Time Space Existence

Oh Myung Hee

Venice 2021 Architecture Biennial,
European Cultural Centre


Oh Myung Hee

South Korea

Nostalgia 2020

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” ― Virginia Woolf

The series of mixed media works ‘Nostalgia’, forms part of a larger exhibition to be showcased in Palazzo Mora in 2022. In this project, the artist Oh Myung Hee is exploring the pivotal years when traditional South Korea transformed into a modern day society.

She is particularly interested in the change that occurred amongst Korean women in 1954, inspired by the visit of Marilyn Monroe to the American troops stationed there.

This period marks the turning point in the relationship between men and women in Korean male dominated culture, often considered a legacy of the Imperial Japanese era.

Oh Myung Hee is observing this transformation in the fabric of modern Korea through a prism of Westernization, traditionalism and Japanese colonial influences.

In her artistic exploration she highlights the complexity of modern Korean society and women’s limited role in it.

The series ‘Nostalgia’ forms a part of the artist’s enquiry into the significance of memory in contemporary society. Her working practice in this series is painstaking and time consuming, requiring great patience and endeavour, reminiscent of traditional female crafts.

Oh Myung Hee explores the black and white family photographs of the places she remembers as a child. She works on these images, intervening with acrylic paint and mother of pearl, to make them her own.

Through this meditative and time- lapse working process, the artist takes us down our own memory lane, as if she wants us to be a part of this very memory captured in a photo.

Curated and produced by Metamorphosis Art Projects, London, UK

Technical Support by LAM Architects, Geneva, Switzerland