Arario Gallery Cheonan opens a group exhibition, Dancing Queen, focusing on the contemporary artistic practice attained through various artistic experiments by female artists from Asia who experienced political, cultural and societal changes in the region. ‘Asia’ and ‘female’ are the concepts traversing the artists included in the exhibition, yet they all experienced different course of history, economic and cultural development in each country. Through comparing the differences by juxtaposing hybridity found in over sixty works from twenty-nine artists, that may resemble one another, this exhibition aims to focus on the diverse depth and breadth of each artists’ experimental attitude in a raw form. In other words, it is an attempt to confront face to face with the contrasting preconceived notions and stereotypes toward female artists and the idea of “what Asia is.”
Works included in the exhibition, Dancing Queen, can be categorized into three parts: “Experience of Body,” “Architectural Study toward Space,” “De-construct and Reconstitute of a Narrative.” Artists from Asia have been influenced by the second wave of feminism movement and its art spreaded during the 1960s to the 1970s. Female artists after this period corresponded with thechanges occurred in society by succeeding the spirit of feminism movement or by telling more personal stories of their experience as often seen in the artists worked in the 1980s and 1990s: Youngsook Park, who dramatically captured self as a woman in front of the camera; Kangja Jung who re-assured herself as an independent identity through focusing on her own body; Songui Kim who found a creative inspiration based on the act of everyday life; and Huma Mulji who metaphorically
compared suppressed women’s life with an animal’s body.
Secondly, this exhibition features female artists who created a new method of figurative abstraction developed through interpreting their personal and psychological experience as a memory built on an architectural and spatial perception. They re-created the landscape of society based on the creative drive existing within artists to investigate the illogical yet organic relationship of contradicting and ambivalent relationship between human psychology and external society. This methodology, often found in female artists, is a process of constructing situational layers based on internal emotions connected and disengaged with figurative languages. It also reflects an artistic experiment of reflecting external factors to the most private and secretive space of a person, psychology. The attempt to analyze psychological status by overlapping abstracted layers of the emotion of ‘right now, at this moment’ is shown in the works of Won Seoung Won, Jinju Lee, Jihyun Lee, Nobuko Watanabe and Liang Manqi.
Lastly, this exhibition showcases artists with persistent volition to demystify and deconstruct male-oriented narratives existed throughout the history and celebrate their as a woman. They offer a chance to have a dialogue with the disentangled and lost narratives by confronting the history rather than evading from the past. The attitude of discovering the fractures in history and filling the cracks with a new telling stores by the female artists can be found in the works by Nalini Malani, Geraldine Javier, Asami Kiyokawa, Heaven Baek, and Raejung Sim.
Dancing Queen is a unique opportunity to explore contemporary female artists in Asia gathered at one occasion. Through the exhibition, viewers will be able to examine the radical experimentation of female artists who have continuously questioned and enduringly contemplated about the issues of society based on the experience and memories as a woman.