Thu June 30 - Sat July 16, 2022

Frequencies of Tradition

KADIST San Francisco presents Frequencies of Tradition, curated by Hyunjin Kim

Artists: Chung Seoyoung, Yoeri Guépin, Ho Tzu Nyen, Chia Wei Hsu, siren eun young jung, Tomoko Kikuchi, Seulgi Lee, Lieko Shiga, Young Min Moon, Hwayeon Nam, Gala Porras-Kim, and Ming Wong

Bringing together a group of internationally acclaimed artists, many presented in the U.S. for the first time, the exhibition centers on tradition as a space of contestation. Tradition is a significant part of daily lives in Asia, connecting generations and reverberating as a living archive of cultures across time. Tradition also retains and upholds patriarchy, authoritarianism, and obsolete customs. Through collective memories, spirituality, archival imagination, technological engagements, and alternative modes of empowerment, the works in the exhibition-predominantly video installations and photography-upend conventional notions of tradition and examine how regional modernization entangles with the emergence of tradition and where the violence of social conventions, nationalism, and the impact of such histories on the everyday manifest. Together, the works allow for a critical reflection on modernization in East Asia and where an expansion of our understanding of the regional modern takes place.

The confluence of traditional modes of spirituality and technology is unpacked in Taiwanese artist Chia Wei Hsu's video installation, Spirit Writing (2016). Through a ritual involving a divination chair, the artist converses with Marshal Tie Jia, a frog deity who, due to the Cultural Revolution, was forced to migrate, eventually settling on an island in the straits of Taiwan. Set in the green room of a film studio equipped with multiple cameras and sensors for the purposes of motion capture, the dissociation between paradigmatic modern image technology and the ancient divination ritual mirror modernity's powers of displacement.

Japan-born and Beijing-based artist Tomoko Kikuchi's phantasmagoric photographic series offers a glimpse into a custom that has yet to be fully taken over by the Chinese central government's policies of modernization. Funerals under Neon Light (2014-ongoing) portrays a transgender community and their unique role as funeral performers in southern China. The prevalence of this custom reveals how liberal and unbiased gender perceptions and genderqueer culture is alive in Chinese traditions, while modern society has confined gender norms through delineations.

Language (2022), acclaimed Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen's latest work in Augmented Reality, draws from a number of theoretical texts produced by Japanese intellectuals related to the Kyoto School, a group of scholars who had sought to overcome Western philosophy by drawing upon Eastern ideas. Set against the backdrop of Japan's Pacific War, Ho lends an ear to the differences, nuances, oppositions, and repetitions that arise among the Kyoto School philosophers in order to seek out the purpose and moral significance of these wars.

Says Jo-ey Tang, KADIST San Francisco's newly appointed Director, "Frequencies of Tradition exemplifies our ethos as an international hub of knowledge, that generates multi-year and multi-venue collaborations and projects of social relevance, supporting artists whose artworks are primarily drawn from the KADIST Collection of over 1600 contemporary artworks. As part of KADIST's global network of advisors with on-the-ground proximity to artists, Seoul-based curator Hyunjin Kim has imagined an ambitious program of exhibition, screenings, and talks for the Bay Area audience, that challenges perceptions of tradition in East Asia through the prism of philosophy, technology, materials, and body."

Frequencies of Tradition at KADIST San Francisco is adapted from its large-scale iterations at the Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, China (2019-2020) and Incheon Art Platform (2021-2022) and is the culmination of an eponymous series of exhibitions and programs initiated by KADIST in 2018 and curated by Hyunjin Kim, KADIST's former Lead Regional Curator for Asia (2017-2020).

Comprising seminars, commissions of new works, and exhibitions across Asia, Frequencies of Tradition is a three-year series as part of KADIST's international programs devoted to drawing connections between different localities by addressing shared issues, often of global relevance, in close collaboration with partner institutions, researchers, and artists in the region.

