IM Heung-soon’s 2017 MMCA Hyundai Motor Series exhibition Things that Do Us Part considered the ways in which division is a subconscious and ubiquitous ideology within Korea. IM conducted interviews with four women and their close acquaintances: Jeong Jeong-hwa (1900–91), Kim Dong-il (1932–2017), Ko Gye-yeon (b. 1932), and Lee Jeong-suk (b. 1944) and researched their personal archives and keepsakes in order to reconstruct their individual histories, which traversed various periods of Korean history, and to bring life back to the nameless. Through the inclusion of the word “ghost” in the work’s subtitle, Belief, Faith, Love, Betrayal, Hatred, Fear, Ghost, one can understand the importance of this idea and the ways in which it can function as a metaphor for those who search as well as those whose lives float between the truths and lies of historical narratives.
IM Heung-soon (born in Korea in 1969) is a multimedia artist who has spent much of his career exploring ways in which Korea’s modern history has affected the lives of ordinary people. IM received the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2015 for Factory Complex, a feature-length documentary about the lives and sacrifices made by women workers who led the development of the Korean economy. IM believes in museums as spaces of possibility and intersection, an ideology that manifested in his MMCA Hyundai Motor Series presentation via a continual evolution of the exhibition following its opening. IM’s work has been on view at the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (2018); HKW, Berlin (2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2017); Taipei Biennale (2016); and MoMA PS1, New York City (2015).