Ring of Animals

Young In Hong

18.02 — 21.05.23

Solo exhibition

Curated by Zuzanna Rachowska

Ring of Animals is the first solo exhibition of South-Korean artist Young In Hong (Seoul, 1972) in Belgium. It presents an integral series of new works that together activate a forgotten communal space. A space premodern people believed to be real, a sacred area in which the spirits of living organisms, including animals and humans, could communicate through natural connections and were linked by relationships of equality.

Hong was inspired by the architectural setting of the exhibition space, housed in a Dominican chapel, and its proximity to Antwerp Zoo, one of the oldest zoological gardens in the world (established in 1843). The exhibition suggests an in-between space of the human mind and the natural world and is centred on an installation of straw-woven shoes for different species of animals. Using a traditional Korean technique, Hong creates a mystical ring of animals – hence the exhibition title – featuring creatures that normally do not share a common habitat: giraffe, kangaroo, heron, baby elephant, gorilla and bear. Paradoxically, these light-hearted objects evoke feelings of guilt and anxiety and highlight the urgency of caring more for animals. An electronic sound composition incorporating sounds recorded in nature is played intermittently in the space, creating a bewitching atmosphere and demarcating a boundary between the personal and the animal.

With this exhibition, which also shows works in the corridors leading to the chapel, Hong re-establishes the chapel as an accommodating space for protection, but also for reflection on the ineffable and inseparable bond between man and animal.

Artwork production sponsored by Korea Artist Prize Promotion Fund, from SBS Foundation and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

Special thanks to: Spike Island

Location Kunsthal Extra City - Chapel, Provinciestraat 112, 2018 Antwerpen