Hyun Gi Park

Rapid Response Fellow 2020 - 2020

Hyun Gi Park is a Korean American artist born in Bryan, TX and raised in North Carolina. Park obtained her BFA in Sculpture + Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Hyun Gi’s works recreate the essence of traditional rituals into fictionalized ceremonies with new age health trends and consecrating them. Her practice involves incense, historically used to measure time, as markers to reimagine new time structures for certain gestures. Her recent installation and digital works evolve from performances, attempting to replicate the visceral, and immortalizing it. She has been awarded recent national and international residencies including Eyebeam Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future (Brooklyn, NY), Penland School of Craft (Penland, North Carolina), MACAO (Milan, Italy), and Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, Vermont). Her performances and installations have been featured in numerous exhibitions at venues in New York, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and has performed in the Pittsburgh Performance Art Festival, LabBodies Performance Art Review in Baltimore, and the Art Licks Weekend in London. Park lives and works in Los Angeles, CA as an incense maker, bookbinder, tattooer, designer, and runs BABOSHOP, a multi use space and studio.

What do you plan to do during Phase 1 of Rapid Response?

In 1998, the Korean company, LG, created a 10 year old non-binary cyber shaman named “Cysha”. Cysha was aimed protect computers from viruses and pornography. They also performed divinations and gave virtual pujoks (talisman) that could be set as your computer background. It was so controversial that LG then “aborted” Cysha. I plan to conjure Cysha into an interactive portal on the internet, accessible to anyone. This portal- a sacred space, constantly refreshed, a loop, an inherent ritual, will include different apps, generators, videos, images, and texts mirroring aspects of my work and Korea’s politics with shamanism but on a digital sphere, immortalized. The portal uses the digital sphere to create discourse on the oppression of primitive religions through colonialism and the result of adapting to modernization (essentially westernization).

How does your work relate to the theme of the open call?

The internet is a black hole, an anxiety ridden void of too much information and suspicious intentions. The internet has been used as a manipulative tool used to gather information from users to further capitalist ideals. Cysha derives from “cyber shaman”, they are purposed to alleviate your problems, a cyber therapist if you will. “The main trouble w/ cyborgs, of course, is that they are the illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism. But illegitimate offsprings are often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins. The father, after all, are inessential” (Donna Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs”). Cysha’s existence is in itself a rejection of surveillance capitalism.

What does the future look like to you?

The future looks tense, but a productive tension, meaning things are being challenged. The hidden secrets of big corporations, people in power, and systems are coming to light.

What is your grounding ethos?

Educate yourself and others, listen, and be considerate.