Public Programs

Talk by curator Hyunjin Kim
Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2022, 7.30 pm
Location: California College of the Arts, 195 De Haro St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Co-hosted by KADIST San Francisco and the Graduate Curatorial Practice Program at California College of the Arts

Frequencies of Tradition monthly film screenings at The Roxie
Dates: Wednesdays, April 20, May 18, June 15, July 13, 2022
Location: Little Roxie Theatre, 3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Fiona Tan, Ascent (2016), 80:00 mins
Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 6.45 pm

Jane Jin Kaisen, Community of Parting (2019), 72:22 mins
Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 6.45 pm

Wang Tuo, Tungus (2021), 66:00 mins
siren eun young jung, Deferral Theater (2018), 35:00 mins
Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 6.45 pm

Ko Sakai & Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Storyteller (2013), 120 mins
Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 6.45pm

Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Ko Sakai's Storyteller (2013) is the third film of the Tohoku Trilogy, a series which came out of interviews with residents of the northern region of Tohoku, Japan, an area heavily affected by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Storyteller presents the rich folk tradition of storytelling by these inhabitants through victim dialogues and testimonies. Considering storytelling as an empowering process, the film documents and explores how the act of telling renders a past event into pluralities of present and future for the ravaged community. Folk storytellers Ito Masako, Sasaki Ken, and Sato Reiko gather at Kurikomayama in Miyagi Prefecture, and folklore scholar Ono Kazuko, the founder of Miyagi Minwa no Kai, plays the role of interviewer as they share a series of fantastic and outlandish tales with the community, including a story of a girl who marries a monkey.

Come early! Screening is preceded by original music and a sound mix curated by Topazu (Infinite Beat - San Francisco), with Annie Chen (Teaphile, Zhuang B - Oakland), Nihar (Left Hand Path, TVOD - San Francisco), and Aaron J (Sure Thing - Boston).


Image Credit: Lieko Shiga, Large Heart, No. 49 (Rasen Kaigan series) (2009), KADIST Collection.
KADIST San Francisco presents Frequencies of Tradition, curated by Hyunjin Kim

Artists: Chung Seoyoung, Yoeri Guépin, Ho Tzu Nyen, Chia Wei Hsu, siren eun young jung, Tomoko Kikuchi, Seulgi Lee, Lieko Shiga, Young Min Moon, Hwayeon Nam, Gala Porras-Kim, and Ming Wong

Bringing together a group of internationally acclaimed artists, many presented in the U.S. for the first time, the exhibition centers on tradition as a space of contestation. Tradition is a significant part of daily lives in Asia, connecting generations and reverberating as a living archive of cultures across time. Tradition also retains and upholds patriarchy, authoritarianism, and obsolete customs. Through collective memories, spirituality, archival imagination, technological engagements, and alternative modes of empowerment, the works in the exhibition-predominantly video installations and photography-upend conventional notions of tradition and examine how regional modernization entangles with the emergence of tradition and where the violence of social conventions, nationalism, and the impact of such histories on the everyday manifest. Together, the works allow for a critical reflection on modernization in East Asia and where an expansion of our understanding of the regional modern takes place.

The confluence of traditional modes of spirituality and technology is unpacked in Taiwanese artist Chia Wei Hsu's video installation, Spirit Writing (2016). Through a ritual involving a divination chair, the artist converses with Marshal Tie Jia, a frog deity who, due to the Cultural Revolution, was forced to migrate, eventually settling on an island in the straits of Taiwan. Set in the green room of a film studio equipped with multiple cameras and sensors for the purposes of motion capture, the dissociation between paradigmatic modern image technology and the ancient divination ritual mirror modernity's powers of displacement.

Japan-born and Beijing-based artist Tomoko Kikuchi's phantasmagoric photographic series offers a glimpse into a custom that has yet to be fully taken over by the Chinese central government's policies of modernization. Funerals under Neon Light (2014-ongoing) portrays a transgender community and their unique role as funeral performers in southern China. The prevalence of this custom reveals how liberal and unbiased gender perceptions and genderqueer culture is alive in Chinese traditions, while modern society has confined gender norms through delineations.

