Down the Drain
Down the Drain was created for the international exhibition Always on My Mind: home |hom| at The Museum of Art (MoA), Seoul National University and Gana Art Gallery, Seoul Square, co-directed by Laurens Tan. November 04 through December 12, 2011.
Always on My Mind was an Australia - Korea Art Project that celebrates 50 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and the Republic of Korea. The project investigates the multiple notions of home in the context of today's deterritorialization of culture and identity through the work of two groups of artists, each coming from the other side of the globe.
For this exhibition we were invited to re-question the familiar word 'home' = 'jib' + 'gohyang' (in Korean).
Artist Statement: Home conjures up images of safety and comfort. But what if home is no longer such a safe haven, inside or outside? This is the situation we face today. “Home” is awash with toxic chemicals from cleaning products to body care goods like soaps, shampoos, moisturisers, perfumes and nail varnish. Near your home your neighbours are probably renovating with toxic paints and glues poured into public drains. And down the road, factories are dumping their waste, down the drains and into the river systems. This is the scenario that we find ourselves in.
In this work we remix one of our favourite Korean movies, The Host, with our own video taken while walking around our neighbourhood in Melbourne, past our renovating neighbours to the factories along the Yarra River in Melbourne. The Host opens with an American scientist insisting that his Korean assistant dump toxic waste “down the drain” that empties into the Han River. Sometime later a strange and ferocious monster emerges from the river, running amok, eating people and taking the leftovers to its lair in the sewer system near the river. This remix brings together the two rivers, the Han and the Yarra.