Work for A Soldier’s Tale

This commissioned project is a part of an exhibition which memorializes 60th anniversary of the cease-fire of Korean War – often called The Forgotten War. In order to bring my work’s principle to this theme, I have shed light on David Kemsler MBE who took part in the war but who as well has be forgotten behind history. Work for A Soldier’s Tale is constructed by a close examination of the walls in his sitting room. His objects hanging on the walls are a form of memorial of his life as well as his preferences over the last half century. I have captured every part of the walls and re-constructed the parts of the wall as my preferences in a visual language of photography and spatial installation. In this work, I would like to highlight our nature of oblivion. Because I find today's fast forwarding global issues sink into the oblivion as another issues raises up followed by another - such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks and even wars. On top of that, we have too many personal subjects to remember in our daily life. It seems as we are ought to forget our pains. I presume this process of forgetting is natural yet a healthy nature for humanity, and, of course, it is evident that time is the most powerful cause of oblivion as it is recorded in our own history. However, I would rather praise the means of the memorialization in the context of individuality, which appears anonymous in the context of history. Assigning value to an unknown / forgotten / personal feature is beautiful. Hence, in this term, I praise our ability to memorialize. Fate decided that I was able to meet David on the occasion of this exhibition. I value this work as a conversation with him through the transcendence of time as he has lived through the time and space I have yet lived. I have memorialized his beautiful time through my healthy oblivion.

Soon-Hak Kwon


installation view of A Soldier’s Tale I, 240 X 400 cm, Giclée Print, 2013