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The Practice of Making a Guidebook
Book and Exhibition, 2011
The Practice of Making a Guidebook
Book and Exhibition, 2011
Tourmap:Songdo
Leaflet, 2010
Tourmap:Songdo
Leaflet, 2010
The Objects We Brought from Incheon's chinatown
Installation, 2007-2009
The Objects We Brought from Incheon's chinatown
Installation, 2007-2009
Outline of 'Life, no Peace, Only Adventure'
Postcard and Wall Print, 2011
Outline of 'Life, no Peace, Only Adventure'
Postcard and Wall Print, 2011
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Book, 120 x 200 mm, 149 pp. Poster, 1000 x 600 mm; 120 x 200 mm 30pp when unfolded; Production SR
Artists: KimChangPractice!!, Matteo Orsini, Leyla Stevens, Daniel Wang ; Book Design: Press Kit Press; Exhibition Design: Kit-toast

The Practice Making of Guidebook is co-produced by KimChang Practice, Leyla Stevens, Matteo Orsini, Daniel Wang, kit-toast to produce a guidebook for local sites based on personal memory and experience. Based on the data developed throughout courses of interchanging between artists from April to December in 2010, the project involves an exhibition(2010.12.9-12.15, Space Bim / 2010.12.27-12.30, platform slowrush / exhibition designed by kit-toast) and a publication(production SR, 2010.12 / co -concept designed by press kit press).

Artists and non-artists living in different environments offer the information (text, image, sound and object) of their own local site to the artists and non-artists who’re living in different places. By using the information offered by each other, every member imagines the indicated sites and creates their own guidebooks of certain sites. The guidebook what is completed by such process does not necessarily need to contain general characteristics of sites. The participants rather interpreted those personally selected and given information to create guidebooks without direct experiences. In order to produce a guidebook, the information about certain cites would be partly selected, possibly misunderstood and inevitably misinterpreted by takers’ own preferences.

The information offered by people from different areas contains multi-layered perspectives based on individual experiences, rather than objective information and description what generally reflect a sole perspective and is usually offered for and by travelers. For instance, two different sites where are located in a long distance, of course, have a visual difference which has came with different cultural-political-social backgrounds. If the information of the two different sites, on the other hand, is selected by personal experiences or memories, then it may rather reveal some kinds of similarities which come by personality or individuality. Throughout such process, the boundaries of internationality and locality possibly overlap as well as being apart from the individual boundaries of memory and life.

The publication, ‘The Practice of Making a Guidebook’ takes two parts; the ‘data’ interchanged between participants and the ‘guidebook’ developed based on the data. To help advanced level of each site described by the guidebooks, some characteristics of the sites are specially selected as tags and separately listed. Corresponding each tag listed below, you can easily find their page numbers in index page.

KimChangPractice!!, Leyla Stevens, farm, family photograph, childhood, hometown, Chinatown, identity, ethnicity, Incheon, Matteo Orsini, Pittsburgh, Sondo, Intenational, urbanism, future, neighborhood, Cheongju, move, fieldtrip, nothing, Daniel Wang, Shanghai, taxi, fight, stranger, resting area, souvenir, empty room, email/chat, gesture

This project, as a part of local study, is inter-occurred in every direction. Every participant takes their dual-roles as both a giver and a taker (of the information of their sites). The process of understanding each other in the course of inter-relating ‘your experience’ with ‘my experience’, becomes a kind of ‘learning’ about locality. However, this is unlike the ordinary learning, an acquisition of knowledge. Instead, this new kind of ‘learning’ practically demands a prior step of researching or studying of certain sites before actually taking the personalized information. This means, therefore that the ‘guidebook’ becomes an appropriate way to speculate the process of learning or obtaining and interpreting information. The taker (of information) in the future can be the most important giver (of information), too. This inter-relationship or inter-change minimizes the physical distance between givers and takers as well as networking them each other. This must be an aspect of pro-active community for inter-changing information.

The results of this project ‘The Practice of Making a Guidebook’ are an exhibition and a publication which consequently become the network itself of the whole project. This network has formed by the participant artists and the co-creative artists as they get entangled each other. A map visualizes the inter-relationship, names of data and image information. Especially the confusing lines connecting each point indicate what this project is about after all.
138 x 120 mm, 12pp; 544 x 360 mm when unfolded; Promotional material for cro:the invisible : slowrush.

