13th Gwangju Biennale — Minds Rising Spirits Tuning

Sign up for minds rising journal


MOON & JEON is an artist duo formed in 2009 by Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho that pursues fundamental lines of inquiry about power relations and the social function of art. Based in Seoul and Busan, the duo explores the diversification of art and its tributaries, which flow like those of a river in continuous motion. Harnessing multidimensional social relationships and conversing with global ecological and economic realities, MOON & JEON have worked with various advisors and collaborators from the fields of architecture, medical research, fashion, and urban planning on projects that engage with historical trauma, metabolic states of matter, and the transformative role of culture.

Often referencing science fiction in literature and cinema, these artists consider evolutions in the genre as allegories of the contemporary moment and accelerated visions of the approaching future. Their long-term project News from Nowhere (2012–ongoing) comprises films, installations, site-specific workshops, and lectures. The project takes its name from a novel by artist, designer, and socialist activist William Morris that denotes the structural inequalities he observed in society and calls for just cultural, environmental, and labor conditions. In turn, MOON & JEON envision a post-apocalyptic world in which human frailty and mutation are exposed through industrial capitalism.

At the Biennale Hall, The Molded Moon, Life Within a Vase (2016) operates at the threshold between lucid dreaming and the limits of human consciousness. The video reimagines Goethe’s Faust, casting the lead character on a quest of perfect knowledge as settlement for a pact with the Devil. Korean white porcelain moon jars are the primary motif, reflecting both their aesthetic imperfections and the continuous human pursuit of perfection.

Natasha Ginwala