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Whisper Only to You

12.10.2019 — 13.01.2020

Hours and Tickets

The Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee and the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte present Whisper Only to You (10.12.2019-01.13.2020, opening 10.11.2019), the first solo show dedicated to the South-Korean artist Yeesookyung by two Italian institutions, conceived by Sylvain Bellenger and Andrea Viliani with Sabrina Rastelli.
The exhibition, divided into two complementary exhibition paths at Madre and at Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, presents multimedia and multi-material works, among which sculptures, video-installations and paintings, along with new productions realized by the artist by using fragments and shards of the 18th century ceramic production of the Real Fabbrica della Porcellana di Capodimonte. In the context of this project, during her residency period in Naples, Yeesookyung has also held a workshop, realized in collaboration with Istituto ad indirizzo raro Caselli-De Sanctis. For the project the Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee received the support of the Fund for Korean Art Abroad 2019, promoted by the Ministry for Cuture, Sports & Tourism of Korea and by Korea Arts Management Service.

The Facade Galleries of the Madre museum host some works that belong to the multimedia and multi-material production of the artist. In Whisper Only to You (2019), the video-installation that gives the title to the exhibition itself, the artist whispers, in voice-over, a never-ending story, while the images show the details of a drawing in red cinnabar entitled Flame. Thousand Leaves (2018) is a folding screen surrounded by a tree root and its copy, made with a 3D printer. The passage of time is crystallized in the old root, whose natural energy is revitalized by its artificial duplication, in a process of regeneration that, combining opposites and differences, tends to immortality. The folding panels, covered with white silk of different shades, are a metaphor for the myriad of leaves that are born and die during the life of a tree, in a birth-death-rebirth loop that alludes to the various states of the soul. Bari (2019) is a 3D rendered sculpture, based on an artist’s drawing depicting Bari, the “Abandoned Princess” who, in Korean mythology, is considered the ancestor of shamans. Moonlight Crown (2018-ongoing) is a series of sculptures, exhibited in absolute preview, inspired by the words of American writer Isaac Bashevis Singer: “if the truth exists, it is intricate and hidden like a crown of feathers”. The basis of each of them consists of a crown that supports a densely decorated sphere, on which a cuspid element is placed. Ubiquitous symbols – such as angels, hands in prayer, dragons – are incorporated: decontextualized sacred emblems, arranged here in order to construct an organic structure and reveal the hidden links between past and present, myth and history. Finally, the acrylic on canvas Past Life Regression Painting_Saint, Making a Crystal Ball with the Impurity of the World (2015) draws inspiration from an experience of past life regression through hypnosis with which the artist identified the traces of previous lives that her subconscious may have recorded. The exhibition path is completed by a work from the Translated Vase series, for which Yeesookyung is internationally known. The project, inaugurated in 2002 and still ongoing, consists of the creation of sculptures and installations obtained by assembling ceramic shards, splinters and fragments. By creating narratives which starts from the existing the artist aims at restoring dignity to the vulnerability of the object and the experience of the individual, between fact and hypothesis, history and narration. The fragmentation of the experience and the attempt to recover it are translated into the restoration of the shattered vase through welding, such as the layer of consciousness is recomposed through the analysis.

The exhibition at the Madre museum, which will be completed with a performative event in the spring of 2020, continues at the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte with four additional works from the Translated Vase series, created by the artist using both fragments of the prestigious Korean white porcelain Moon Jar and shards of the 18th century production of the Real Fabbrica della Porcellana di Capodimonte: symbol of the conjunction between the cultural tradition of the Campania region and that of the artist’s country of origin, a meeting between the cultures of the West and of the East that the exhibition intends to celebrate, as a first possible chapter of a story which is, at the same time, ancient and contemporary.


Personal exhibitions have been dedicated to Yeesookyung from numerous international museums, including: Yeesookyung: Contemporary Korean Sculpture, Asia Society Texas Center, Houston, USA, When I Become You, Daegu Art Museum, Korea and When I Become You, Yeesookyung in Taipei, Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taiwan (2015); Jung Marie’s Jeongga, Yeesookyung’s Devotion, Arko Art Center, Seoul, Korea (2010); Yee Sookyung im Schloß Oranienbaum, Museum Schloß Oranienbaum, Dessau, Germany (2009); Earth Wind & Fire, Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2007). Among the collective exhibitions and international periodical exhibitions in which the artist participated: 57th Biennale di Venezia, Italy (2017); Born in Flames: Korean Ceramics from the National Museum of Korea, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia and Earth, Fire, Soul-Masterpieces of Korean Ceramics, Grand Palais, Paris, France (2016); Busan Biennale: Inhabiting the World, Korea, Jakarta Contemporary Ceramics Biennale, Indonesia and Encounters 2014, Art Basel Hong Kong (2014); The Diverse Spectrum: 600 Years of Korean Ceramics, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brasil, 18th Biennale of Sydney, Australia and Arsenale: First Kiev International Biennale, Ukraine (2012).