Name Against the Same Sound investigates the geopolitical conditions of the English language through examining E.S.L (English as a Second Language) learning resources. Jesse Chun, a New York-based visual artist from Seoul, Hong Kong, New York, and Toronto, draws from a transcultural relationship to language to re-interpret English pedagogy through a multilingual, and non-linear perspective. Chun’s work explores the technological and ideological machinery underlying the process of cultural assimilation and translation, focusing on the hegemony of English and the subjectivization of non-native speakers in the process of learning the language.
Chun underlines the textuality of the exhibition by presenting a space to be read and decoded: appropriated pages from ESL workbooks, fragments of audio from YouTube tutorials, manipulated imagery from standardized tests, and abstracted graphemes are presented on various substrates and media. The installation consists of digital prints on paper and aluminum, sound, video, drawing, and text-based works. Mediated by the process of abstraction and the poetry of translation, Chun’s works consider conditions and aesthetics of readability.
Reflecting on our current climate of communication, the provocation consistent in Chun’s exhibition is a decentering of English as the world’s most dominant, “common” language: Could English ever become secondary? Could visual language come first? Could poetry, or 한글?
Jesse Chun (b.1984 Seoul, South Korea) is a conceptual artist whose multidisciplinary work investigates conditions of language generated by bureaucracy, migration, and systems of communication. She received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, and BFA from Parsons the New School for Design. Chun’s work has been exhibited and supported by the Bronx Museum of the Arts, ArtCenter/SouthFlorida, Triple Canopy, BRIC, the Brooklyn Bridge Park (solo public commission), Spencer Brownstone Gallery, and Fridman Gallery, among others. Select venues of artist talks and teaching include the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, the Museum of Modern Art, NADA, Parsons the New School for Design, School of Visual Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, and Hunter College. Chun’s work has been reviewed in Artforum, the Wall Street Journal, the Korea Times, Hyperallergic, Asia Literary Review, and Art21.
Howie Chen is a curator and co-director of Chen & Lampert, a creative consulting and artistic management firm based in New York City delivering targeted strategies and incisive solutions to every level of the art world paradigm. With over 35 combined years of in-depth art world experience, principal curators Howie Chen and Andrew Lampert provide comprehensive services and personalized solutions to artists, galleries, non-profits, institutions and collectors. Currently, Chen teaches at the New York University Steinhardt School and has been a lecturer at the Art, Culture and Technology program at MIT, Parsons School for Design, and Rhode Island School of Design.