October 23, 2015

Guest Blogger Sujin Jung Reporting from South-Korea: Airport Is Not Your Sweet Home

I introduced Sujin Jung to you as an art blogger of the week and told you that she has a kind of plastic art writing going on: pink, easy, fictional, fun (haha!) and critical at the same time. But since her blog is in Korean, I asked Sujin if she would like to do some reporting from South-Korea in English. And she agreed! Here it is: the first part of a series in fiction non-fiction. 

Plateau in Seoul

Have you ever misread security as insecurity at the airport as Olive did in Elizabeth Strout's book Olive KitteridgeMy answer is yes. However, going to the airport is quite fun, because it marks the real start of the journey. In my town, there is a well-known lab operated by a magician duo, Elmgreen and Dragset, they are known for changing one place into another one. This is why, every month, we have to check if any change has been happening in town. This month, their subject was the white cube: an art museum was transformed into an airport. Well, it is interesting that both places share the characteristic that one just stays there for a while, and both have a quite romantic image in films, isn’t it? Haha

Elmgreen & Dragset, Departures, 2015

Elmgreen & Dragset, The Traveler, 2015

Good morning. This is an announcement for all passengers traveling on the 7:23 flight COQ1018 to Highgarden. This flight is delayed by two hours because of bad weather.

Aw… Technology will never win from nature! As usual, there are a bunch of people who are leaving quickly while others are stuck in here like me. I think the airport is an emotional rather than a romantic place, because there are a bunch of quite emotional people at the moment saying good-bye or how are you, etc. Well, these emotional sceneries always make me feel so lonely, like I have no one to say sweet things to me. However, I am used to this lonely feeling as a citizen who lives in these days, so this shitty feeling is just for a while. Now, I have plenty of time, so I bring out my book, A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary written by Alain de Botton. I bought this book a long time ago, but did not finish reading it yet. It just became my must-item to bring to the airport. Maybe I will have finished reading it by my 10th travel in 2020, haha. Or maybe I could try reading it together with the many people around here at the moment, hahaha

Elmgreen & Dragset, I Am Thinking of You, 2007

Elmgreen & Dragset, Restricted Goods, 2015

It is already time to go to queue in the line for security check. Misreading a security line as an insecurity one is not that strange, especially at the airport, because it is such an insecure place. I have to reveal my private and personal things, and also care about others. If I see something is put on the airport floor, then my first thought might be, is it a bomb? The airport is not a sweet home, but a dangerous place. And this feeling to be controlled lasts quite long, because I have to pass several hurdles like security check. Security check is just a start. 

This is an announcement for passengers traveling to Highgarden on flight COQ1018. Will all passengers with express boarding tickets and passengers traveling with young children please go to gate 23 for boarding. That’s all passengers with express boarding tickets and passengers traveling with young children go to gate 23 for boarding. Thank you

Elmgreen & Dragset, White Maid, 2014

Now, I can take the flight……. soon! This is time for some privileged people. Well, more exactly, for special people. In the airport, I have not only to reveal myself but also realise which stage I am in now in the hierarchy system. I have traveled many times, but I have never been to first class lounge. Is there anyone who knows how it looks like? We have this kind of thing in our life a lot. My friend, whose major is painting, has to choose her professor’s style. Well, she goes to the university just in order to find and develop her own style, but it is just a sort of copy, which is mandatory. Otherwise, she cannot get an opportunity. Otherwise, we cannot open the door, cannot go into any gate. This is absolutely ridiculous, isn’t it? There are tons of articles featuring how a company owner’s son or daughter goes to some university in an unfair way. It is not just a story for the news. Even in my field, some people have to try so much harder to get a certificate of curating, and other people like the art museum director’s daughter or son do not need that. Well, they can inherit their father or mother’s thing, but isn’t it fair that they also pass the certificate system? I cannot understand why this certificate system exist. Of course, that is not only because of nepotism, though. Recently one artist is found guilty of plagiarism. Why is it revealed only now? By what criteria was he chosen in the first place? Well, someone said ‘art is either plagiarism or revolution’ after all, though. Who the hell can have the power to give somebody an opportunity? In the world, and in the Korean art scene, there is a lot of the untrustworthiness and absurdity in the invisible hierarchy system related to money. I am so sick and tired of this. Anyway I am also in this system at the moment, though. Ha ha…….

Would all passengers traveling to Highgarden on flight COQ1018 please have your boarding passes and passports ready for boarding. Flight COQ1018 now boarding at gate 23. 

Finally my turn. However, it takes time to go to the gate for me. I have to make my own stairs to get there. Because flying boards are given only for special people. For these, I have gathered a special pill to be used for making stairs. To get this pill, I have to take an exam. This is one of the reasons why I cannot travel so often. It takes time! Anyway finally, it is time to enjoy my flight! Yeah!

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We have landed at JSJ airport in Highgarden where the local time is 18:30 and the temperature is 76ยบ. We hope you have enjoyed your flight with cueorq Airlines this evening and wish you a very safe journey to your final destination.

At baggage claim area, there is one bag. Whose bag is it? It seems like no-one’s. Is it a bomb or is it drugs? Or am I too paranoid about bad news? This lonesome bag seems more solitary and dangerous when a lot of people are gathered. Well, someone might take care of this……. Anyway, I need to go out of this airport, because I am too tired and there is no space for me like my sweet home.
Oh, wait… where is my shopping bag from the duty free shop? 


Plateau is one of the art museums which are owned by Samsung. (Samsung owns in total three art museums) So, it is considered to be an art museum that has a rich and comfortable exhibition budget. Well, I am not sure though, is there anyone who can disagree with me for sure? Haha 

Samsung and the art museum: around 2008, there was a huge scandal related to money usage for purchasing an artwork, and it was suspected that it might have been used as money laundering. Whatever, the good thing is that because of that scandal, many people got to know Roy Lichtenstein’s Happy Tears. And anyway, it is the true that they holds good exhibitions with their money, well, I think… that is good, haha…

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