Cheol-Woong Sim

Thirty Years of the Unwelcomed Others, 2017/2019, interactive video; Lost and Found-Forgotten Data, 2017/2019, digital print installation, size variable. Courtesy of the artist.

“For what purpose did the Chosen Government General collect all the various data and photographs? For what were they organized and published? The more I examine the various numerical data and photographs of the English Almanac of the Chosen Government General, the more I realize the double-speak of propaganda and the underlying hidden agendas” (Cheol-Woong Sim, 2018).

Cheol-Woong Sim’s Thirty Years of the Unwelcomed Others is a hypertext project based on the records of the English Almanac of the Chosen Government General (1907- 1938; total of 24 volumes). Presenting a structure that allows historic records to be experienced from a present perspective, the work specifically deals with the past and the present of the city of Seoul—from its colonial period to its periods of modernization and urbanization.

By utilizing hypertext functions to induce the user’s awareness and reaction, Thirty Years of the Unwelcomed Others communicates to viewers through a multilateral reciprocal conexus to reveal the ways in which the place and space still present today was formerly dominated and exploited by the Chosen Government General during the Japanese Occupation. Synchronizing interlinked information and experience, the artist makes full use of the characteristics of hypertext to create a virtual space of interconnected space-time. By criticizing the purported factuality and authenticity of the English Almanac of the Chosen Government General during the Japanese Occupation, Sim’s interactive archival work brings to light the falsification of history, propaganda, and cover-ups.

Works by Cheol-Woong Sim have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul, 2013), the Ilmin Museum of Art (Seoul, 2017), the Cultural Station Seoul 284 (2014), the Museum of Seoul National University, MoA (2013), the Artsonjae Center Art Hall (Seoul, 2010), the Seoul Museum of Art  (2010) and the Gwangju Biennale Complex (Korea, 2010). Sim’s works have also been presented at MAPP SPACE (Brisbane, Australia, 2014), GoungDong Museum of Art (China, 2015), Media Theatre iGong (Seoul, 2013),  Galeria Nacional (San Jose, Costa Rica, 2012), and The Arts Centre Gold Coast (Australia, 2011).