2013. 2. 2 – 3. 24
2F, Artsonje Center
Hosted by Artsonje Center
Organized by Space for Contemporary Art
Curated by Sunjung Kim/Samuso, Hyunjoo Byeon
Supported by British Council
Simon Fujiwara is one of the most successful emerging artists and was introduced to Korea at Gwangju Biennale in 2012. The son of a Japanese architect father and a British dancer mother, Fujiwara produces works that confront autobiographical aspects with subjects ranging from issues of identity and sexuality as well as the anthropological, historical, social, and political factors that impact on these constructions. The narratives he creates often transcend the boundaries between the private and public realm as well as those between reality and fiction. By manifesting these narratives through play, performance, installation, and lectures, among others, Fujiwara also adopts multiple roles such as artist, writer, novelist, anthropologist, or adult film actor.
Simon Fujiwara, the artist’s first solo show in Korea, invites viewers to experience the diversity of journeys Simon Fujiwara has created through his practice, by presenting the works which focus on his identity as an artist, human being and a son.
The Museum of Incest (2009-ongoing) is an exploration of incest as a phenomenon within the history of mankind as researched by Simon Fujiwara. Fujiwara inserts the story of his relationship with his Japanese father into this fictive architectural proposal for a museum. This act weaves Fujiwara’s personal narrative into an anthropological investigation of the development of mankind as well as landmark architectural structures. The museum presents historical narratives associated with incest, such as documents from the European Court of Human Rights establishing its jurisdiction over human rights cases involving issues of sexuality, the religious restrictions on sexual activities in the medieval period, and the practice of incest in matriarchal ancient Egypt. Through the depiction of the artist and his father, the concept of family, crucial to the existence of the current human population is woven into the history of incest.
Rehearsal for a Reunion (with the Father of Pottery) (2011-12) represents the reunion between Fujiwara and his distant father through a ceramics workshop. Due to his multicultural background, Fujiwara was able to closely relate to Bernard Leach, the “Father of British Studio Pottery,” who was also raised in Asia. This led the artist to re-enact Leach’s workshop when he reunited with his father in Japan. For Rehearsal for a Reunion, Fujiwara recreates the place of the reunion on a stage installation, onto which a video of the re-enactment of the event is projected.
The Mirror Stage (2009-ongoing) is a mixed media installation, which borrows its title from an essay by French psychoanalyst Jaques Lacan. The concept of the mirror stage refers to the phase when infants see themselves in a mirror image or other representation and are able to turn themselves into an object they can view outside themselves. In this work, Fujiwara portrays his encounter at the age of eleven with Horizontal Stripe Painting: November 1957- January 1958 by Patrick Heron. Fujiwara stated that this was a determining early experience in his realization of wanting to become an artist and of being gay. The Mirror Stage consists of the video of a conversation between Fujiwara and a young actor playing the eleven-year-old Fujiwara projected along with an installation of his childhood bedroom with Heron-inspired Ikea furniture.