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Copyright all right reserved 2008 Cho Duck Hyun

  Restoration of Civilization _ Yongwoo Lee 2008/08/31

Restoration of Civilization

Yongwoo Lee(Art Critic)

A dying tree bursts into blossom and bears fruits before it begins to wither. It is environed, like a doomed civilization, by an atmosphere full of life and energy that is of similar rather than metaphor in nature.
Cho Duck-Hyun's art is a sort of allegorized simile and his message is a prescription written for a dying civilization. He has two basic question for civilization.
First, he asks why people believe that history is moving in the direction of improving mankind's lot when it has never brought equality and happiness to everyone. Second, whether the civilization produced by Western rationalism has helped improve the equality of man's living or simply brought convenience and suffering simultaneously to him.
All of the works produced by Cho in the 90's are "memories of the 20th century." Figures that appear in them are people who have actually lived or living Korea's modern history.
They are the protagonists of the country's recent history who have experienced Japan's colonial rule and the partition of the country. And he reminds us that Koreans have shared the same 20th century history with Americans, Europeans and Brazilians. All of his drawings represent a frame for history and his figures are no more and no less than ourselves who have experienced the progress and crises of the 20th century civilization.
The sense of crisis of civilization felt in the East is different from that felt in the West. The social and political conflict and cultural crash the West has experienced in the course of its modernization have had little direct impact on the East. What the East has experienced is only a byproduct of Western expansionism. What the West has experienced is not compatible with the East's traditional "harmony with nature" and represents an unbalance of reality. Cho's artistic prescription is not a romantic interpretation of history but a proposition made as a new approach to today's history.
Teachers of geography on Korea have long taught their students that the remotest place on earth is not the arctic nor the antiarctic but Brazil, particularly São Paulo. and Korea's younger generation has dreamed of reaching that faraway city through the globe. It is reason that eventually made the young people realize the impossibility of the dream.
Cho restores this impossible dream in São Paulo, mitigating the despair brought by reason. I believe that allegorization of history is part of the social function of art.
Cho has cut through to São Paulo to tell of the sufferings man has to endure since Renaissance and the primitive beautiful dream once harboured by mankind. And to tell that there are things that are accessible by art, but mot by the technology of modern civilization. What he presents is a restored image of the 20th century civilization.


23   From History to Memory_ Jiyoon Lee  
22   Butterfly Dreams, Mirrors and Mountains / Notes for Duck Hyun Cho: re-collection _ Pontus Kyander  
21   나비 꿈, 거울과 산 / 조 덕현을 위한 기록 : 리-컬렉션 _ 폰투스 키안더  
20   조덕현의 전시: 리콜렉션 re-colllection _ 신지영  
19   역사에서 기억까지 _ 이지윤  
18   The Scattered Puzzle Pieces _ Dae-Beom Lee  
17   흩어진 퍼즐 조각 _ 이대범  
16   Re-collection : Walking down two women's paths _ Jiyoung Shin  
15   Cho Duck–Hyun _ Ann Landi  
14   조덕현 _ Ann Landi  
13   Ontmoeting: (Trans) fusion of Landscape Portraiture and History Painting by Use of a Symbolical Device in Cho Duck Hyun's Digital Photo-Images _ Inhee Iris Moon  
12   A moral proposal _ Patrick T. Murphy  
11   Two Mysteries Colliding _ Chtistopher French  
10   Leaning forward, Looking back – Jeff Kelly  
  Restoration of Civilization _ Yongwoo Lee  
8   Reversing the Historical Imagination _ Young June Lee  
7   Entering Yiseoguk _ Choi Won Oh  
6   Cho Duck-Hyun – biographer of illusions _ Jan Donia  
5   From an Alien Past _ Hyunok Jung  
4   이중성의 전략과 경계의 미학 위에서 _ 김홍희  
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