As a collaborative project with the publishing section of “the invisible”, Tourmap : SONGDOis built upon a field study of construction sites in New Songdo City to investigate the basis of ‘new city’ formation, the historical context of old and new downtowns and the flux of urban culture.

Tourmap : SONGDO focused on the similarities between the development-oriented and purpose-driven mottos of New Songdo City and the modern power that returns to vanishing point. In New Songdo City, on top of an immense magnitude of administrative control, there are aspirations of the petit bourgeois overwhelmed by economic logic. Concepts such as desire, power and capital were either understood symbolically, or in relation to complex ideologies. And yet, in New Songdo City all these abstract words seem to materialize in real life as a gigantic civil engineering project. Things that did not and could not reveal themselves formed a gigantic urban landscape.

Tourmap : SONGDO is a tour map that guides visitors around the construction sites in New Songdo City, regarding them as one of the characteristic features that vigorously reveal the ‘here and now’ of the city. The landscape, which is full of iron structures of buildings and huge cranes, construction screens, and geotechnical construction, creates a skyline distinctively different from that of a metropolitan city, or anywhere else in the suburbs of new cities in Korea. The skyline changes according to the position of the observer, a virtual line that derives from the difference in perspectives. Likewise, the diversity of skylines corresponds to the diverse positions of the observer. Tourmap : SONGDO leads the way to ‘the place’ where the New Songdo City skyline can be identified.

This ‘place,’ however, is a ‘spot’ where the observer is forced to stand, much like the vanishing point mentioned earlier. Indeed, to see New Songdo City in just the same way as in the promotional New Songdo City blueprint, the viewer has to be at the exact spot where the photographer took the picture for the blueprint. To verify all 12 skylines presented in Tourmap : SONGDO, visitors to New Songdo City need to look all over the construction sites. As a guide map of this itinerary, Tourmap : SONGDO is a sort of a game, road signs that suggest one possible way to experience the city.


Concealed by an aging fancy and exotic façade, Incheon’s Chinatown has a complex web of local politics and culture. We created a still-life from common objects we collected from Incheon’s Chinatown to illustrate our desire to restore and reinvent the area. The still-life was accompanied by a full room installation that included three slide projectors automatically shuffling through photographs we shot of Chinatown to contextualize the still-life.
KimChangPractice!! is a title for the collaboration between Minkyoung Kim and Yunju Chang. We actively research cities, spaces, communities, and collections to generate various artistic media such as exhibitions, publications, and websites. What we hope to achieve is an actual activity based on such attitude, excluding ritualized behavior or even a sense of commitment, yet more about respecting our personal tastes. As a method for sustaining it, we focus more on moving physical bodies more than using psychological concepts. We hope to practice something through repetitive actions and random chances, maybe becoming an expert at this in the future.

Contact, CV

CV

Live and work in Incheon, Seoul, and New York.

Solo Exhibitions
2010 The Practice of Making a Guidebook, Space Beam and Platform Slowrush, Incheon, Korea

Group Exhibitions
2018 Cabinet Art Fair, Songdo Tribowl, Inchecon
2013 Incheon Art Club, Art Platform, Incheon, Korea
2013 The Republic of Two, Arko Art Center, Seoul, Korea
2012 Wings of an Elephant—Future Project: Based on Fifteen Years of Social Art,
         Culture Station Seoul 284, Korea
2012 Sound Scape: Urban Landscape Described in Sound, Wumin Art Center, Cheongju, Korea
2011 Life, No Peace, Only Adventure, Busan Museum of Art, Busan, Korea
2011 Memophilia, Art Platform, Incheon, Korea
2010 CRO : Invisible, Songdo the # first world, Incheon, Korea
2009 Incheon Women Artists' Biennale, Art platform, Incheon, Korea
2007 The Voice of East Asia, Alternative space Pool, Seoul, Korea

Artist-in-Residence
2010 Incheon Art Platform, Incheon, Korea

Talk/Presentations
2012 04 Artist Talk, Wumin Art Center, Cheongju, Korea
2009 08 Artist Talk, Incheon Women Biennale, Incheon Art platform, Incheon, Korea

Publications
2010 The Practice of Making a Guide Book, Production SR
2010 Tourmap:Songdo, Production SR

Grants
2010 Anual Grants for Visual Artist, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture
2010 Anual Grants for Visual Artist, Incheon Foundation for Arts and Culture

