The inspiration for Washing Brain and Corn (2010) comes from the poem ‘Leichen-Wasche’ (Corpse Washing) by Rainer Maria Rilke. Sung Hwan Kim’s book ‘Ki-Da Rilke’ was published as a parallel project to Washing Brain and Corn. Informed by the belief that a corpse - or object - has the ability to invent new stories even after death, the artists explores the legend of a South Korean boy whose mouth was ripped open by North Korean spies after he said: “Nan kong san tang ee sil uh yo” (“I don’t like Communists”). Washing Brain and Corn (2010) employs the lyrical characteristics of repetition, rhythm, and the superimposition of motifs in order to focus on the circumstances under which such a story is disseminated; after one person’s mouth is damaged, the story about that damaged mouth is then conveyed by several other mouths, initiating a ripple effect of the story’s influence which spreads, transforms or becomes extinct. Ultimately, hauntingly poetic sequences take form in actions as diverse as the artist giving his niece a new identity by drawing on her face via an overhead projector and using old anticommunist propaganda to evoke a military canon.
Washing Brain and Corn was commissioned by Media City Seoul
Art Basel, Film Section Curated by Marc Glöde, 2014
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Screening,Teijin auditorium, 2013
East Tank, Tate Modern Tanks, London, 2012 Line Wall, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 2011
Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia, 2010 Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea, 2010