“Garden of Memes” introduces contemporary artists who embody their own world of work using the methodology of imitation and cloning under the theme of “memes,” the digital generation’s visual characters. A meme is easy to make, easy to share, and intuitive for anyone to recognize, but they are somewhat meaningless. It has become a symbol of the changing world in the digital image communication era and a type of everyday conceptualism. This attitude to overthrow realistic norms and to break down the cultural and artistic classes, in fact, resembles the legacy of Dadaism and pop art in contemporary art. “Garden of Memes” focuses on the way contemporary artists repossess images through revelation and imagination in an era with platforms where anyone can easily create images and communicate with each other. This attempt will be an opportunity to look at how the artistic language of those who freely cross the boundaries of everyday life without being bound by art forms or aesthetic rhetoric gains uniqueness in the post-Internet era, while also looking at the impact of meme politics on contemporary visual culture.
Haneyl Choi is a sculptor based in Seoul. As he explores a variety of fields that can be related to sculptures, Choi thinks deeply about how far sculptures can be expanded in this era. He has held five solo exhibitions at the Arario Museum, P21, the Commonwealth & Council Gallery, and so on. He has also taken part in several group exhibitions, some of which were held at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) and the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA).
A Sculpture Looking at Paintings
Memes travel around the Internet and gain power (thickness) in either a symbolic or a physical dimension. In addition, memes obtain substance by injecting narratives through repeated use or by inserting memes into narratives, and are then given thickness through simple methods of replacing two-dimensional images with 3D images without context. For example, if you make a letter stand alone, sculptural help is needed. Haneyl Choi explored such an ecosystem of memes, produced this work based on the process of making memes into sculptures while gaining thickness, through methodologies such as image crumpling, and making images stand like sculptures.
The Current Audience series and Folding Screen Using the Mirror deal with so-called “Instagramable audiences” who have a desire to be memes themselves. Choi Haneyl’s sculptures make a gesture to welcome the Instagramable audience by creating an environment in which contemporary art collaborates with the audience through works and allows the audience to acquire the image they want. The work never criticizes them, but it starts with thinking about how the newly emerging audience’s tendency and behavior can be harmonized with contemporary art. This is different from participatory art. It is the result of the artist’s thinking deeply about the sculpture coupled with the audience so that each proves their existence respectively even with the absence of each other.
Like Sculpture 1
- 1800 × 250 × 250 mm
Like Sculpture 2
- 950 × 900 × 900 mm
Like Sculpture 3
- 1870 × 400 × 700 mm
You Were Here
- Mirror on echo wood, lettering
- each 1500 × 430 mm
A Sculpture Taking a Rest While
- Metal, leather jacket
- 800 × 650 × 1100 mm
A Sculpture Looking at Paintings
- 1650 × 250 × 600 mm