Jae Young Park’s work raises fundamental questions regarding the paradigm and system of our contemporary society and people, who willingly accept and interact with existing and prevalent data, information, and knowledge in our culture.
The subtitle of this exhibition is Bokaisen New York Episode, as the works were exhibited in South Korea in 2008 and Iran in 2011, but adapted to fit the context and situation in New York.
Bokaisen is more commonly known as an imagined creature from Japanese fables. But Park’s version of Bokaisen was created while he thought about the anecdote of Japanese invaders in Korea during the 16th century, who described Admiral Yi Sun-sin’s victorious Turtle Ship as resembling a Bokaisen.
The artist takes his fictional creature and made a scenario and storyline involving it, as if it were actually discovered. He created and staged pseudo-scientific research results, background information, and laboratory equipment, and afterwards used a variety of media to tell the story of this supposed discovery. In this way, Park is able to reveal the ways in which truths become intermingled with unrelated facts and come to be widely embraced and distributed.
Therefore, it is through this exhibition that the artist addresses the issue of the possibility for error and inaccuracy within knowledge and information, revealing human tendency for fiction and fabrication. Park is attempting to show what kinds of paradigms and forms of awareness still prevail, despite our current data and information driven society.