Bibliography
2014 Juhyung Gong, "KimChangPractice!!, the genuine trip to meet the real world",
         Find myself in a museum
2013 Eunju Jeong, Editor, "The world that is made by not one, but two", Design jungle
2012 Jungim Seo, Editor, "KimChangPractice!!", Article vol.6
2011 Juhyung Gong, "KimChangPractice!!", Reading criticism for children, vol.208
2011 Sunryeong Cho, "Is it possible to 'set out'", Kyeonghyang newspaper
2011 Mary Sherman, "The practice of making a guidebook",
         Here, there and everywhere: the art of collaboration
2010 Juhyung Gong, "The record of unrecord memories", Memophila
2009 Sunryeong Cho, "Dwell with fantasy: New politics of the 88 million won generation",
         Culture and science vol.59
2009 Sunryeong Cho, "Still life of the scenery", Hankyoreh newspaper

Collections
Wumin Art Center, Cheongju, Korea
Space Imsi, Incheon, Korea


The record of unrecorded
memories


Dwell with fantasy: New politics
of the 88 million won generation


KimChangPractice!!, A trip with important company that makes
your life rich


Objects that we brought from
Incheon's Chinatown


Still life of the scenery
The record of unrecorded
memories


Dwell with fantasy: New politics
of the 88 million won generation


KimChangPractice!!, A trip with important company that makes
your life rich


Objects that we brought from
Incheon's Chinatown


Still life of the scenery
Dwell with fantasy: New politics of the 88 million won generation
Sunryeong Cho, The chief curator of Nam June Paik Art Center

I wanted to see The Baader Meinhof Complex, the film about the Red Army Faction, but I have not been able to at this moment of writing. If I watched, I would have more things to say, however what I really want to say is not about the film, but is my impression that release of this film, per se, is very symptomatic. (In other words, why is this happening at this point of all days?) After seeing the exhibition Regarding Terror: The RAF during a business trip to Berlin, I realized that Red Army Faction is an intense trauma of German history. The news about the film reminded me of the present day. The only difference now is, I realized that it is more than just trauma of ‘Germany’ and furthermore I am endeavoring to impart inevitability to it. I read a phrase that contains sentiment of pity for this film in a column of a film magazine, which I enjoy reading. The sentences like “Why can’t they be flexible like that? Why did they bring the fall on themselves?” suggests that the writer regards their deeds as ‘a value of a bygone era’. However, I suspect that Red Army Faction's deeds which people object to, in present times, might be considered Postmodern. Consider their situation: they had no choice but to commit crimes and were not able to find another way to resist others without demolishing their own world and identity. Isn't this very postmodern in that only implosion is possible (borrowing the terminologies from the pedigree of Mcluhan-Baudrillard-Virilio)?

Let me discuss more on this situation applying the logic of Slavoj Žižek. We do not trust the rationality of society anymore. And so, in a way, we have a stronger obsession with, and faith in, the non-rational world. What we believe in is not existence of that world but its non existence. We evade by saying ‘those things will never happen’. On the premise that those things will not become a reality, ‘the outside returns to us as a fantasy. What Red Army Faction did is attack the outside world. Not by removing or demolishing (in other words, not by rejecting and denying fantasy), but by rushing into the outside (in other words, by trusting in the literal meaning of the false idea that if you only to eliminate capitalists, the utopia will come).

By believing the literal meaning of 'liberty of choice' to be fantasy, they revealed the structure of oppression that was deeply rooted in that term (the truth that we cannot resist others without destroying our own identity). We know very well that there is no world where it is possible to live without money, just because of this, we see the alternative as ‘only within fantasy’. However, RAF’s self-destructive terror actualized what only exists in fantasy. In doing so, they paradoxically exposed the outside's identity (so to speak, it is not a real exterior but only serves to retain 'the inside'), which had to be continuously suspended in order to maintain reality. South Korea in 2009 is not much different from Germany in the 1970s. At first glance, it doesn’t seem to be true.This government is rather pre-modern, not post-modern. However, the people are already a postmodern people. The gap between them itself is postmodern. This situation brings back the unresolved 'liabilities of modernism' into the postmodern world like a ghost. (How heavily in indebted are we? I feel dizzy at the thought that we would continue to pay for debt. Red Army Faction is probably also a reminder of the liabilities of German history. In this era absent of the outside that Antonio Negri and Michael Hart called ‘empire’, we are very careful not to be like Red Army Faction. As Alenka Zupančič mentioned in The Ethics of the Real, “We are very cautious in order not to realize our own fantasy’. We know that “Realization of fantasy (for example, terror or crime) will bring violated result to covert objective (restore completeness of the Other and keep trust in him). Therefore, we really don’t want that. So, paradoxically, if there is any possible political act in Korea in 2009, it could be a related act to ‘realization of fantasy’ if the act to expose the structure that keeps our society and defy its stability can be called a political act in a broad sense. According to Slavoj Žižek, ideology exists not only in symbolic identification (faith in law and rationality) but also in the phase of fantasy. This is the very reason why facing our fantasy could be a political action.

