NOT MADE VISIBLE - Kim Sungwon (Professor, Seoul National University of Science and Technology)

The 6th trough project of the Goethe-Institut is formed with works of artist  Minchul Song. He suggested two different works for this trough project. One is a work about the way that 17 troughes exist in the space of the Goethe-Institut, and the other one is a work about German history, the Berlin Wall, rather than structural characteristic of the trough. Of course all of these two works are methodologically and conceptually at the extension of <Half Mirror> project and < How to make the largest Circle > series, which Minchul Song has carried out so far.  

Minchul Song's <Half Mirror> work is a sculpture constructed with rainbow shaped half circle and mirror. This sculpture with which basic diagram (square, circle) and minimum material (mirror, plywood) are all used stimulates our recognition system and throws metaphysical questions. Does the circle we are seeing actually exist? Where is border between actual image and reflected image on the mirror? What is relationship between the work and the space?
The play of basic diagram and mirror makes us able to have unusual recognition about all space from small space to so big space. Minchul Song's <Half Mirror> is like a magical tool which uses normal mirror, and directs a situation being looked transparently like a glass by connecting contacting points of mirrors, and makes us see  invisible space.

Extending these concepts, Minchul Song suggests <Half Mirror-Rotation Axis> which was composed with mirror, glass and black acrylic circle, <Ring>, which was manufactured with black acrylic and <Drawing 2 for the Earth, Sun and Moon> in this trough project. The background of these three works begins at structure of hall way of the Goethe-Institut which has 17 troughes. The artist pay attention that the structure of this hall way resembled the structure of circulation of the Mobius strip, and he releases this Mobius strip to draw continuously. The strips drawn in this way became similar in shape with actual trough by connected each other. His imagination does not stop here. Though the word trough means the shape of a horse manger, this is also a word used in the science many times in fact. The artist references 23.4 degree, which is the angle of the earth's circulation and axis connecting the meaning of this word, which designates canyon, trough of low pressure, and lowest part of curve to circulation structure. It means the form of circulating connection of the hall way in actual space and trough meets the circulation system of the earth which rotates on axis. The structure of <Half Mirror-Rotation Axis> is supported by right triangles, which are different from Minchul Song's existing <Half Mirror>. He uses 23.4 degree, which is the angle of the earth's rotating axis as all of the angles of the right triangles in this exhibit. The excellent play of glass and mirror in <Half Mirror and Rotation Axis> also forms peak at 'angle'. This is because we must be in correct angle to know if this small right triangle is made with glass or mirror. If we are in that angle, we could see ourselves reflected in the mirror, and we could confirm that it is mirror.

The <People on it> is second work Minchul Song is to present in this trough project. This is a little different way from the <Half Mirror - Rotation Axis>, but it has something in common with working world of the artist, which is 'makes invisible visible'. The <People on it> has same spirit with <How to make the largest Circle> series among Minchul Song's existing works.
The artist himself made circle shape canvas to draw circle painting before. He made 4 pieces of rainbow shaped same half circle, and produced canvas by combine their vertical right angles and drew. Working in this way, the artist suddenly throws a very simple (?) question that how he could make biggest circle. He developed a method to make biggest circle by cutting the edges around the facets after displaying many pieces on all over the wall. The circle made in this way is actually empty space, and what made that circle are various border formed by cross sections of papers. The biggest circle we are seeing was made by absence of that circle.
In another word, we see the space that does not exist. The work  <People on it> is about historical event of Berlin Wall's broken down at 1989. The artist applies 'method to make biggest circle' in calling lost memory and unseen faces. The <People on it> is made with wooden chair and bench. This form is made by using picture of the scene that people waved their hands and cheered on the wall when the Berlin wall was broken down and cut it from wooden board like a negative film. This 'Negative Chair and Bench' is designed fit for the structure of the trough so to be well wedged in that space. These chair and bench taken from the trough are actually able to be used after the exhibition. The people who cheered on the Berlin wall 25 years ago were disappeared, though we could sit on the chair manufactured by that image.  

Minchul Song's work using 'Negative Way' is same as equipments that virtual space designates real space, illusion designates  actual image, and recognize real existence through absence.
In this context, the title of this exhibition <NOT MADE VISIBLE>, more correctly say 'NEGATIVE OF NOT MADE VISIBLE' is the title best reflecting Minchul Song's world of working that makes invisible ones instead of the things visible.

             Kim Sungwon (Professor, Seoul National University of Science and Technology)