Two Korean artists presented themselves at the 59th Venice Biennale

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Artist Mire Lee poses in front of Endless House: Holes and Drips (2022), now on view at The Milk of Dreams at the 59th Venice Biennale. [TINA KIM GALLERY]

VENICE, Italy – Two Korean artists who rebel against conventional thought through art traveled to Italy to present their works at the 59th Venice Biennale.

The Milk of Dreams, as the 59th International Art Exhibition is called, features 34-year-old Mire Lee, who lives in Seoul and Amsterdam, and 42-year-old Geumhyung Jeong, who lives in Seoul, among 213 artists from all over the world.

The Milk of Dreams was curated by Cecilia Alemani, a 45-year-old Italian curator based in New York City. She is the first Italian to become artistic director of the main exhibition at the Venice Biennale.

“The Milk of Dreams” is based on the book of the same name by the Mexican surrealist painter Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), “in which the surrealist artist describes a magical world in which life is constantly reimagined through the prism of the imagination”. Alemani explained on the Biennial website.

What makes it even more significant is the fact that, unlike previous editions, the majority of the artists who have participated in The Milk of Dreams are women.

It’s no understatement to say that Lee’s play stands out from the rest because of its decidedly gory form.

Her new kinetic art installation entitled Endless House: Holes and Drips (2022) features skeletons oozing blood from tubes on steel frames. The skeletons are ceramic and the blood is a kind of glaze, Lee told reporters at the exhibition on Wednesday.

“The trickling glaze is the process of painting the ceramic pieces,” Lee said. “After the exhibition is over I plan to fire it a second time – as the new color will be as hard as it was and will represent the trace of the exhibition.”

To create this rather bizarre sculpture, Lee said she took inspiration from smoking cessation videos, which she found an interesting subject.

Toy Prototype (2021) by artist Geumhyung Jeong [SHIN MIN-HEE]

Toy Prototype (2021) by artist Geumhyung Jeong [SHIN MIN-HEE]

Jeong’s Toy Prototype (2021), which features numerous robotic sculptures on a wide table, differs from her earlier work. She is better known for her performances, which use gestures that suggest sexual tension to explore voyeurism and the power struggle in sexual relationships.

With “Toy Prototype”, Jeong wants to depict the “uncanny relationships” between humans and machines. For example, there are robotic parts that replace the nipple area on a human torso mannequin.

The Milk of Dreams takes place at the Arsenale Corderie and runs until November 27th this year. For more information visit www.labiennale.org

BY SHIN MIN-HEE [[email protected]]

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