Tutorials – Essay/ Recorded / Off-Site Show Critic

Essay Tutorial.
Original ESSAY —->
<Two faces of political art in the west> 
BA, FA 2nd/ JEO11344486       Jin Ah, Jeong.


Coming from South Korea, I was raised in an extremely politicized environment. 100 miles to the North of where I was born, resides one of the most brutal and secretive totalitarian regimes in the world.  I have long been interested in the ways art can be used to change the world, and, particularly how political art can impact society.  This essay will examine the impact and role of three successful political artists Ai Weiwei, Anselm Kiefer and Yue Minjun and how their approach to politics allows mainstream acceptance.

… …


Despite these artists success, however, when the political art comes to challenge Western authority, things look much different.  The degree of tolerance seems to be restricted and a ‘glass ceiling’ appears.  This should not be referred only to point out the inequality and discrimination of women in business, but also to awaken the obvious limitation of political art in the mainstream western stage.

Both the media and art world can easily avoid promoting uncomfortable pieces of art, meaning it goes unseen by the public. The political art that is introduced, whether through galleries or the news have passed through a filter, this is another form of censorship. No matter how brutally the art piece ‘seems to’ challenge power; there is an allowable range of topics. In other words, so-called ‘political art’ in contemporary art market, is perhaps under pressure of being ‘too political’. The absence of relevant political art, unless it’s non-foreign, non-old, and non-ambiguous, is obvious. The phenomenon reflects devastating realities of politics, which results in art with two faces.


3rd, Mar / Feedback by –  Katrine Hjelde [k.hjelde@chelsea.arts.ac.uk]

*Well done research/ Interesting subject- probably could even do PHD with this subject. – Good Observation & insight. / Identification on Money – Powerful Force. So much potential seen in the essay.

*Dave Beech / London based political artist – artist who is literally close to you- might be helpful to learn about political art. *FREEE / Collective – a collective he gets involved in.

*Analysis is strong but… it is expected to be a bit less polemical in an academic essay in school.  ——–

* good strong B mark.      

I agreed with the most of her feedback but… I didn’t agree with the opinion that the subject is too polemical and expected to be less polemical in an academic essay (probably she means in this BA course)….? I don’t even understand what she intended to mean to be honest…. I thought the kind of essays expected and encouraged in Art university, would be essays with some ambitious and controversial subjects and discussions, although it could be too controversial so that not being able to support all the points and opinions with perfectly logical and strong evidence, or analysis….. As I believe the biggest benefit of being a student is to be relatively free from pressure of always making sense with everything he or she writes. Isn’t certain degree of provocation and nonsense supposed to be tolerated and in some ways, encouraged – because through that way, students are more likely to think more openly, trying to question……..? I don’t know how far the subject of BA Fine Art essay is allowed to provoke the academic rules.

I would like to keep the way I write the essay for now, before I am able to care of more practical rules; appropriate ways of Referencing, Quoting…. I am sure it’s not a priority than knowing the clear theme and structure in my essay…


5th, Mar / Recorded Tutorial. 

I had some positive feedbacks from Martin on this tutorial. I became more comfortable talking about my works with somebody – I guess because I finally has some obvious object, related to a specific case as a tool of showing my politically and socially engaged theme. Before, it was extremely hard for me to discuss about my studio works, although I was improving my theme to be stronger, by studying and researching about various political issues and the dark sides of it, such as Corruption of politicians, dictatorship in poor countries, or usual lies by celebrities. Despite of all the researches and studies I’ve done, inspiration and motivation from it, I was still confused when it came to the studio work. I didn’t quite know the methods to represent my theme – not too obviously as like art works labelled as ‘political art’ with some actual messages or texts on works. I was struggling to find a way to avoid to be ‘too’ obviously political art- because I believe that’s away too easy way to appear political inspiration, so that making a piece too boring.

Anyways I finally seem to have some noticeable progresses with an apple box installation for Off Site Show. I was worried if the ideal spraying apples Gold would be considered to be too childish, or immature – but people seem to understand my theme better, once a particular political corruption case is provided. So I decided to keep ‘The Apple Box’ piece as simple as possible – concentrating on communication with audiences. Hoped I could make some progresses on my weakness that is – the poor communication skills with audiences’ lack of understanding on pieces with subjective with a use of symbolic objects.

Martin encouraged me to carry on and gave some useful suggestions about the show, presenting not only the apple piece, but also my broken jar piece in the gallery. He added – he can now understand my theme more clearly with series of practice from broken ceramic objects to apple piece – Of course the apple piece helps audiences to understand my political inspiration a lot but still, the broken pieces also reflect my struggles and devastating feelings about politics.


