Sujin Lee is an artist working with text, video, and performance. She makes questions related to the emotional, ideological and identity aspects that are affected by the fact that she is a Korean artists working mainly in English. She thinks about the inevitable loss that the act of translation implies, the pain of a translator. What relation of duration exists between the written and spoken language? To support her own research she will interview local artists who experience similar situations.
Language is the subject and medium of my work. I am very interested in speaking as a physical act; it is an act of making a sound (which is ephemeral) through the body. I use time-based media such as video and performance to discuss language in relation to time or duration. Time-based media allow me to highlight the elements of spoken text—accents, durations, emotions, hesitations, and mistakes. I pay attention to how these elements are expressed, negotiated, translated and documented in written forms.
I often play with the “un-synchronicity” and tensions that occur in translations between spoken text and written text. Through my work, I investigate, contemplate, and perform the “language space” around me—which is elusive, complex, limited, expansive, and sometimes contradictory.
1978 | South Korea.
MA (in Performance Studies) and MFA (in Studio Art), at New York University. New York, USA.
BFA in Fine Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art, USA.
2019 | Language is Treacherous, Wumin Art Center. Cheongju, South Korea.
2018 | Performing Translation, Artkommunalka. Kolomna, Russia.
2016 | The Distance Between Words, Cake Gallery. Seoul, South Korea.
2015 | Alienated reading. Korean text, Taiga Space. San Petesburg, Russia.
2014 | Transcribe, Thomas Hunter Project Space Gallery. New York, USA.
AWARDS AND RESIDENCIES
2016 | SeMA Emerging Artist Grant
2012-2013 | A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship. New York, USA.
Sujin Lee is an artist who works from the visual and relational, crossing topics such as the world of contemporary art with languages, translation, etc. In Buenos Aires, she continued with the development of Language Requirements, that had already begun in Russia, where she asks about the English language and the artistic field. Being a Korean artist who lived many years in the United States and having developed her artistic career mainly between English and Korean, she wondered about what English allows, what limits it presents, etc. She interviewed several local actors, from artists to English teachers, and then generated a video piece that she presented in an ´aceNITE as a work-in-process. Sujin Lee will continue with this project in Korea.
Language Requirements is a project that explores various questions that I have regarding the English language. I was born and raised in South Korea but spent a significant amount of time living in the USA speaking English. When I moved back to Korea four years ago, I began asking questions about what it means for me to speak English as an individual and an artist in this global world. I interviewed various individuals in Buenos Aires, from visual artists to an English teacher, about their relationships with the languages that they speak. and explored the questions that I have been asking myself with them. Is English the only language option (or one of the few options) that we have in order to connect with people from different countries and cultures? Is English inclusive or exclusive? What does it mean when one says, “I speak this language”? Can one belong to a language or can a language belong to a person?
Artists in Dialogue
On Wednesday, November 21st we held an ´aceNITE opening., in which the projects developed by artists during their residence were exhibited together with works by the invited artists.