epidermis world 23 by Ji-young Hong

Ji-young Hong

Seoul, SINSA-DONG, GANGNAM-GU - Republic Of Korea


I tried to think outside the box and view the inner workings of humankind differently and interpreted in my artworks with various colors.

I used to have habit of biting side flesh parts of tip of finger nails. When I observed my palm after biting 10 fingers, I could see that each finger had two concave grooves. In fact, no pain was felt maybe because I stopped biting just at the limit. Instead, I remember that I was busy and happy with making twenty grooves when the flesh started growing again.
The flesh I used to swallow is so-called “epidermis”. Epidermis is a coined word between “the outer” meaning “to reveal outside” and “dermis” connoting “skin” and “layer”. This means an organic body or external skin which embraces the outward part of a living thing. In general, epidermis is considered outer skin of plants and animals. Epidermis in plants plays a role in protecting and regulating the composition of inner side of plants. The cuticle meaning cells which embrace the upper part of nails, as in the same context as epidermal cells of leaves, prevents human body from evaporation and protects it from outside.
Epidermis observed in my works is motivated from my habit of biting side flesh of finger nails of my childhood caused by psychological restlessness which turned into a ludic act in the end. The side flesh of nails can be classified as animal epidermis like cuticles and this means skin tissue covering skin surface composed of 0.3mm of thickness void of blood vessel and nerve. Therefore, the concept of epidermis contained in my works includes outer skin and layer of plants and animals too. However, they are now a superficial tool I want to delete. This is because the thoughts of observing things have been changed into superficial perspective by the influences of media. Moreover, epidermis is not only a symbolic word implying lop-sided way of thinking toward external appearance of the modern society but also key matière of my works.
Today, mass media intends to brainwash appearance-oriented views (lookism) to people in a subtle and unconscious way. Like this, it is the word “epidermis” that I intended to delete external information right from the point in which outer beauty is about to be carved as a generalized image. This way, my epidermis is changed as a superficial instrument wishing to delete the tool of a ludic act.
The shower of non-stop media pouring every single moment attracts attention of people and speedily spreads by gathering all kinds of stimulating senses like visual and auditory senses. Even against their will, people tend to absorb what is said, written and done in the media with receptive attitude. For this reason, the reversal of the order leads information to be delivered in a unilateral way away from bilateral communication. Finally, media makes our fundamental thoughts keep hovering around or cease to exist.
Hereby, my works starts from “Epidermis world” where epidermis can be purchased right outside the door. In other words, my works explored the essence by way of expressing virtual world of which the images of external figures are already deleted.
The series “Epidermis TV” based on thermal sensor(imaging) cameras which started from 2014 want to tell about the current era of media.
My artworks entitled ‘Epidermis World’ have been motivated from the image taken by thermal imaging camera. The world we see in our eyes has been overlapped with the image shown in a form of thermal imaging.
The bright and dark colors of thermal imaging shows the inner side of the object and the external appearance has been represented by the actual colors that are visible to us.
In other words, I tried to remove prejudice among people based on race and gender and focus more on the inner side of us by exploring with various forms of color palette. The virtual world simplified in ambiguous colors and forms, and the world we see through our own eyes represent the internal and the external appearances, respectively.
The world seen by thermal imaging cameras becomes absolutely simplified in ambiguous colors and forms by the heat and it does not depend on infinite information poured from the media.
In addition to this, the epidermis of lips has been used as an abstractive expression in terms of showing the inner side of us.
Thus, my work shows the world beyond race and gender and explores the inner side of us which external appearance has become vague.

Local shows

2019 Residency selected Artist, Coutances Arts center, Normandie Coutances, France

2017.09.12-09.30 selected Artist, gallery G-an, Paju, Korea

2016 Thermal camera <FLIR SYSTEM KOREA> support
2016.05.06-05.18 <AIAF>Invitation to the booth, Ansan Arts Center, Korea

2016.01.06 <BELT competition 2016>, media artist Prize top 1, Korea Print Pho­tog­ra­phy Pro­mo­tion Asso­ci­a­tion, seoul, Korea
2016.01.06-01.13 <BELT competition 2016>selected Artist(Media Art), Artside gallery, Seoul, Korea

2015.08.05-08.11 <Selection of ChungMunKyu museum ’Artists 7’>selected Artist, Misulsegye gallery, Seoul, Korea

2015.03.27-04.26 <Sesation Tranceference>selected Artist, ChungMunKyu museum, Ansan, Korea

​2015.01.31-02.25 <Single Channel>planned special exhibition, Magnolia, Anyang, Korea
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