Ivetta Sunyoung Kang is an interdisciplinary conceptual artist and writer currently based in Montreal, Canada. Her practice is concerned with cinematic thinking, video installations, text, and performative/participatory work that propose future-oriented and reparative perception and movement. By doing so, her work attempts to ease mental disorders exacerbated by the dominant life model in excessive urbanism and post-colonialism. She examines the common patterns of everyday objects, human behaviors, and relationships with the surroundings until their subversions in social contexts and usages become poetically therapeutic. She has internationally presented her work at film festivals and galleries, including Jeon-Ju International Film Festival, Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery, M.A.I, SomoS Art House, Arlington Arts Center and etc. In 2016, She was shortlisted for the Simon Blais Award in Canada. She has recently published a poetry collection entitled Absent Seats. Dang is a co-founding member of an artist collective, Quiet Ourselves since 2017.
Annotated Memoir, which is installed along with Nissology 1: Maehwa, composes six memoirs written by me. These memoirs deliver a mixture of my father’s personal memories and my own imagination about the island, which had been grown upon the told memories. These personalized folktales and pasts unfold in English, which is the language that I use in my “second life” as an immigrant in Canada and, also, are annotated in Korean, my mother tongue. This work investigates the linguistic interstices between the notion of the first and second languages. All of them are printed and written on tracing paper so that each of them can be penetrating one another while superimposed through the light from a lightbox.
● Vimeo link to the video documentation: https://vimeo.com/330364754
Proposition 1: Hands contains a single-channel video and a small booklet that instructs each position of hands performed in the video that aims to transform a banal children’s game into a futuristic therapeutic exercise. This is a second video of my long-term research-creation on relational tensions and internal exchanges between anxiety, the uncertainty of the future and futuristic suggestions to overcome the anxious-self since the first project entitled Intolerance of Uncertainty. The children’s game utilized in this project is called Make Electricity on Hands, which is overly played among children in South Korea. This project converts its underlying conception and arisen sensation from the act of the game into a form of massage therapy to tend to one’s mental health. This piece invites the audience to pair up, sit in a gallery and perform each of the massage steps, following either the video or the installed booklet. Each instructive sentence in the video functions to be propositional means that poetically imagines possibilities of momentary relief from anxiety. It requests the participants to hold and feel each other’s hands and give this performative/therapeutic massage; they will be asked to transfer the warmth that their hands potentially have underneath and to remain bonded at least during this massage session.
"Picture a music box in front of you” is a virtual installation work that germinates its viewers’ active imagination as a participatory (isolated) performance. It consists of a body of music tracks, a single-channel looped video of an image of an instructive box that rotates, and a text work of 13 riddles originally written in English. Above all, as the most foregrounding component of this work, the audio tracks correspond with the written riddles that are spoken by both me as a non-native speaker and digitized utterances on one of the biggest online dictionaries; these considerably “allegedly perfect” utterances represent that of all native English speakers, and they are visually shown for English learners as guidance to pronounce English words “correctly”. The graphic gaps generated from the visual juxtapositions have transformed into the musical notes punctured on the music note sheets and then recorded as a successive series of music songs - alternative yet resonating “languages”. Therefore, the conception of translation between multiple “humans” languages can be subverted for further solidarity rooted in other alternatives of communication. Along with the music playing on one side of the virtual realm, the viewers would read an image of the riddles begin with “What Am I?”, asking the audience to guess the identity of this person or group of people that “erase my [his/her] tongue” and “individuate one’s own liberation” (extracted from the riddles) in the end, as a medium of a collective quiz.
● Vimeo link to the work: https://vimeo.com/429072750/aec93f2d52
Diane Wong, Elizabeth Davis, Tamara Harkness, Chaeyeon Park, Sarah Piché.