Seoul Panorama Wall paper - Kwanhoon Gallery ///2005
In 2002, I had spent over eight months in a large Asian capital, thrust into a sprawling city of 10 million inhabitants. As the alphabet and the language were totally alien to me, I came to understand the city by way of the visual universe. In order to remedy this incomprehension and anguish of the unknown, I created my own points of reference by drawing my surroundings. Upon returning to France, I felt the need to bring together all these ‘visual post-its’ that had filled my mind. I created a panorama of narrative drawings in storyboard form, like unwinding interlinked images. I wanted to put my work and my experience face-to-face with the people of Seoul, and it was at the Kwanhoon Gallery in Seoul that I unfurled my 25m of screen-printed storyboards. I then continued the expansion of this project in a Parisian gallery (Galerie Gauche-Paris-Dec. ‘03) by appropriating the space just as I had, in my fashion, appropriated the city in its entirety. The monumental scale I have given this project is intended to recreate the confusion I felt at the beginning of my stay: semiotics, the atmosphere, the way of life with its fusion of the universe of mangas and ancestral traditions.
This ‘frieze’ is a swarming of drawings interlinked with the architecture of the city, where two worlds collide: the static world (urban architecture) and the living, bustling world (the inhabitants).
My work centers on the desire to redefine one’s place in the world in order to better live in it. As my reasoning was not to disrupt our daily lives nor completely transform our world view, I propose to change the way we look at the world. Seoul Panorama is based on visual recollections, association of ideas, a network of texts, of redrawn forms, where the ‘handmade’ aspect is voluntarily played up. I don’t choose images, but keep them in mind unconsciously.
These are images gleaned from daily life: advertisements, portraits of friends, scenes from daily life...
The act of collecting, taking inventory of and classifying disparate elements forms the initial phase of a process of fragmentation of a world perceived as flexible. The act of drawing is the manifestation of this pursuit, and I use it compulsively, manually redrawing all these machine-made images and iconographs.
This visual journey is evidence of another way of looking at the world, proposing ‘life possibilities’ through exploration (here in this Asian megalopolis), enriching it, making it not extraordinary but different, less ordinary. This intrusion into this society is slight, ephemeral, yet I would like to think it pertinent, for one can always learn and take from another culture.”