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Ecotopia and Commodification:

Intae Kim and Jin Taek Yoo

March 16 ~ April 13, 2006
Opening Reception 3/17 (Fri.) 6 ~ 8 pm

TENRI CULTURAL INSTITUTE proudly presents Ecotopia and Commodification: Intae Kim and Jintaek Yoo from March 16th to April 13th, 2006 with an opening reception on Friday March 17th from 6-8 PM.

 The two artists Intae Kim and Jintaek Yoo featured in this show expose the vulnerability of humankind to both corporate sales strategies and bioengineering. Consequently we see Intae Kim representing mutant nature by depicting the severe cosmic disturbance that technological engineering has wrought in its wake by rendering art containing oversize, or mutated forms. Yoo’s work also relates to this theme as he seeks to unmask the corporate marketing strategies that target young children in their eagerness to sell them on fast food. In producing works that speak to the human psyche these two socially committed artists hope to alter current practices in genetic engineering and commodified mass culture promoting the preservation of nature. Like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Kim and Yoo believe in the positive aspects of humankind calling for a return to and respect for nature. But rather than calling for the removal of artifice in order to regain nature as did Rousseau, Kim and Yoo reproduce artifice in the hopes of making us aware of its existence.

 Apropos to their social commitment both Kim and Yoo are involved with the Ilsan art community that has become the hub for natural preservation. Kim’s studio is situated in Ilsan, a rapidly developing artist colony near the DMZ, the topos of the dispute between North and South Korea. Its 155 mile area spans the north part of the South Korean Peninsula preserving the ecosystem including many rare plants and animals among the detritus of war because of limited human access since the end of the Korean War. Although Yoo lives in New Jersey, when in Korea he also works near Ilsan and like Kim is totally dedicated to preserving the natural environment and promoting social awareness.

Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos


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