Vak Dongkyun / VDK Generic Images
Based in Seoul, South Korea
Vak Dongkyun is an image producer based in Seoul, South Korea whose practice utilizes photography. Positing the visual manifestation constitutes the world, Vak's work questions the relationship between image and object, human and non-human, material and anthropocentric, synthetic and organic, nature and culture. Technology and objects are pervasive in his work, forming a generic morphogenetic image space. This space is full of reduced technologies that are forming a black box deviated from the essence, exploring how images represent and connect the object. His work is focusing on the status quo that images and objects are not fully synchronized, leading images to stop representing the inherent meaning of objects. This conflict is reflected in the aesthetics of his imagery, activating an object as a technological form constructing the visual environment.
Vak Dongkyun studied painting for three years at Korea National University of Arts in Seoul, before discovering photography during a stay abroad at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris in 2015. While he had worked with photographs previously, he had used them merely as templates for his realistic paintings. The efficiency of the camera as a medium ultimately prompted him to switch to photography «so as to be able to produce images of objects that are as objective as possible,» says Vak. He taught himself the technique. He has a BFA degree in Fine Arts from Korea National University of Arts in Seoul and will complete his MFA at the same university in winter 2020.
His work has been displayed in numerous group exhibitions in South Korea, including at Seoul Museum of Art, the Asia Culture Center, and the Platform-L Contemporary Art Center. In March 2019, his first solo exhibition—«Universal Universe»—was presented at Archive Bomm in Seoul. In the same year, he took part in the group exhibition «Closer When Apart» in Ottawa, which was curated by Korea National University of Arts in cooperation with the Korean Cultural Centre Canada.
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He is thinking of / the sound from a buckle when he fasten a belt in the passenger seat / the moment when he recognized that the roundabouts in Seoul turn counterclockwise while the roundabouts in Glasgow rotate clockwise / time and space of the world combined by Greenwich observatory / the moment when he found the lens of the James Webb telescope is actually coated with beryllium / touch of the towel hung on the bathtub in the bathroom at Congress Plaza Hotel / letter size portrait of Thomas Ruff / the stewardess who was whispering to him to hide his 32kg luggage / the speed of New Horizons flying head toward Pluto / Mercedes-Benz S Class Diana the crown princess was riding on / his father who knows the exact location where Venus and Jupiter are, and the thousands lights that spread over his head / ringing alarm when he entered Havitat 67 in Montreal / the sound of a shell falling over the trunk of truck as he pulled a bolt carrier of Remington rifle / the scenery seen from the train from Arlanda airport to Stockholm and dozens of cows standing in the field / the fact that the woman he saw sitting on his three is actually Dutch during interview / the conversation about art with a surgeon who was stitching his lacerated thenar which he got from sharpening 3D printed model / the fact that he found pneumonothorax in the medical examination from the office to get a residence card for France and the fingertip of doctor which was indicating a film and her incomprehensible terminologies / the rolling down orange on the tilted floor in his house at the 2e arrondissement of Paris / lost 11 hours on the A380 / the moment he saw the changes of engines and disappearing of laboratory from the four planes he boarded from Incheon to South Dakota / associating the four climbers standing on the top of Monte Renoso as Teletubbies / the alarm in the house in Shinjuku when he locked the door from outside and the security who came up to the house less than 10 minutes to investigate the incident, and his glossy helmet / shape of objects determined by technology / the difference between expectation and assumption / surplus design of objects / weight of time that comes to mind when counting the distance between the two colliding galaxies(ARP299) and himself / the speed of himself in rainy day running toward the school and calculating where the raindrops would fall more between top of his head or face / disgust of the reductionists’ list taken as an example by Latour and despair he felt from the fact that photographers are on the list / when CCTV cameras found at the Gwangju Biennale looked more artistic than the works surrounding it / dissatisfaction about printing images for the show / distrust in the wall at galleries / the fossils made of plastics that are consumed to produce electric cars / the question why photography is so obsessed with visible light while ultraviolet and infrared are fully reconizable with devices / the subjects that are essential to the photographers are now losing their special meaning, and photographers who really don't care anything about the meaning of object / knowing how to capture the moment / the grafting of digital and analog, which was possible during the Tillmans days, and contraposing of material and immaterial at this belated time / the claim that reality is omnipresent in the photography / staring at the monitor with demonic tenacity about what true black is / analogizing Tyrannosaurus from Acetaminophen / the Bible / and thinking about what can't be seen at all costs.