Can't we do something similar to Red Army Faction without the self-destruction? In other words, when fantasy becomes real, can we show what will happen without violence? I recently saw some artists’ works that suggest some possibilities, although they weren’t completely correct solutions. The works of Hyuntaek Cho, Sanghyun Lee, Minkyoung Kim and Yunju Chang are the exactly the works that come to mind. At first, they don't appear to bear any relation to Red Army Faction. They don’t deal with terror or violence, or any grandiose topics like nation, state or revolution. Rather, they deal with trivial, everyday life or individual interests, and generate peaceful emotions. In this regard, these artists certainly are included in the culture of the 21st Century free from tragedy. Also, they are just starting out as artists. (These are young artists who born after the 1980s) Therefore, it is too much to review their works in general as they have a long road ahead as an artist. But from their works, one can discover a certain perspective which I call the 'new politic' of a new generation. In general, this new generation that is usually called as 88 million won generation is evaluated as if they don’t have any political consciousness. However, some artists definitely do, and their works suggest they have totally different ways of dealing with this issue.

[...]

The Objects We brought from Incheon's Chinatown of Minkyoung Kim and Yunju Chang (Incheon Women’s Biennale, August 1 – 31, 2009) approaches the idea of 'dwelling in fantasy' through considering how people view others. This work is about the story of our own point of views on the area called 'Chinatown', which is a space that has existed near us for a long time but we haven't tried to understand in depth. As their research text states, Chinatown in Incheon is one of the places where political trauma of the modern history of Korea is concentrated; it is a hybrid of complicated political issues such as the history of cold war and war, globalization, multi-culture and diaspora. (According to the artist’s statement, 99% of overseas Chinese are from Shandong Province, on the mainland. However, they are exiles who oppose the politics of their government. Suffering from discrimination in Korean society, they can neither join Korean society nor identify as Chinese. Furthermore, the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and China and the independence movement of Taiwan have generated even more confusion about their identity. In this area, old houses, which were built in Japanese colonial times, still remain, because development is restricted for historic preservation. Therefore, this place appears like an old village where time has stood still. Although there is a new building called ‘Korea and China Culture Center’, which is a bit exaggerated and kitschy, what makes the whole scenery of this area are the old houses, a closed milling factory and Chinese restaurants (unexpectedly, the food has very little flavor).

Their methodology with this area is not about researching relevant facts or documenting accusations. Even though their initial purpose of this work was ponderous (according to the artist’s statement, the purpose of this work was ‘to capture the image of Chinatown which has a mixed identity as non-mainstream in the cultural area called South Korea, as a way to promote circular understanding through reviewing the political and cultural topographical map of East Asia.’), their approach is different. They leisurely stroll across this area, collecting some objects, taking pictures of sceneries, and creating ‘still life’ about Chinatown. ‘Still life’ here literally means stopped life, i.e. the work reconstructs a stuffed artificial world which deviates from vivid original context. (Even in French, it is called nature morte, that is, dead life.) They created a still life with the objects brought from Chinatown (abandoned objects), took pictures of them, produced a postcard and put it in the exhibition space. Also they projected the slides of the sceneries of Chinatown into the exhibition space. Three slide projections each show a different image in formative consideration, and its arrangement intensifies the feeling of still life. One slide does not have moving images, and two images are moving with a time lag. These slide images are not documenting Chinatown but are subjective memories and and show the scenery as a sort of ‘collection’ that one is able to put into his pocket in pieces. The content of the photograph is not monumental or a spectacle in particular, but is the scenery of unrecognizable alley ways, save for the doors of a shop with Chinese lettering written on them. What is more important is the sentiment of the photographs, not the materials themselves. Dilapidated objects such as an abandoned chair, broken box and faded signboard insinuate this area is in decay.

