Juntae T.J. Hwang, Angry Hotel, 2014, Courtesy of the artist

Juntae T.J. Hwang

b. 1991, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2011-2015 BA Fine Art, Slade School of Fine Art, London

Recent Exhibitions

2016 XL Catlin Art Guide
2016 ICA, Singapore - Fault-lines  
2016 Jewish Museum, NYC - In Response to Unorthodox 
2016 Wallach Gallery, NYC - MFA Exhibition  
2016 RUA RED, South Dublin Arts Centre, Ireland - Carnage Visors 
2015 Kyoto University of the Arts, Japan - Theatrescope

Artist’s Statement

My practice slips in and out of my reality of living as a Korean individual in the West. Escaping into imagined realms through performance installations, digital/3D, video and paintings, and using these forms to evoke passiveness and aggressiveness at different moments and the interplay between these feelings and the audience. 

Moving out of Korea alone at the age of twelve while attending school in the US and UK caused a cultural collision within my childhood. My work draws upon this theory of intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1989) where the prejudice against factors such as race, sexuality and class cross paths, and how the interweave can drastically affect one’s position within society as well as one’s position as an artist. 

In the views of minorities, the hubris of the West is evident as it considers its theories complete and universal, while Korean activists often feel unable to relate to Eurocentric Western ideas. The angry tone is further justified as the influence of the West prevents the non-Western individuals from being more creative with their own ways of expressing their individualities and their perspective on love. 

I explore these themes by manipulating the K-pop and North Korean propaganda aesthetic into multimedia visuals and exploring my hidden identity in different contexts in the East and West. By creating various forms of video work, including documentation of performance, acting as an austere quasi-documentary, as well as using 3D modeling software, I aim to create a further immersion through escapism that is also liberating and celebratory. 

I want to deconstruct the Western-centric globalised image and how it can classify minorities throughout the popular media. I intend to deal with the slow mobilisation of global activism through the lens of nationalities and use my creativity as a form of global activism. 

Since there is no place where I fully feel at home yet, I create my own structure and realize a universal world that is not only intriguing but also confronts the struggle in implementing my ideologies into the Western context. By engaging with the idea of escapism, I aim to expand my own cinematic utopian universe/space in performances and video to challenge and question the strict narrative of normative trends relating to white supremacy in the modern hierarchical structure of Western art culture.