9th~10th, Mar / Off Site Show <Ways of Seeing>

pictures of show / Comments /

Two pieces were presented at my off site show in the end.

[Untitled]  –  Gold colour sprayed Apples in apple boxes. Several Korean- fruit boxes were set up to present the main apple box at eye level.

[broken/unbroken]  –  A glass jar(probably fish tank) broken but it keeps it’s shape and quite possibly function – thanks to Sellotape wrapped over entire surface of jar.


Me : As a lot of people gave me the same comments pointing out the lack of explanation, or the use of away too ambiguous symbolic object as a weakness of my work, I tried to concentrate on improving communication with audiences, coming up with more specific and visually direct piece to help them to understand better. But I was quite reluctant to be too obvious and too direct because I always thought art pieces showing their theme too easily or directly were didn’t look thoughtful enough to give audiences something special, more in dept. For that reason I may have intentionally avoided direct communication with audiences, even knowing difficulties they must have to understand my work…..  I reckoned  it’s “Childish”.

A tutor suggested me to exhibit one of my previous piece(broken/unbroken) in the gallery; while I was only thinking of showing my apple piece. Because he said he can now understands my theme and what I am trying to say, more clearly through two pieces; different practices and range but trying to say the same thing.

Tutor :  I found two pieces hard to connect together before listening to you explaining. Political Art – You start to see everything political.

I agreed with your tutor’s opinion about the broken jar – because of course as you said, no specific information or clues were given to understand it. (As one piece—-) But I understand the connection between two pieces… You started picking up things while you play with broken jar piece; putting it in different spots(as we talked about a piece hasn’t been decided it’s spot yet)

It’s interesting as  팁히어 — here the…. processes and the combination 티팁 for you.

I think the thing with Art and Politics is really important 어폰너스 of body; Eventually get idea of particular artists, being engaged in political ideas and you read everything as political; which is good thing in a way – so you can do something really poetic and simple – you use that length??

Potentially you can have quite broad practice; doing things directly you are related to.

Presentation of works is quite good. Spayed apples in Market box works really well for you theme.

Me : Documenting apples getting rotten with mold is also one of my plans after the show because I found visual images of golden apples getting rotten quite interesting, and in a way I believe it suits with my intention, sort of humiliating dishonesty; corruption – through dirtiness of power, lies.

Tutor : Two artist recommendation  –

1. Sam Taylor Johnson – Big photograph, Video … Root filmed over a week; watch them dissolving. That’s very much about trans into the time [Still Life] — Whereas I think yours is more about Corruption —> There are two corruption One- Gold Apple is a rich symbol itself. The idea of Gold being corrupted/ That would be perhaps – overloaded . that’s my first impression. But it’s worth experimenting!


2. Subodh Gupta –  Based in New Deli / Indian version of Damien Hirst.

One of his main pieces / Taking elements from everyday life in India, like- ‘썸띵?’ people used as Tooth Brush and he casts them – coats them in another colour. so he is taking really organic objects.

He is very straight forward (Political). —-

That relates well here   –  Your piece here works very well as a Contemporary Visual art; It doesn’t do too much. It translates well.


Tutor : How 펄씨픽 is this while case as well?

Me : It’s also tricky part for me to think of – because western people wouldn’t know a ‘Typical apple box’ and the while case normally comes with the box and expected. So I thought if I had to explain it but kept it simple in the end.

Tutor : it would have been too much if there was extra explanation about while box, that much details – it seems better to keep it simple as you did.

It does surprise me – make people thought through – that sort of stuffs(detail explanation) are more for Critical Essay. – Perhaps for Press Release.

That Question of audiences – it’s more important that it’s not over described. leave it as sort of Special Access.

Suggestion  – Placement in the Room – The text on an apple box is not physically seen clearly, unless you slip it up(Cover of box). You want to be casual – but you also need to allow people to see the piece.

Me : It’s much less seen and unclear than I expected and planed before presenting a piece in the actual gallery space. I agree with you – I should have thought of it.

Tutor : For me, not doing relational thing works better – because one you construct the box – very natural. In a way – Having the same text on all the boxes(Not only one box on the top).

You can do something — Sculpture.

Me : Making Apples with actual gold materials, worth the exact amount of money which one apple box actually contained in an actual case – would be really great only if I could make it happen.

Tutor : Absolutely agree! – But it still works for me(It makes sense). It could be more simple without Jewels decorated on the surface of the apple- because the effect of golden apple itself is already quite powerful and means a lot.

Gold Apples are nicely coated. You feel it’s like real skin. Good.

The Worse thing is  selling images only — There is always a DANGER.