The subject of views on Chinatown emerged, as the artists say, from the photograph of still life that was intended to be look like a ‘Vanitas’ still life of the 17th century’. Plastic flowers, clock, unopen drink can and cotton work gloves with red background do not exist only in Chinatown—they are normal objects, too. In spite of that, this still life achieves a subtle aura. Probably, the exotic mood from the name Chinatown itself is projected onto the character of the objects. In short, the selecting criteria to choose the objects did not depend on whether they are related to China or not. If they have such an intention, maybe this work would have been for an exhibition about exotic spectacle. However, what they selected is not scenery as a spectacle but their conventional (and, nevertheless, sincere) view on them. The artists’ view on decaying space is interconnected with their desire to recreate and restore this space in an illusional space. However, they know very well that this restoration with ‘still life’ and ‘dead nature’ is not possible. Therefore, the artists have no choice but to have a considerably compassionate viewpoint. But this fact doesn’t matter. Rather, it is the opposite. Through the working on ‘still life’, they are creating a fictional space that covers two terms called dissolution and restoration, and in fact, they create a new view through this. (Borrowing Žižek’s words once again, the true object of fantasy is not a fantastical scene but our own view to see that.) In a way, it is true that the strength of this view seems weak a bit, however, their work is individual. The difficulty of our view as other’s view is not a fiction made of stereotyped imitation, but is truth, nonetheless.

– Published on Culture and Science vol.59, 2009 Fall
   Translation: Myeongji Chu; Proofreading: Ojus Doshi


Objects that we brought from Incheon's Chinatown

[...] Historically, Incheon, the host city of the 2009 International Women Artists' Biennale, has been the major international port for trading with China due to its geo-political location. In the modern times, it was the gateway into Korea for the foreign powers and the first city which Japan conquered to spread its powers to East Asia. The Chinatown succeeds a very unique cultural geography for the minorities in Korea.

Kim and Chang focuses on the cultural originality and isolation of the Chinatown near Incheon Port, the geographical center of three major countries in East Asia. The installation named consists of objects they have collected from the Chinatown and two slide projectors. The artists made themselves aliens among the alien residents in the Chinatown and revealed that their communication had to be segmented. In order to share their communication problems and experiences in the Chinatown, where kitsch culture is produced and consumed, they adopted the Netherlands' object paintings, which metaphorically used mundane objects to represent life. The objects are used as metaphorical symbols and the images revealed in order by the projectors. Considering that the newly renovated venue of Incheon Art Platform reflect the history of Japanese imperial rule over Korea, the artists' texts imply a more complicated meaning in a mutual communication with the past, the present, and the future.

– Published on the website of International Incheon Women Artist' Biennale, 2009
 *See the original article (Korean)
The record of unrecorded memories
Kong Ju-hyeong, Art critic; visiting professor at University of Incheon

1.
Assume that you are in outer space and there is something wrong with your oxygen tank. You feel a tragic fate looming over you as you think to yourself that the Earth and its oxygen is too far away to reach in time. What would be the best thing you could do to give yourself what you needed to get back to Earth? A possible choice would be to make an oxygen tank yourself, using whatever you find, for instance, a plastic bag, a cardboard box, electrical tape and a sock, to hold onto life until the very last moment before you can open the door and breathe Earth’s fresh air. This is what really happened to the three astronauts of Apollo 13, the spacecraft that was successfully launched to land on the Moon in April, 1970. Like the makeshift carbon dioxide filter that the astronauts jury-rigged from those things at hand and practically devoid of sophisticated space-age technology, kluge is a crude and clumsy, but effective solution to a problem. There is nothing immaculate with KimChangPractice!!’s works. They are more like a preparation for the next step, and the loosely structured, unfinished works raise issues not directly artistic, but rather issues concerning society and humanity as a whole. KimChangPractice!! is creating what we call artistic kluges.

Exploring regions and cities, we aim to take interest in the identities and cultures of our contemporaries, and to build networks with those from different cultures.

