The City of Fragments
Kyung Hwa Shon
Silkscreen on paper
Kyung Hwa Shon explores the reciprocal relation between the city and the imagination through the eyes of a phantom, ‘Stillman’. The evanescent vestiges of ‘Stillman’ make the city a field of excavation, where everything is buried, hidden, and thus undiscovered. As the artist constantly traces the movements of this imaginary character within a city that becomes an enormous, surreal, even theatrical-like space, a sense of otherness starts to emerge. Unanticipated experiences that are encountered in the everyday, unfold into extensions of imagination; oscillating in turn between fiction and reality. ‘Ruffles of the imagination’ as Walter Benjamin so memorably describes it, heighten the sense of unpredictability, instantaneity, and disorientation within the space of the city. This opens out other spaces for the possibility of experiencing a rapid transition of both spatiality and temporality, thus creating peculiar relationships with the world of things, as well as sensory experiences of fragmentation.
The myriad ambiguous signs and letters in the street and fragmented specular images on shop-window displays are, for Kyung Hwa Shon, crucial elements in creating peculiar relationships with the world of things, implying the emergence of the imagination. Through these elements, the infinite boundary of the imagination unleashes the city as unaccustomed, disoriented, and re-encountered. Kyung Hwa Shon's art practice focuses on the rediscovery of psychological heteromorphic identification, the presence of invisible substance, and fantastic visual experiences emanating from serendipitous moments of glitch in the city. The work implies the opening of the urban landscape to a distinct poetics of the city in which mythology, sign, symbol, voice, text, and trace occurs.