Sharjah Biennial 12 curator Eungie Joo led artists Michael Joo and Byron Kim in a conversation about their new commissions for the upcoming Biennial. Both artists are currently in Sharjah to install their works which will be on view from March 5 to June 5, 2015.
Eungie Joo began the conversation by discussing the title of Sharjah Biennial 12: The past, the present, the possible. This title, she explained, does not reflect a theme, but rather an overall concept that links the works and the practices together. She also spoke about some of the issues she had to address as a curator such as the selection of artists, the pace of producing and installing artworks and the new commissions. ‘ We are embarking on a very ambitious exhibition,’ said Joo.
She stressed how important it was for her as a curator to invite artists that she feels can take into account the place and environment in which they are presenting their work. ‘Of course, the important things are the location, the site, the city and the foundation – what you understand as the public that attends the events; what you understand as the capacity of the foundation that you’re working with; and all this is mixed with your selection of artists that you feel are working in ways that are somehow legible to those different elements.’
Byron Kim and Michael Joo then spoke about their experiences working in Sharjah. Brooklyn-based Kim noted that, ‘the paintings I had made about the sky in Brooklyn were very similar to the sky here.’ Joo spoke enthusiastically about his visit to archaeological sites in Sharjah, walking and talking about geologic time, ‘It was amazing for me to go out to these sites that were fifty million years old.’ Inspired by the sites he visited; he feels that the time he spent in Sharjah researching the landscape was ‘irreplaceable’.
With curator Eungie Joo both artists discussed the idea that even though artists in SB12 use a diversity of media and have different formal and conceptual approaches to art, there are similarities in the way they think and common threads that emerge from their work. Kim explains, ‘We can almost inevitably have some sort of conversation between us and among our work.’
The conversation concluded with an invitation to attend the upcoming SB12 monthly talk with Taro Shinoda on February 21 and to visit the Biennial which will be on view March 5 through June 5, 2015.