EXPO ART GALLERY
FEB 26 - APR 16, 2023
SUH Yongsun, FSA Projects
KANG Jongyeol, PARK Chiho, PARK Donghwa
Timmy Myeongsuk Kim
Purgatory, a place of purification for the dead. This imaginary space created by medieval Christians is human in that it dreams of the possibility of salvation through repentance for one’s mistakes. In The Divine Comedy, Dante describes the painful process of purifica- tion that takes place while the soul is climbing the slope of Purgatory. It is said that this journey to salvation is made easier when the living in this world pray for the dead.
There are people in this world volunteering for ssitgimgut because they cannot ignore the pain of the wandering souls in Purgatory. Prayers are said for King Danjong, the young monarch buried in Yeongwol hundreds of years ago; for those who disappeared Jirisan Mountain, once stained with blood; for those who were swept away by the turmoil of the Yeosun Tide and perished like a red camellia flower. SUH Yongseon and KANG Jongyeol captured this pain on canvas so the souls of those who died from unjust violence could soar into the sky.
However, it is said that this process of purification occurs not only in the Purgatory in the underworld but also in this world. The process refers to a difficult step up the slope of the exhausting journey that is life. Photographers captured the deep respect for human beings by recording the devastated daily lives of workers and immigrants who endured poverty during the Great Depression in the United States in the 1930s. PARK Chiho gazes at the anguish and wounds, using the body as a sanctuary where the memory and oblivion of a fading existence intersect. In addition, PARK Donghwa, who draws the “beautiful and sad flower-like” Doseong village of the Hansen people who were pushed out by social prejudice. They believe that the journey to redemption begins with recognizing the source of suffering.
In spite of the anxiety and misery of beings who wish to sit down, when their hearts climb the slope of Purgatory toward the sky again, I hope that the prayers of this world can reach some corner of the road and make flowers bloom together.
Curator Dr. LIM Eunmin