Young Sun Han // Limbo Exchange
“Limbo Exchange” July 13 —Sept 1, 2019
Young Sun Han
Elijah Wheat Showroom is pleased to present artist Young Sun Han in a solo exhibition entitled, “Limbo Exchange.” We first presented the series in London in October, 2018 to viewers bringing curiosity, criticality and fanfare. The body of work is a compilation of photographs, a performative video, and found objects deriving from the artist’s unfortunate circumstance when he was a victim of grand larceny. Young Sun Han’s motor vehicle (recently inherited from his deceased mother) was stolen in his Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights. After filing a Police report and writing it off as if it was irrevocable, the car was found in central Pennsylvania. Upon return, the officer encouraged Young to throw away the bulk of the items that was overflowing in the vehicle and move on from the incident. However, personal effects told a story the artist wouldn’t let go undiscovered. “Inside, an array of the ‘perp’s' personal effects had been left untouched: a wardrobe's worth of clothing, toiletries, medications, condoms, keys, letters, IDs, and other miscellanea. [A} pungent scent also lingered strongly in the leather seats and car's confines” the artist explains.
The violation from the vehicle’s original theft left the artist questioning the perpetrator’s motive, the persecution, the judicial system as he manifested a response. Young Sun Han toys with the concept of victimhood and notes: “The preservation of his items followed by my exploitative use swings on a scale between empathy and revenge.” Thievery binds humans in an immediate adversarial position, although Han complicates his ethical involvement by building a profile through public display and performance. By delivering this narrative through the curated arrangement of the thief’s items and presenting them in a ‘white cube’, Young deliberately conjures compassion for the ‘perp’ and flips any rage into curiosity. When is justice served? How would this display instigate ‘Restorative Justice’? Between the Community, Offender and the Victim, perhaps the artist has rearranged the role of offender and victim, as the gallery becomes an outlet to involve the community. There are hard questions here, these actions deserve hard answers. Whereas the artist is committed to delivering the items back to the ‘perp’ he has been deliberately blocked from engaging in any communication or reconciliation between the act, the offender and the items.
The artist contemplates whether a “reconciliation can be reached that dissolves the binary of victimhood and the need for incarceration, where race and social status play an extremely partial and discriminatory role. ‘Limbo Exchange’, as a project will continue to reevaluate [Young’s] position in relation to the perp and document any pertinent conversation, action, and event related to the attempted return of their personal effects and final legal judgments.” Please join us and the artist for the opening on Saturday, July 13 from 6pm-9pm and for an experimental artist lecture/performance on Sunday, July 27. The exhibition will continue during regular hours and by appointment through Sept 1, 2019.
Young Sun Han, (Chicago, 1981) is an American citizen of Korean heritage and a New Zealand permanent resident. He currently works between New Brunswick, NJ and Brooklyn, NY. In the summer of 2018, he completed the Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art, Berlin residency and will attend the Materia Abierta program in August of this year. He received his MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has studied abroad at Goldsmiths, University of London and the Kunsthochschule fur Medien, Cologne, Germany–the latter as a fellowship recipient of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange.
Han's work has been exhibited in many group shows including: David Zwirner (NY), Knockdown Center (NY), Printed Matter Inc. (NY), LMAK books+design (NY), Jean Albano Gallery (Chicago), Zolla/Lieberman (Chicago), Independent Brussels, the Elijah Wheat Showroom, at the Anti-Art Fair (London), 4A Centre of Contemporary Art (Sydney, Australia), University of Sydney, the Suter Contemporary Art Biennial (Nelson, NZ), The Dowse Art Museum (Lower Hutt, NZ), Sanderson Contemporary Art (Auckland, NZ).