As the team’s artistic purpose clearly shows, KimChangPractice!! takes “a place” as the starting point of meaningful projects and the stage to express ideas. The artists’ places of interest range across East Asia and beyond, including Indonesia to Shanghai, Pittsburg and Seoul, then down to Cheongju, Incheon’s Chinatown and Songdo. They keep and eye on continents and nations, cities and subordinate regions. They bring what they have seen to their works. It was in 2007 when they participated in a local arts events The Voice of East Asia: Development and Resistance hosted by Art Space Pool and began to get fully interested in places. For the first time, the program taught them that East Asian, commonly mistaken for a geographic and cultural unit, is, in fact, a place constantly changing according to complicated geopolitical surroundings.

2.
With the advent of “the global era”, various academic fields have tried to define ‘place’, but failed to reach an agreement, which testifies to difficulty of defining it. KimChangPractice!! starts from the premise that a place is not a static and solid area with clear boundaries, but a floating stage of acts and events. The artists’ emotional and perceptional responses to and experiences of places that have been regarded as constantly important in their works can be understood only in relation with this premise. The objects that we brought from Incheon’s Chinatown confirms this premise, as well as where the artists began and where they are headed. The gaudy broken objects that the artists collected on the streets of Chinatown represent the decline of that place. The overly vivid objects that were dumped after losing some of their functionality are a nonchalant narrative about Chinatown, a place relegated to the role of a tool for propagandizing cultural industries, and the access to whose true identity is completely denied. The dispirited landscape of a specific place symbolizing the minority in Korea resembles any place in East Asia that went through and aggressive development process. While The objects that we brought from Incheon’s Chinatown is reminiscent of distorted and consumed spatiality, Tourmap:Songdo reveals the falsity of a place whose formation is going on in perfect order. Aimed at building a world-class city, those behind the construction of Song do are shouting the slogan of “For the furture!” but it is ironical in that this destruction for the sake of construction is, in truth, yet another throwback to the past era. Tourmap:Songdo is a tourmap based on research and field studies on 12 places throughout New Songdo International City, the 12 spots testifying to the spatiality of the hurriedly constructed city. As The objects that we brought from Incheon’s Chinatown did, Tourmap:Songdo does not guide us to a specific place names “Songdo-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon,” but reminds us of the violent and bizarre context that has been may continue to be repeatedly witnessed in any development-oriented region.

3.
KimChangPractice!!’s artistic scope expands from continuous, distorted spatiality, to then ongoing, false spatiality, and finally to concealed spatiality in taxi tour. As an information transfer game, the project is completed through interactions between the sender and the receiver of information. The orginal sender is a writer who is an Australian national living in Shanghai. The Korean artists receive information on a certain place that the sender wants to share, and was transferred in the form of writing and images of objects. After research, field studies and visualization, the information is rearranged and combined with the information from three other cities into an exhibit and art book, The practice of making a guidebook. This art book will be published and distributed among the public.

Shanghai is divided by the Huangpu River into east and west parts. Puxi, the west part, is the old district with a maze of narrow alleys and several main roads, while Pudong, the east part, is the new district composed of wide roads and gigantic building blocks constructed during the past few decades — from taxi tour.

The opening of the English text that arrived from Shanghai seems no different from ordinary tour essays or guidebooks on this city. Then the writer shifts to the topics of serious traffic congestion and the poor labor conditions for the city’s taxi drivers. The writer holds some interviews and finds that while taxi drivers in Beijing like to chat about politics, philosophy and current issues, their counterparts in Shanghai prefer complaining. Another finding is that it is the independent taxi drivers in Shanghai who have to deal with harsh working conditions and burden from overwork.

The place that the writer in Shanghai wanted to share information about was the shelters for the city’s taxi drivers. Unfortunately, it is not likely that you can find any comments about the places where taxi drivers can enjoy cheap meals or short naps in ordinary guidebooks that would have given every detail about the Oriental Pearl Tower or Wai Tan. To provide a short but complete rest without obstructing other cars, the shelters are out of public sight, but close enough to roads to give drivers prompt access to customers. What is intriguing is that these places do exist, even though they are hard to find.

Inspired by the fact that Incheon’s Chinatown is similar to the broader place of East Asia, and that Songdo resembles other development-driven new cities, KimChangPractice!! decided to find Korean version of taxi drivers’ shelters. The artists did know that these places exist here in Korea, but had no way to locate them, so they took taxies that always carry somebody to some place, to serve as their tour guide. The nine photographs taken on these tours combined with four pieces of Korean translations from the English text about Shanghai compose taxi tour.

