From the Sea to the Youth (Hae’egeso Sonyon’ege) _ The beginning of a modern poetry & new education in Korea

From the sea to the youth (Hae’egeso Sonyon’ege) is the title of the first modern poem in Korea which was published by Choi Nam-Son at 1908. (Japanese Colonial Period was started at 1910 in Korea, however, in reality, we were under controlled by Japan from 1905) This poem shows us about the model of the youth (Chungsonyon) which was constructed by early modern intellectuals. They defined and preached the youth (Chungsonyon) as the person who overcomes (cuts off) our pre-modern the Joseon Dynasty and is going to open new and modern country for our Korean race. In the middle of painful and dismal historical background of Korea, modern intellectuals had shouted the power and passion of boys and girls had to be used for Korean race and our homeland. Furthermore, they preached Chungsonyon’s desire has to be suppressed, under controlled and uniformized for reconstructing our country as well. Until now this model of Chungsonyon has survived and breathed under the Korean society through intense education. From modern boys and girls, my father and mother, me to today’s teenagers have lived and survived with these tremendous responsibilities.

Incheon was coerced to open the port to trade at 1884 by imperialist countries. After that this place has had full of modern desire and traumatic trace of Korea history. So I face the teenagers with this city from the past to the present to seek real meaning of Chungsonyon and problems and questions of Korea. In the end, this collection of images will show desire, anxiety and fear of Korean society that was fossilized by national traumas and how we had lived and live under this convention as human.

1st Chapter _ Teenagers of today in Incheon / 2nd Chapter _  Images from my father’s teenage  album. He had lived in Incheon and passed away 15  years ago  / 3rd Chapter  _  Images from my teenage  album at 1996.


해(海)에게서 소년(少年)에게  _ 가옥(가정/학교)에서 계속해서 대물림 되는 청소년의 표상 

최남선의 최초의 신시(근대시)인 ‘해에게서 소년에게’는 근대 계명기 청소년에 대한 우리의 표상을 잘 보여준다. 이 시에서는 국가의 미래를 짊어질 인물, 전근대의 조선을 넘어서(단절하고) 민족을 근대국가 즉 새로운 세계를 열어줄 인물이 바로 소년, 소녀 (청소년)이라 외친다. 굴곡 있는 역사의 현장에서 근대 초기의 지식인들은 소년, 소녀들의 힘과 열정을 민족과 국가를 재건하기 위해 쓰여야 하며 이를 위해 십대의 욕망은 억제하고 통제, 균일화 되어야 한고 주장하였다.

부모 또는 국가의 수직적 욕망의 의해 통제 되는 소년, 소녀의 모습은 현재도 유효하다. 현재의 십대의 모습에서부터 돌아가신 아버지의 청소년 시절의 앨범 그리고 나의 청소년 시절 사진에서 까지 같은 행동, 표정을 한 동일한 표상을 발견한다. 부지 불식간에 대물림 되어 고착되어 버린, 이내 지나면 기억에서 망각되고 유배되는 우리의 쓸쓸한 젊음의 초상이다.

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Production Period : 2009 - 2011 / Media : Digital c-print /  Size Variable / Location : Incheon, South Korea / Number of Works :  100 +