IM Heung-Soon

b. 1969, Korean

IM Heung-Soon is an artist and film director based in Seoul and Jeju Island. Early in his career, he worked with the 〈Seongnam Project〉 (1998-1999), an artist group dealing with the problem of unequal distribution of capital in Seongnam City. IM was also active in 〈mixrice〉 (2002-2004), a group that explores the concept of migration in contemporary society in various ways, including collaboration with migrant workers. With this awareness of the problem, he continues to speak about groups on the margins of social, political, and capitalist ideology, such as victims of massacres by the state, North Korean defectors, and female workers.

IM Heung-Soon was the first Korean artist to be awarded the Silver Lion at the 2015 Venice Biennale for his work 〈Factory Complex〉 (2014). It is a feature-length documentary dealing with the chronology of female labor in Korea, from the old Guro Industrial Complex factory workers to the Guro Digital Complex employees today. It is regarded as a work that has broken the boundary between film and the fine arts.

At the invitation of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, USA, IM Heung-Soon drew international attention by showcasing 〈Good Light, Good Air〉 (2018), another of his works dealing with the modern and contemporary history of Korea and Argentina, at Carnegie International, an eminent biennale. The work was created in collaboration with novelist Han Kang (1970- ), who won the prestigious literary award Man Booker Prize. It depicts the pain of contemporary massacres perpetrated by the government in Gwangju, South Korea, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. The work was well received in Korea too.

IM Heung-Soon is solidifying his position on the international stage by receiving invitations from major art museums such as Tate Modern (2015), MoMA PS1 (2015), and the Centre Pompidou (2016). His works are in the collections of renowned domestic and foreign art institutions such as MMCA, LACMA, and Sharjah Art Foundation.