Research Paper, 2009

Nowadays emerging artists and professionals alike still use public art to promote their ideas or to establish censorship-free contact between viewer and artist. This power of public art to open a debate on public issues in the contemporary art scene is what makes public art a particularly significant phenomenon. I am a person who has a keen interest in and desire to be a part of artistic development. Through my art projects, I attempt to represent aspects of the culture in which I live as well as to react to the society by engaging with people.
By creating debates around some of the most profound issues in the contemporary art, especially theoretical and political perspectives on artistic practice, I want to explore innovative methods for constructing public audiences, mainly by using site specific work and mixing different genres. For me, the most fundamentally important function of art is to have an aesthetic value that comes from the process of making the work and not simply the result. Therefore, my practice often engages with related audiences to explore cultural image of the society, through the process of its execution, communicates with people.
An aesthetic value that comes from the process of making the work and not simply the result through the process of its execution, communicates with people intellectually. Jeff Kelly states that ¡°Processes are also metaphors. They are powerful containers of meaning. You have to have people who can evaluate the qualities of a process, just as they evaluate the qualities of a product. There is a false dichotomy that¡¯s always talked about, even by us, between object and processes¡± (Lacy, 1995 p45). An aesthetic value that emerges from semiotic processes that humans experience from art can be gained not only from materialised art work or art objects but also from the process of on-going public art project. It allows there to be an expansion of aesthetic boundaries and enables their process to be regarded as values, not merely physical objects or visual outcomes.
In the process of creating engaging art, I propose that the audience should not only interpret the meaning of the art work as it is embodied in symbolic acts as a social sign but also actively participate/react to the work by placing oneself at the centre of the art making a process that leads from their major concerns and related issues: Therefore the passive consumers/communicator become the active collaborators in the process of participatory events that involve the art works more actively to recreate/rebuild the integrity of social context of the work. Jeff Kelly further explains that a process of mutual transformation takes place within collaboration as the interactions between the collaborating parties causes the creative process itself to transform (Kelly, 1995 p140).
As a result of its ongoing process between art work and audience, engaging art has earned aesthetic value as a more active form of communication. It has been free from a typology of materials or artistic media construction, and much has been built on concepts of interaction, relationship, communication and political intention. A significant interaction often occurs with the audience who engages the work in an interactive and active manner. Through this ongoing process a relationship is built, and this in turn produces new artistic territory which people can share, and in addition refers to multiple perspectives which are based on individuality so as to activate both individual and communities.
[posted on 9th August 2010]

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Hyemin PARK