Miyoung Chang

autobiografisch - film - fotografie - geschiedenis - objecten - performance - taal - tekenen - video

Miyoung Chang (b.1994, Seoul) works with film, scattered narrative, intimate photography, static performance, word pun, writing, drawing, and broken object/prop making. Miyoung's research stems from thoroughly examining an innately scattered subject—the word “그녀” (she). Marked uncanny by rarely spoken in real life, “그녀” is a convention, an idea-dash-material, a signified that has itself as a signifier that offers not only a particular lens to reiterate the symbolic relationship between the first person (the self ) and the third person (the other) but also probes into “what” makes/validates a person “that person” (걔), distinct from a barking dog (개). Taking a quasi-auto-fictional departure upon a tacitly scattered timeline, she wishes to deconstruct the concept of narrative by rendering fractured temporality and symptomatic despair of contemporary Korea through a muted protagonist—the corporeal placeholder “그녀(s).”

Sad Run - 2023, multi channel video, (left) 1' 31" (right) 1' 27" on loop. The two people appearing on juxtaposed screens seem to be searching for something or someone. Constantly running in and out of the frames, could they have found each other or grabbed the shadow of what they had been chasing?
That Person - 2023, ripped off cabinet, expired passport, red pen, white dog's fur ball, stainless steel shelf, 120 x 30 x 20 cm. In the symbolic realm, which is built as our abode, objects retrospectively forebode what has happened, or will happen, while the temptation to make pristine linearity disguises a slippery chain of signifcation. On the wobbly stainless shelf are placed objects stripped away from their original purposes. Operating by the logic of metonymy than the metaphoric, the collected segments digress in a way that deviates from transparent linearity. What is left are a bullet-like headphone jack, a blood-red pen supporting an expired passport, an expired dark green passport, and a handful of fur brushed from an adorable white dog.
That Person(s) and a White Dog - 2023, digitally edited polaroid taken by Kim Beom-Soo, size variable. When “그녀” (she) is rarely spoken and remains stranded in the realm of the written, it marches to a direction that conceals the actual living flesh of the proper names that it is devised to substitute. Dears, “she” wishes to whisper an incoherent soliloquy(s) of those actual-but-yet-to-be-actualized names to your left ear.
Eyes Wide Shut : Cut - 2022, performance, objects, publication. Performed with Nash Caldera, Dakota Guo, Marika Vandekraats, and Rhodé Visser. Documentation by Dandelion Eghosa. Dutch Art Institute 2022 Aeroponic Acts. A distilled performance for a postponed three-legged race: Back-facing two figures have wide-opened eyes drawn on their tightly closed eyelids. The movement of one affects the other most subtly, for the premise is that they are each other's fleshy reflection--an obverse of each other as if they are a chapter of an ever so delusional film. In the silence of the figure(s) tying each other's ankles between themselves, the only surrounding sound is a toy dog barking incessantly and an interval timer beeping every five minutes. Voluntarily deprived of voice and agency, the symmetrical figures tacitly blur the division between the signifier and tie signified in an attempt to become ever so present by performing determined silence. The person-figures are there like a word, on and in a blank space arranged analogously to a textual page subtly divided in half by a fragile piece of thread.
Dedication - 2022, single channel video, sound, 22' 31" (script co-written with Sojeong Kim). In 2019, Miyoung Chang and Sojeong Kim exchanged one text each. The texts, which fall somewhere between a novel and an essay, are transformed and hidden within the screen's 1920 x 1080 aspect ratio, tracking a person wearing greenish-yellow-laced-over-elbowed gloves and stockings named "Meiko." (Meiko is the Japanese name for Miyoung's maternal grandmother, who spent part of her childhood under Japanese occupation.)
Greenish Yellow Laced Over-elbowed Gloves - 2021, performance, prints, hand-sewn gloves. Performed with Dakota Guo and Lou Lou Sainsbury. Having no proper name in the act, the only interlocutor of a “person” helplessly becomes a mere accessory. The dangling modifiers—in this case, the greenish-yellow, laced, and over- elbowed—become the only tangible lead. Within the duration of a script, the owner of dangling modifiers—the hand-sewn gloves— moves on from one body to another body. The person-dog barking in the dark shall be the final runner-up to unveil the other hands in the gloves, wear them herself, and lie on her stomach on top of the person-pile. Indifferent to the change of faces and the weight of other bodies piling upon, the “voice” continues neutrally.
Fire Water Oyster Text and Two - 2021, single channel video, sound, 20' 16". Synopsis: The two similar-height figures constantly fail to hydrate each other. Yet, it is unavoidable that their dances overlap on parallel planes, segregated, in a split simultaneity.
A Person: Proof of Registration - (above copy issued in 2023), 2021, white correction pen on registration document, 29.7 x 21 cm. The anonymous one-year-old “아이” (meaning child, pronounced same as the English first person pronoun “I”) who picked up a pencil to stab a bowl of raw rice grows into a third person “그녀” (her)—a symbolic self that is supported by myriads of paperwork; a “person” stranded in a suspension between the slippery dimension of the written and the exhausted ground of living bodies.
The Very First Birthday Table (돌잡이/Doljabi): White Rice Cake, Yarn, Needle, Knife, Pencil, Money, and Raw Rice - 2020-present, drawing on graph paper, (provisionally) 63 x 180 cm. 돌잡이 (doljabi) is a ceremonial blessing, a Korean fortune-telling tradition done on the very first birthday of an offspring. 8 to 10 symbolic objects are placed in front of the one-year-old, for the child is expected to fulfill its role as a site where the “others’” speculations can be projected through the act of picking up an object set on the table. “A child who chooses a yarn will attain longevity; a child who reaches for a banknote will prosper and flourish”—although there is no doubt that such joyous predictions begin as sincere good wishings, they nevertheless enclave the child within the order of socially accepted aspiration and life cycle, ultimately, molding the child into “걔” (that person) that needs be distinguished from the barking “개” (the dog).
Leftovers - 2020, water, salt, wet towel, oyster shells, size variable. Mother has left the child to pick some oysters.