Ji-Yeon SUNG

South Korea

Ji-Yeon SUNG

Born in Jochiwon, Korea and lives and works in Paris since 2000, Ji Yeon Sung began studying photography in France in 2000, having studied literature in Korea. In just a few years, she has created her own style, especially in the field of portraiture. Beyond the representation of a character, the works of Sung express the presence and silence.


Artist statement
The whole of my artistic work presents characters carefully put mise en scène. I’m really interested to show the presence of the individual with my photographic work. But there also questions when the moment of banality switches to the strangeness. The meaning is that my photos enable you to see the visibility of the strangeness or the mystery in the scene which seems to be ordinary or unspecified. Beyond a physical presence, invisible mental states are felt. I seek, through the photography, to make evidence of the contrast between the external silence and the tension within the individual. 

The object interests me because it is a body­experience. It is an extremely ordinary and everyday experience, where ‘personal’ and ‘archetypal’ experiences co­exist. In the interaction of these experiences, objects, which function in multiple ways throughout different relationships, are continuously united, decoupled, repeated and reproduced. In this sense, the term ‘object’ does not simply refer to something tangible, but indicates an expansion of image, sound or virtual space, which is based on our experience. My work is to capture the structures of various objects by analyzing our actions and environment; and to achieve a reconstruction of those experiences by assembling deconstructed elements. Through this reconstruction process, my work shows how many silhouettes exist in the essence of every object in our experience from various places and different time frames.

Banality is a base that allows the coexistence of diverse experiences and archetypal symbols. It is only relatively different from the particular. Small insignificant objects of our daily lives are closely linked to our reality. An object can represent our desire through endless associations or generate another desire. It shows our thoughts and ideas as the notion of a «meaningful object». Here, the general idea that human beings dominate and control objects is no longer in effect. The object force in a way can change our lives. And this force generates desires that shape the practical aspects of our lives. Conflicts between the ‘archetypal experience’ and ‘personal experience’ play a central role in generating an ideology that guides our lives. Thus, the various silhouettes of objects observed in my artwork represent the various ideologies of our social lives, hidden behind the mask of an object. The reconstructed truth can be very diverse. Now, I’m trying to induce every potential possibility through the object. Choosing your own experience from this multiplicity will be the minimal difficulty you would encounter with my installations. Reproduce rather than create, recompose rather than transform.

Solo Exhibitions
- Acte ordinaire, Marie Cini gallery, Paris, France

- Entre-Deux, Confluence gallery, Nantes, France
- Entre-Deux, Trunk gallery, Seoul, Korea

- La chamber ordinaire, Confluence gallery, Nantes, France
- La chamber ordinaire, Art critic Philippe PIGUET, RX gallery, Paris, France

- A distance, Korean cultural center, Paris, France

Group Exhibitions (Selected)

- La couleur Code Noir, Frac Haute Normandie, Rouen, France
- Beyond face – Portrait photography from Korea, Galerie Garden of the Zodiac, Omaha, US
- Notre histoire, Printemps Coréen, Espace Cosmopolis, Nantes, France

- L’étrange familier, la galerie Duchamp, Yvetot, France 
- Art Paris Art Fair, Grand Palais, Paris, France

- Nofound Photofair, Paris, France
- Photo Off, La Bellevilloise, Paris, France
- J’aime la photograhie, Agnès B.gallery, Paris, France
- Trafic d’influence, 19e
- Arno Rafael MINKKINEN and Ji Yeon SUNG, Confluence gallery, Nantes, France 
- Agnès Audra and Ji Yeon SUNG, Maison des arts Créteil, Créteil, France
- Le beau est toujours bizarre, Frac Haute-Normandie, Rouen, France

- Doors Art Fair, Imperial Hotel, Seoul, Korea
- Biennale d’Art Contemporain de l’Houilles, Houilles, France

- Le bizarre, l’etrange & l’incongru – Selest’art 09, 18e
Selestat, Selestat, France
- KIAF – Korea International Art Fair, Seoul, Korea
Rencontres Photographiques, Lorient, France
Biennale d’Art Contemporain de 
- She: Another Gesture, Hyundai gallery, Seoul, Korea
- Body Gesture Performance, Trunk gallery, Seoul, Korea

- Photo Fair, Confluence gallery, Nantes, France
- Contemporary Korean Art in the World 2: Contemporary Korean Artists in Paris,
Hangaram Art Museum /Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
- Korean Group Show – Toujours Aujourd’hui, Kashya Hildebrand gallery, Zurich, Switzerland

- Best of Photo Folio Arles, Farmani gallery, Los Angeles, U.S.A
- Les Rencontres d’Arles 2007, Photo Folio Gallery, Arles, France
- Particules Libres: New Generation of Korean Artists in Europe, Cite internationale des arts, Paris
- China International Gallery Exposition (CIGE), Beijing, China

- Through New Windows, OECD Korea, Paris
- Au-dela des Apparences – 11 Young Photographers, Christiane Peugeot’s Cultural Center, Paris


Press and Publications 

- Contemporary Literature, Seoul, June, Vol 678

- PhotoNet, Seoul, May
- Kunstforum, Berlin, Jan-Feb

- Artvas, Fall, Vol. 12, Seoul, Korea 
- Photonet, May, Seoul, Korea
- Kunstforum, Jan-Feb, Berlin, Germany

- Monthly Photography, Dec, Seoul, Korea

Ouest France, Nov, Nantes, France
- Art Press, April, N° 333, Dominique Baque « Etats de corps », Paris, France

- Magazine, Oct-Nov, N°26, Paris, France

Public Collections
FRAC Haute Normandie (France)
Société Générale (France)
National Museum of Contemporary Art /Art Bank (Korea) 
Space – C / Coreana Museum (Korea)
Busan Museum of Art (Korea)
Hanmi Foundation, The Museum of Photography (Korea)

Prizes and Artist-in-Residence

2011 - Artist-in-Residence Programme for Fine Art, La Villa du Plessix–Madeuc, Bretagne, France

2010 - Received Scholarship from the KyeongGi Cultural Foundation, Suwon, Corée

2006 - Prize of Korean Young Artist in France, Korean Cultural Center, Paris, France