Vlog: Singular Visions

Apr 15, 2013

In this vlog, artist and educator Christine S. Kim describes the exhibition Singular Visions, focusing on artist Paul Chan's 1st Light (2005).

Singular Visions


This exhibition is entitled "Singular Visions." It provides an authentic experience and a new way of looking at art. 


Traditionally, when one enters into an art museum, they are presented with one way to view the work. But here, the approach helps you to look at things from various perspectives.  The curators have chosen twelve works from our permanent collection and installed each piece in a separate gallery, giving each artist their own space.  


With developments in today's technologies such as Twitter and email, we are constantly bombarded with new information, without pause.   


Here, you enter one gallery and are presented with one piece of artwork with plenty of space to breathe. Things start to slow down, and you're able to catch your breath. You are encouraged to stay in the room and walk around the piece, looking it at from all different angles. By giving yourself time to ponder and ask questions, you can develop a deeper dialogue with the work.  


This piece by artist Paul Chan, entitled 1st Light, explores the relationship between society, technology, and religion.  It portrays the Christian notion of the rapture at the end of the world.  


The artist inverts the idea. Instead of the individual being raised up, we see technological objects such as a car, a cell phone, a bicycle, and a laptop are rising toward the sky, while people are seen falling down. From my experience being raised as a Christian, this piece makes me think. It makes me ask the question: Are today's technological and material objects our salvation? The world today is quite corrupted, chaotic, and full of sin.  Are these technological objects somehow more pure than us?


Technology is so ingrained in our civilization that it feels difficult to break free.  


This brings us back to the title of the piece, 1st Light. It makes you wonder-- why did the artist decided to cross out the word Light in the title?


I'm Christine Sun Kim.  Thank you for watching.