Performer e curatore indipendente Corea del Sud

Gim Gwang Cheol (born 1967) is a South Korean performance artist. Having lived his youth under the military dictatorship, it was only consequential for him to inquire about personal freedom and democracy, starting with studies of philosophy and later through painting and performance art. With a multiple and dialectical approach to art, Cheol creates humanistic discourses through a broadened artistic expression. He relates power with language, which forms civilization, and continues raising questions about humanity, naturality and civilsation through a method of communication, which is based on a free and funny approach to thinking.

Gim Gwang Cheol – artistic director, visual artist and founder in 2012 of a performance art academy programme in Gwangju, Seoul and Wanju as well as in Bangladesh – is among the most prolific Asian performance artists today.  As a young man, he lived under military dictatorship, so  it followed that he would bring questions about personal freedom and democracy into his art practice. His philosophical background allowed him to develop an approach to performance art that focusses on humanist discourses that relate power to language, while examining the impulses and types of communication that form a civilization. Because of his freethinking lucid irony, his live works are often permeated with a cynical, nihilistic yet heart-breaking romanticism: an evolutionary personal dialectic is applied to reality as he sees it. Gim Gwang Cheol’s is neither a world of logic, nor a world of illogic— it can be everything or nothing.

Palazzo Caracciolo Sofihotel 23/07/2017 Napoli –  Physical Power Plant

Gim Gwang Cheol approaches performance as a form of ‘dynamic meditation’, using his own body to undergo different phases of ‘morphological’ transformation. From 1993-1999 his work revolved around the question of how to resist the fundamental discipline imposed by institutionalized societies and the search for one’s own identity. He spent the first five years of the new millenium focussing mainly on the processes of change that in the body. Since then, he has been working on the ‘Multilayered,’ forging the above-mentioned concepts into forms of performative expression, which demonstrate his individual stance as an artist and as a human being.

Gim Gwang Cheol is project director of the non-profit arts organization Global Art Making Network. Founded in 2012 and dedicated to performance art, Global Art Making Networkseeks to reflect on the fundamental role of art, its values and existence. Based on the idea that art is the seed which creates the space for thought, it has expanded its network internationally, organizing international art festivals, performance art academy programs, independent exhibitions, hybrid art projects, workshops, street guerrilla performance art as a form of free artistic expression, and ongoing world art tours to create collaborations between Korean artists and artists from other countries. Since 2014, there have been six world tours in Europe, Asia and North America. ‘Reflection of Body Art’ is the title of this year’s European tour, taking in eight countries and focusing on the body as the most intimate physical form of mental intimacy.

At the VENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK, Cheol presents the live performance Physical Power Plant – 20 Cigarettes Part 1 / Memory Loading. The work refers to a cynical, nihilistic and heartbreaking romanticism by applying an evolutionary dialectic that the artist personally interprets; and with it he seeks to tell others of the world he recognizes. This is neither a world of logic, nor a world of illogic; it could have been either everything or nothing.