Language (2022), acclaimed Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen's latest work in Augmented Reality, draws from a number of theoretical texts produced by Japanese intellectuals related to the Kyoto School, a group of scholars who had sought to overcome Western philosophy by drawing upon Eastern ideas. Set against the backdrop of Japan's Pacific War, Ho lends an ear to the differences, nuances, oppositions, and repetitions that arise among the Kyoto School philosophers in order to seek out the purpose and moral significance of these wars.

Says Jo-ey Tang, KADIST San Francisco's newly appointed Director, "Frequencies of Tradition exemplifies our ethos as an international hub of knowledge, that generates multi-year and multi-venue collaborations and projects of social relevance, supporting artists whose artworks are primarily drawn from the KADIST Collection of over 1600 contemporary artworks. As part of KADIST's global network of advisors with on-the-ground proximity to artists, Seoul-based curator Hyunjin Kim has imagined an ambitious program of exhibition, screenings, and talks for the Bay Area audience, that challenges perceptions of tradition in East Asia through the prism of philosophy, technology, materials, and body."

Frequencies of Tradition at KADIST San Francisco is adapted from its large-scale iterations at the Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, China (2019-2020) and Incheon Art Platform (2021-2022) and is the culmination of an eponymous series of exhibitions and programs initiated by KADIST in 2018 and curated by Hyunjin Kim, KADIST's former Lead Regional Curator for Asia (2017-2020).

Comprising seminars, commissions of new works, and exhibitions across Asia, Frequencies of Tradition is a three-year series as part of KADIST's international programs devoted to drawing connections between different localities by addressing shared issues, often of global relevance, in close collaboration with partner institutions, researchers, and artists in the region.

Public Programs

Talk by curator Hyunjin Kim
Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2022, 7.30 pm
Location: California College of the Arts, 195 De Haro St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Co-hosted by KADIST San Francisco and the Graduate Curatorial Practice Program at California College of the Arts

Frequencies of Tradition monthly film screenings at The Roxie
Dates: Wednesdays, April 20, May 18, June 15, July 13, 2022
Location: Little Roxie Theatre, 3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Fiona Tan, Ascent (2016), 80:00 mins
Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 6.45 pm

Jane Jin Kaisen, Community of Parting (2019), 72:22 mins
Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 6.45 pm

Wang Tuo, Tungus (2021), 66:00 mins
siren eun young jung, Deferral Theater (2018), 35:00 mins
Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 6.45 pm

Ko Sakai & Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Storyteller (2013), 120 mins
Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 6.45pm

Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Ko Sakai's Storyteller (2013) is the third film of the Tohoku Trilogy, a series which came out of interviews with residents of the northern region of Tohoku, Japan, an area heavily affected by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Storyteller presents the rich folk tradition of storytelling by these inhabitants through victim dialogues and testimonies. Considering storytelling as an empowering process, the film documents and explores how the act of telling renders a past event into pluralities of present and future for the ravaged community. Folk storytellers Ito Masako, Sasaki Ken, and Sato Reiko gather at Kurikomayama in Miyagi Prefecture, and folklore scholar Ono Kazuko, the founder of Miyagi Minwa no Kai, plays the role of interviewer as they share a series of fantastic and outlandish tales with the community, including a story of a girl who marries a monkey.

Come early! Screening is preceded by original music and a sound mix curated by Topazu (Infinite Beat - San Francisco), with Annie Chen (Teaphile, Zhuang B - Oakland), Nihar (Left Hand Path, TVOD - San Francisco), and Aaron J (Sure Thing - Boston).


Image Credit: Lieko Shiga, Large Heart, No. 49 (Rasen Kaigan series) (2009), KADIST Collection.
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Gallery, Art

Date/Times:
  • Thu Jun 30 at KADIST (12noon - 5pm)
  • Fri Jul 1 at KADIST (12noon - 5pm)
  • Sat Jul 2 at KADIST (12noon - 5pm)
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