Fragile Art (1999-2002)
Since nothing can avoid transformation, is “Fragility” in the art work or in the concept of it ? “Fragile Art” begins with the destruction of a contemporary icon.
The theme of “Fragile Art” is destruction and reconstruction. I placed five-inch –tall(fifteen cm tall) plaster versions of the Statue of Liberty on streets in New York. After pedestrians kicked and stepped on them, I collected the broken pieces, assembled them back into their original form as much as possible, and photographed them. I would like to have shown them on the street, because the shapes of the Statue were made by the pedestrians. They may live here to fulfill their dream, which the Statue of Liberty represents.
The plaster statues which were kicked and stepped on by pedestrians represent me. I rerated my transformation to one of the plaster statues. Through printmaking, drawing, and painting, I have explored who I am since arriving in New York in 1995. Living in this international city made it impossible for me to remain the same. Parts of me changed from exposure to the variety of people and cultures. I wished to interact with them through my art, and started this project in 1999. The plaster statues were changed by pedestrians just like me. I and the statues were transformed by the people in New York.
The transformation starts with a symbolic death. I believe that we experience a few symbolic death in our life. And, we are reborn. Every aspect including the physical, biological, and mental spheres, represents a dynamic of death and reborn. History itself reflects this dynamic. By simulating a historical deformation of the Statue of Liberty, I try to rethink the meaning of the freedom that we recognize in it. Over time, the statue will deteriorate. The ideas attached to it will also be forgotten or transformed. Our descendants, who will have new concept of freedom, will see the broken Statue of Liberty as we see Venus de Mio. By the symbolic destruction and reconstruction of this world ‘s icon. I envision a transformed of our current values to make room to a new view of freedom.
Although I couldn’t imagine the tragedy of the World Trade Center when I started my project in 1999, I was thinking about the transformation of the world for the 21st century. I believe that this incident is one of the most important turning point in history. Now is the time to create a new direction in our lives in order to live in peace. I hope “Fragile Art” will motivate people to find it.