the core elements of humanity and the harms that pluralistic ignorance may cause in a highly developed, fast-paced environment.
Born in 1983 in Busan, Korea, JANG Jongwan graduated from the Department of Painting in Hongik University, Seoul in 2009. JANG has been recognized with several important awards including “KUMHO Young Artist” from Kumho Museum (2014), “SeMA” Young Artists Support Program from Seoul Museum of Art (2012), and “Single Channel Video Archive Contest” from Korea Art Council (2012). The artist’s solo exhibition includes Organic Farm, ARARIO GALLERY, Seoul ,Korea (2017); I Heard Your Voice, Kumho Museum , Seoul (2014); Golden Teeth, Space Willing n Dealing, Seoul (2014); Weird Stone, Salon d H, Seoul , (2012); and S.O.S (Save our Souls), Television 12, Seoul. His works has been presented in many museums and art institutions including I Love You, I Love You, HITE Collection , Seoul (2017); NAVER Hello Artists, ARARIO MUSEUM Tapdong Bikeshop, Jeju, Korea (2015); The Moment, We Awe, Sam Sang Contemporary Museum of Art, Hangzhou, China (2014); Neo Sansu, Daegu Museum of Art, Daegu, Korea (2014); and Asia Young Artists 100, Enjoy Museum, Beijing, Chiang (2012). JANG Jongwan currently lives and works in Seoul, Korea.