4.
Time, history and interest groups reserve, and delete the reason and cause for memorizing and recording of places and concealing of the existence of these places is tacitly allowed, but individuals do not. For individuals, the places are worth recording, even if only the personal level, as they are the stage where events and acts obviously take place and meanings are created. The white and yellow lines clearly drawn in taxi tour represent a question mark revealing the obscurity of conflicting viewpoints crossing each other at the same kind of place. The specific landscapes in this project are not meaningless places, but the places reserved and overlooked in the process of assigning significance.

KimChangPractice!! requested non-places or empty spaces for taxi tour during the special exhibition, Memophilia. The way they seek to be left between other artists’ works, or to occupy places that exist, but never attract attention tells what KimChangPractice!! really intends. They want to be a quite milestone in meaningful lives rather than a splendid monument in the annals of history.

– Published on the document book of Memophiia, Incheon Art Platform, 2010


[An imaginary factory of Curator, Sunryeong Cho] Still life of the scenery

Yunju Chang, Minkyoung Kim The Objects We Brought from Incheon's Chinatown, mixed media (photograph), 2007 (a part of installation). (Incheon Women’s Biennale, August 1–31, 2009, Incheon Art Platform)

Yunju Chang and Minkyoung Kim created a still life through collecting abandoned objects from their exploration of the Chinatown in Incheon. They made a still life drawing and took photos of objects from Incheon’s Chinatown. The still life includes artificial flowers, a broken watch, a box with Chinese letters, and an empty soda can.

When paired with a few objects that are only found in Chinatown (and the title that includes the word ‘Chinatown’), it creates unexpected aura. The artists also took photos of ‘typical Chinese’ sceneries in Incheon’s Chinatown and projected the photos as a slideshow onto the screen. Through suggesting the way to consume typical images of a generic Chinatown, their ‘still life’ satirizes our stereotyped way of defining others while reflected on who we are.

– Published on Hankyoreh Newspaper, July 29, 2009
   Translation: Myeongji Chu; Proofreading: Kyle Green
 * See the original article (Korean)
KimChangPractice!! A trip with important company that makes your life rich
Juhyung Gong, A visiting lecturer of Incheon University; the author of ‘101 things that school doesn’t let you know in art class

‘Practicing’ to travel with important company
I was looking at photos in the ‘travel’ folder on my desktop. For some of them, it was difficult for me to remember where I took the photos, but for others I recalled capturing the moments so vividly. What is the difference between these two groups of pictures? I was so curious and tried to find out why.
“That’s Right!” Most of the vivid memories are from the moment that I was struggling with challenges that changed my original plan. The challenges were a result of my mistakes and bad luck, such as missing a train or eating a terrible food. Traveling is always interesting. These moments turned out to be special experiences rather than terrible failures, which makes me feel alive.
Minkyoung Kim and Yunju Chang are a traveling duo. It is difficult to travel with someone who has a different background than you. If you put your interests above what your partner wants to do, you will have conflicts and arguments and eventually won’t be able to reach the final destination together.
You need to be prepared in order to have a successful trip with your partner. You especially need to tackle a new mindset for traveling together first rather than preparing your backpack. For this, they took out each of their first names and left only their last names. So they selected ‘Kim’ for Minkyoung Kim and ‘Chang’ for Yunju Chang. And then they added the word ‘Practice’. As you can tell by their title, their goal is not ‘traveling’ but ‘practicing to travel’. Even though it is hard to fully understand what the word practice means in their name, it seems that their trips are different from others. I am very curious about what their practice looks like.

