Wednesday, September 19, 2007


there is a ritualistic team building exercise in korea called "MT" (membership training) where everyone from a school department or company gets together for an overnight trip to the countryside. usually, they all pile into a vehicle, drive to a pension by the seashore or in mountains, unload themselves into a big room and then eat and drink copious amounts of food and alcohol in order to "get to know one another". apparently artists too need their MT, and thus a few days ago the crew at ssamzie traipsed off to the seashore at gwanghua do, south of inchon airport, for 2 days of bonding.

we were all dutifully in denial about the threat of a typhoon that was blowing in from japan. packed swimsuits and towels and headed out on to the highway.


after about an hour we arrived at a suburban-looking duplex that looked out onto a coastline. surprisingly enough, the sun was shining.


went for a short walk and found a military post armed with fake soldiers

sloshed around barefoot in a mud flat collecting clams and waiting for the tide to come in


eventually the tide did come in and we went for an amazing AMAZING swim as the sun was setting, ate lots of barbecue, and tried to learn a korean card game called 'stop go' (or something like that) that was so complicated that i fell asleep playing it. but the cards are really beautiful

was roused awake to play a game of pictionary at 2am, stayed up until 4am, woke up to kitchen shenanigans and a pile of kimchi the size of your head. and yes, they ate it all.

drove around in a storm, drank convenience store coffee under an awning, and ended up at the gwanghwa museum of history where they had some interesting diorama displays

and met a marine corps unit as we were leaving the museum

so there you go. MT, korean style.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

open studios

so we survived. the open studios was on monday and there were simultaneous openings in the gallery downstairs and at a nearby gallery called Loop. good move on the part of the organizers. another good move on the organizers was to have one of the artists make fried chicken as part of his performance in the gallery. free food is always a good draw. a surprisingly large amount of people showed up, considering it was monday evening. lots of people came by and had a look around the studio, but not too many people made it to the roof to see my installation there (7 flights up!), but here is a link to some photos of "No Hands":

and some early photos of an urban gardening/makeshift fountain project installed inside my studio. will upload photos from the exhibited work soon. i have had the fountain running now non-stop for 2 days. having the sound of running water in the studio completely changes the working environment. i'm so relaxed...

however, the last and most successful thing we did that day was to throw a massive party on the ssamzie rooftop:

pictured l to r: me, michael, sunkuan, and younghui. i know that was 3 days ago, but today is the first day i've been able to spend the day in bed recovering. literally. it's now nearly 8pm and i should probably go get some food.

so as soon as i finished typing that last sentence, i walked outside my door and my neighbor michael was making an amazing grilled salmon and spinach sandwich in crusty french bread. he also had a bottle of nice Australian wine hand carried from his home country. it was amazing. we sat out on the steps of ssamzie devouring it. this was a pretty good day.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

open studios

just a brief announcement:

Open Studio
Michael YUEN (Australia) Studio 402
Rania Ho (USA/China) Studio 401

10 September 2007
Michael Yuen:
Rania Ho:

Open studio: 2-8pm
5-129 Changjeon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea(121-190)

Two new work-in-progress pieces by media and sound installation artist
Michael Yuen.

Michael is an Australian artist and curator based in Adelaide. His
artistic practice centres around interactive installation traversing
many artforms. Formally trained as a composer, Michael’s
installation-based works use a combination of abstract sound, images,
and experimental interactive technologies, in order to create artworks
grounded in perceptual experience. Since 2003, he has been exhibiting
regularly, facilitating masterclasses and workshops, guest lecturing at
universities, curating new media exhibitions and serving on various
boards. Most recently his work Swarm was shown at the Australian Centre
for the Moving Image in a joint exhibition with the Hayward Gallery. He
has been the artistic director of Project 3 (2006 Adelaide Festival) and
served on the Inter-Arts board for the Australia Council of the Arts

This is an Asialink project supported by Arts South Australia and the
Australia-Korea Foundation

A Few Useless Machines: An exploration of mechanical mash-ups in the digital age
Works-in-progress by Rania Ho

Rania Ho’s work has been exhibited at the most recent Guangzhou Triennial, Shanghai’s Duolun Museum of Modern Art; Beijing’s Long March Space; California’s Headlands Center for the Arts; Ewha Media Art Performance (EMAP); Inter-Society for Electronic Arts (ISEA); and SIGGRAPH. Her work has received Honorable Mention awards at the Prix Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria and ArtFuture Festival in Taiwan. A former Interval Research Fellow and visiting scholar at Microsoft Research Asia’s Center for Interaction Design in Beijing, she currently is a visiting lecturer at the Graduate School of Culture Technology at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). She received her master’s degree in interactive media art from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and her B.A. in Theater Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. She currently lives and works in Asia.

Monday, September 03, 2007

progress report

working on a couple pieces here in my studio at ssamzie space. the first is a (so far untitled) fountain made of found styrofoam structures. I'm attempting to grow sprouts on them. kind of a large scale chia pet.




this is a photo of an early experiment with the sprouts:

the other is an elaborate contraption to hum bottles, which is entitled "No Hands." Sitting on the bike seat activates a fan blower which is positioned to blow over the tops of beer bottles and make them hum. the bottles will be placed around in a circle so that peddling the bike creates a song.



there's going to be an open studio on sept 10, from 2-8pm. if you're in seoul, drop by. There is a show opening in the gallery as well.