For her solo exhibition at Palais de Tokyo, Hayoun Kwon is presenting an original work using virtual reality, so as to offer an individual and immersive experience.
This adventure invites us to enter the heart of a story, which Daniel, a now retired drawing teacher, told the artist concerning a brief but striking encounter which occurred in Paris, in 1967. When an asset manager asked him to draw up a plan of a 15th-century building in the heart of Paris, he went into the flat of an enthusiastic collector of birds, nicknamed “l’Oiseleuse” or “The Bird Lady”. Her home was an exotic enchantment of birds either flying around freely or in refined cages. The more Daniel explored it, the less he felt that he was in Paris.
Between memories, fantasies and reported speech, both the narrator and 3D animation lead us little by little towards an imaginary, unreal, even impossible world. The visitors’ movements allow them to progress in the story. They discover the world of The Bird Lady, through what Hayoun Kwon projects from the memory Daniel confided her with, several years ago.
Hayoun Kwon’s work is based on seeing narrative as a construction of individual and collective memory, through a staging of stories which she has been told, and situations she has experienced or imagined. By exploring possibilities provided by new technologies, so as to play on the confusion between actual memories and dreamed-of actions, between faithful testimonies and fantastical interpretations, she examines what is transmitted, and what leaves a trace or else fades into oblivion. Several of Hayoun Kwon’s pieces are linked to geopolitical questions of borders and territoriality.
For example, the projects Model Village (2014) or 489 Years (2015), which she conceived as allusions to the no man’s land that separates the two Koreas, and Lack of Evidence (2011), a short film presenting the tale of a young asylum seeker from Nigeria confronted with the French administration.
Born in 1981 in Seoul, Hayoun Kwon lives between France and South Korea. Her work was projected during the “Cinéma du Réel” Festival at the Centre Pompidou (Paris) in 2014, and “Doc Fortnight” at MoMA (New York) in February 2017. Winner of the Prix Découverte des Amis du Palais de Tokyo in 2015, Hayoun Kwon has also been awarded the first Prize of the 62nd International Short Film Festival (Oberhausen, Germany, 2016), the Arte Creative Newcomer Award during the European Media Art Festival (Osnabrück, Germany, 2014) and the Prix Jeune Création in 2012. After graduating from Le Fresnoy in 2011, she is now represented by the Galerie Sator, Paris.