Chinatown introduced by abandoned objects
Let’s take a look at how they practice to travel, their unique journey. In 2007, KimChangPractice!! visited Incheon Chinatown. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions where tour buses are pouring out the endless array of tourists. The tourists are visiting here for similar reason. They want to try the black noodle dish at the restaurant where the first black noodle was created in Korea. As they have a clear goal, they move very quickly following their plan. They take photos as ‘evidence of their visit’ in front of red buildings with Chinese ornaments, and then buy souvenirs on the street in the finale of their quick trip.
For KimChangPractice!!, a travel is a playful wandering. It is to see, think, and feel differently from others. So they are not interested in tour buses or popular exotic foods. They don’t depend on existing tour maps or tour guides either. They make their own decisions for everything such as where to go, how to move, and what to eat. It seems to involve a lot of effort and inefficiency, but it is their responsibility. KimChangPractice!! is a ‘practicing traveler’.
They keep the same approach for Incheon’s Chinatown too. KimChangPractice!! intentionally avoided the main street where the Chinese restaurant and the souvenir stores are located. Instead of that, they detoured through back roads. They followed abandoned objects and found places that are not known to tourists.
They found out realistic looking plastic flowers on the street in the Chinatown. This object reminded them the reality of Chinatown which is that they are not in China, but this artificial place looks more Chinese than China itself. They also found a striking clock that looked new but didn’t work. Through the clock, they could observe the situation of Chinese-Korean people living in the Chinatown. At a glance, the Chinatown looks great like a film set, but the people living on the set are a minority in Korean society. If you look at the trash someone threw on the street, it shows the reality of a Chinatown that is consumed by disposable sightseeing without true understanding.
KimChangPractice!! collected all the objects and put them into a single photograph. In this photograph, the Chinatown is not a place to casually visit for pleasure, but to stay and observe with respect.

Songdo trip of KimChangPractice!!
In 2010, the year after they finished traveling to Chinatown, KimChangPractice!! turned to Songdo New City in Incheon. Like time travel, the landscape of Songdo New City is so different from that of Incheon’s Chinatown. There is a lot of construction happening to reclaim the land from sprawling wetlands. The city is planning to build a futuristic urban environment. The buildings in Songdo New City are all skyscrapers with fancy design and cutting-edge building materials. The construction has been ongoing for more than ten years. You can easily recognize that the city is still deserted and the roads are vacant except for trucks carrying construction materials. With the construction not yet completed, the city is in the midst of change. New streets, road signs, and buildings are created everyday, therefore the landscape of the city today is much different from that of yesterday. GPS still recognizes some parts of the city as the sea.
KimChangPractice!! had a unique idea to practice in Songdo New City. It was to create a map that would guide the city as it keeps changes every day. As a guide map, it should inform must-see places. They created a film Tourmap: Songdo that introduces 12 places to visit in Songdo New City. However, in the map, there were no popular places such as the Tri Bowl or the Canal Walk which were advertised on TV and music videos. They also left off Central Park, a popular place to Jet Ski.
The places they recommend to visit are not general tourist sites which have attractions, souvenirs, or local foods. The places are construction sites which are a full of dust, noises, and a lack of safety. Why did they create a guide map introducing these construction sites? It is simple. Because we can meet a different Songdo New City than what newspapers or television shows are repeatedly broadcasting.
Songdo New City is building for the ‘Future’. Future is different from yesterday, and it is also different from today. However, if we embrace the present that is built from the past, we can dream of a better future. If we ignore our past and present and remove them from our history in order to gain a better future, we will repeat the mistakes of Industrialization. Now people are taking a stand to remember and embrace our past.
It was a ‘ghost’ that KimChangPractice!! imagined from their field trips to the construction sites in Songdo New City where there are gigantic cranes and partitions. At these construction sites all memories from the past were destroyed, as people are only concerned with the future and not considering the present. They thought this city looked like a ghost that ‘has an identity but is invisible’. Tourmap: Songdo introduces us to a strange new city constructed for the future with a mindset from the past, instead of a futuristic Songdo New City whose surface is all sleek and new.

The genuine travel is a process to practice different ideas
Are the travels of KimChangPractice!! only genuine? They said no, even they dream about different types of travels. They fully understand that every trip has their own unexpected challenges and mistakes. Because of that, they think their travels are practice for their next trip.
Life is often referred to as a trip. While I was looking at the travel documents from KimChangPractice!!, I agreed that travel and life shares a similar meaning. I imagine what if our next trip is the process of building our own thoughts and practicing finding unique perspectives, rather than a quick trip focusing on souvenirs and following other people’s path.

– Published on Reading Criticism for Children, vol. 208, April 2011
   Translation: Myeongji Chu; Proofreading: Kyle Green


Postcard, 148.5 × 210mm; Wall print, Size variable

We created a map composition of all the artists participating in 'Life, no Peace, only Adventure', an exhibition shows the platform where happiness today reverts to the notion of economical statues, at Busan Museum of Art, from December 2011 to February 2012. The key words and conceptions from the participating artists and their artworks were extracted and based on intuitive impression, these have been subsituted with different shapes. The individual shapes for the artists derived from combining different ones and then placing them on the coordinate for them to appear like graphs.