Jeongmoon Choi is a Korean installation artist based in Berlin. In her work she is known for using UV lighting and lengths of taut thread to create futuristic, maze-like environments in darkened spaces.
The exhibition Explorer opened on 3 October 2013 at Karst, Plymouth for private viewing and runs until 20 October 2013.
On entering the gallery space the viewer is immediately aware of the UV lighting – which not only lights up the lines of thread fixed at varying angles around the space but also because anything that is white is highlighted in the dark room i.e. items of clothing. This initial observation led to light-hearted conversations about the effects of the UV lighting on the audience members and perhaps distracted slightly from the work.
Viewers were also verbally told not to take photographs of the exhibition due to intellectual copyright and to delete any photographs which may have already been taken. This request was also slightly distracting and off-putting to some audience members, who may have been initially excited about what they were seeing and wished to share this experience. However, perhaps sharing photographs of the exhibition may have discouraged other members of the public from visiting the exhibition in person as they would have already seen the pictures and therefore felt no need to attend the exhibition.
On walking around the gallery space the viewer becomes aware of the parabolic curves created by the strategically place taut lines of string. The highlighted strings gave the optical illusion of static strobe lighting. However, the viewer had to bear in mind that this was not the case – that the lines were physical and would therefore the viewer would have to negotiate their way around the room – avoiding the strings.
The strings were positioned as such, that they created a matrix, where audience members would be divided at times, by these futuristic prisms of light, as they worked their way around the space.
Some audience members were also made aware that Choi – who was present at the opening, was anxious that some audience members were standing on some of the taped down threads on the floor and could potentially dislodge part of the work. This perhaps could be interpreted as the artist wishing to creative an interactive environment but controlling and limiting the experience. It may also seem confusing that the artist would worry about part of the work installed on the floor because it was sometimes difficult to avoid standing on the thread, when manoeuvring around the piece.
Having said this, the exhibition was a great transformation of space – filling the entire room with a labyrinth of UV lit string.
The title was therefore apt, as the viewer indeed became the ‘explorer’ – discovering this otherworldly environment.