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Oh Kyung Jang


Oh Kyung Jang


Main Theme

Installation / Performance




5th: Transformative Subtlety

While preparing for the fifth exhibition in the series following the meaning of the six colors in the LGBTQ flag, I looked back on the past exhibitions. I could see that I have tried to find a new direction while confronting hesitation in each episode. 

I paid attention to the elements that change little by little in the repeated images. My voice was formed gradually, and it turned out to be a more direct way of expression. The small changes piled up and led the flow of this project.

The fifth exhibition, under the subtitle of Transformative Subtlety (a subtle point that calls for change), captures and contrasts the sensuous images of sexuality that individuals draw with the fear suppressed and internalized in the name of tradition. By confronting the traditional values that support oppression with the images drawn from the previous exhibition, the performance reveals the manifestation of women’s sexuality and pleasure.

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Going into the second half, the tension in preparing for the exhibition dropped. The more I delved into the subject, the more I felt like I was hovering around the periphery. I expected that a clearer answer would come out if I did a lot of thinking, but it turned out to be the opposite. As the work that started with a question about sexuality gradually became a question about the act, I doubted the meaning of this work. When I faced with the ever-changing distance between the subject and me, the weighing of the value of ‘meaning’ made the project itself uneasy.

From the beginning to the end, the question of ‘what do I want to say?’ persisted. Even though it was clear what I wanted to say, once the words were uttered, the same question re-started as if it looked for a new answer.

The space appeared to be divided into two spaces. The parts separated by walls and doors has become a device to distinguish various points encompassed by sexuality. In the space connected to the entrance, I looked at the identity of a Korean woman and the way the frame works on the individual, drawing the image of sexuality facing reality and encountering it.

From the inner side of the individual, the fence of the family, the first society, and the image and approach of femininity experienced in various cultures transformed continuously. To speak of gender identity, it began by looking back at one’s roots.

There was always a shamanistic element in the process. Even though there was no specific religion or continuous memory, I suspected that these images were originated from Koreans’ unique speech habit.

Sajupalja (Korean fortune-telling) is mentioned in every conversation, and it seems to be used as a device to defend oneself. It’s an easy excuse to avoid one’s responsibility if I can hand over my identity to the category of destiny. I was dissatisfied with the devices placed under the name of ‘tradition’, which people adapted without a question.


I doubted the scattered elements in life which put limits on the way we connects to ourselves in the world, solidifying it in the form of self- censorship. The answer to this question leads to the next question, and to come up with an ever-changing answer. It seemed that it’s only a temporary expedition.

The changes in perspective that seem trivial become a strong foundation for a support that leads us to actively seek out our identity that we might easily give away in the name of fate. (As I repeat over and over again, the power of ‘trivial’ things easily disappears in the midst of ‘important’ names.)


When we think non-verbally, images and sensations tangle and float around. We make artificial distinctions and give them labels, which could exist simultaneously. We urge ourselves to decide on our affiliation among a few divisions, and easily make judgments based on that labels. How many words are sufficient to draw a conclusion?

Aiming to speak of harmony, isn’t the meaning of these languages equates the flow that encompasses diversity? Isn’t the appearance of diversity an attempt to find a point of contact with the other person by unfolding the imaginary world that each person has dreamed of?


In the next room, traces of unconsciousness are hung on the wall. Appreciation of the existence of the ‘sexuality’ gathers in one place to form an atmosphere that encompasses the whole. I constructed an aspect of my imagination in the hope that the experience of the space would be conveyed as a sensory memory to those who enter this space.

< A Tree Soaked in Water VI_ Transformative Subtlety >

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