Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Fragility of Life

by Drew Martin
Last Friday, I hung my work at BankAsiana for Art-flow's Edition Over Original show. My quirky drawings and accompanying artifacts look a little out of place in the clean bank space and compared to the work of the other artists.

When the curator and I took a break and sat down for lunch at a the Korean tofu restaurant next door, she asked me what I thought of the work by the other artists. I squirmed a bit and said I found it superficial, meaning that it was focused on the look of the surface without much behind it. When we returned to the space, we met up with the artist Heayeon Yoon and I helped hang her three photographs, which are my favorite pieces in the show. I told her so and asked about her technique: she dunks flowers into an aquarium and photographs them. For me, they reference Andres Serrano's Piss Christ (which was destroyed last year by a protester), but Yoon was unaware of the reference. I asked her to tell me a little more about the work, which I found visually pleasant but not very deep and then she blew me a way with her answer. The idea for the series started after she saw a dead body on the sidewalk far beneath her office window in the Empire State Building. A man who had worked in the building, jumped to his death. Yoon's submersed flowers speak about the fragility of life.