Defensive Measure #1

“Modern society can be represented by stereotypes and individualism. Aggression has become a way of expression to protect oneself. People show aggression towards another to secure their own safety. Others develop defensive measures to protect their interests, however they end up hurting themselves by expressing these defensive measures more than needed. I want to display the critical path of contemporary society in which humanity is replaced by material value”
Artist Son Jong-jun

 The Body and crude aluminum images of the Technology Age

What the artist Son Jong-jun produces is a tool to defend himself, and it can also perform as a weapon.

However, in order for the artist to transform it into a real weapon, it takes him a certain amount of time to wear and assemble it. A man could wear Son’s artwork to defend himself against outer attacks. But once he is attacked by others, the armor can inflict damage to the wearer several times more serious than if he was not wearing it.

The artist strongly warns of a contemporary social phenomenon that the more a nation or a human being defends itself or himself, the more the nation or the person is threatened. Son’s work is defined as excessively defensive against a virtual enemy who would multiply in the future. His work eventually takes a more aggressive attitude toward himself. Is it that the distrust in oneself calls for the distrust in others, causing him to face the end without recognizing the fact that all, himself and others as well, are being swept away now and destroyed?

Son Jong-jun’s artwork throws a strong question about such phenomenon to us.

these foreign mechanical devices in the photographs are not only a means of defense, but also a means to attack

Among Mr. Son’s photographs, sharp metallic mechanical devices are the first to draw our attention. Enigmatic devices, made of silvery solid metal pieces joined simply by nuts and bolts are attached, surrounding the model’s body in the photograph. We are immediately drawn to the contrast of this to the soft skin and elaborate form of a human body. However, because of this contrast in Son’s photographs, we are led to re-examine the conditions of our lives that are surrounded or connected to various machines or mechanical devices. It is here that we see the virtue of his artwork. As we can see in the title, Defensive Measure, Son Jong-jun has symbolized these crude mechanical devices as defensive tools. However, when we look at these devices in his photographs, they are attached to the shoulders or arms, acting as protective devices for the head or the face, on the other hand, when we take a closer look, we see that there are sharp, arrow-like spikes on top, also functioning as attacking weapons. In other words, these foreign mechanical devices in the photographs are not only a means of defense, but also a means to attack. From what do they defend, and what do they aim to attack?

All photos © Son Jong-jun | Art Smart Seoul

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About the Author /

Youngyee Kim is an editorial board member of the magazine Gulmaru Korea, promoting Korean culture and heritage expressed in various forms in art, architecture, crafts, and performances. She is also a founding member of Art Smart Seoul and a member of the French Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where her specialty is introducing young, talented Korean artists to the international community.

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