The Care of the Self

Artist: Taeyoon Choi
Venue: Factory2, Seoul
Exhibition Title: The Care of the Self: Journals and Letters
Date: June 4 – June 28, 2020

Press Release
Introduction by Adina Glickstein

Curated by Saerom Suh
Exhibition design by Green Kim
Photos by Jongchul Lee (sonongji)

The Care of the Self : Journals and Letters will feature original works on paper by Taeyoon Choi. The works address the concepts of identity, environment, learning and education, technology and progress under the themes of ‘THE SELF’, ‘CARE’, ‘COMPUTATION’, ‘HABITAT’, ‘UNLEARNING’. The journals and the letters addressed to his family, friends, and collaborators, oftentimes combining intimate messages with public statements that explore the underlying question: “can we think of doing self-care that’s not selfish- care? can we care for ourselves in order to care for the world around us?” The works presented in this exhibition are made in New York, Hong Kong and various other places the artist traveled between 2019 and 2020. They explore the sense of self in response to a rapidly changing world — for example, political agency and social movement in response to the Hong Kong Protests, racism against Asians in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, and unpacks the concepts of ableism, disability justice, and body neutrality. 

1st-floor gallery

1. 500 x 650 cm

In Search of Magnanimity, 2020
Looking into your heart, 2020
Hong Kong is the future of all cities, 2019
Unlearning Whiteness in Academia, 2020

2. 465 x 615 cm

Gender Queer, 2020
Body neutrality, 2020
Democracy, 2019
Long distance Lovers, 2019
Valentine’s Day Gift to Yourself, 2020
Intellectual Kinship, 2020

3. 360 x 460 cm

Coexistence, 2020
Invention, not Innovation, 2015
Not drinking, 2020
Oddkins, 2020
Walking away, 2017

4. 300 x 150 cm

If on winter’s night a traveler, 2020

5. 150 x 150 cm

Square clocks, 2020
Postcapitalism, 2020
Getting to know someone slowly, 2020
If we look for what we lack, 2019

4. 305 x 457

Radical Restructuring of our habitat, 2020
Mushroom Farm, 2020
Blue night, 2020
Distributed Web of Care, 2020
Whiz, 2020
Uncomputable, 2020

2nd floor – Annex Project

Otto Von Bismark, 465 x 615, 2020
Reconnect with your habit. habitat. critters. 465 x 615, 2020
Garden in your heart, 2020
Read Non-Western, 2020
Entropy, 2020
Hug me, 2020
Love your queer self, 2020
May I smell thee?, 2020

‘The Care of the Self: Journals and Letters’ at Factory2 in Seoul is an exhibition of my works on paper and online workshop series. The exhibition is curated by Saerom Suh who worked with me on Uncertainty School at the SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2016. Since then, Saerom and I continued to work on art and care work for a diverse audience including disabled artists. During the social distancing due to the COVID-19, I activated Factory2 space as a residency for a month prior to the opening of the exhibition. The exhibition presents about 100 works on paper and site-specific installation. The exhibition is designed by Green Kim, a co-director of Factory2. Select works are translated from English to Korean by Achim Koh and a guidebook is designed by Yeo Hyejin.

My notes and drawings are framed with a gradient background. I draw formal inspirations from my friends including Na Kim, Press Press Baltimore, as well as Walid Raad, whose work I admire. In my text, I refer to the writings of Catherine Malabou, Astra Taylor, Donna Haraway, while also advocating to Read Women, Non-Western, LGBTQ first. While I don’t provide a reading list, I map out intellectual kinship I wish to explore, critical theorists who advocate for racial justice, disability rights, and environmental care. Small paintings from the Distributed Web of Care series are installed as visual anchors for a mural on the first-floor wall. The paintings combine the works on paper with my technology, performative and time-based practice. The second floor of Factory2, Annex Project holds works on paper on wooden stretcher bars. The posters are made specifically for Factory2 and CASCO Art Institute Working Towards a Commons. A few sets of Screen Printed items by SAA(Screen Art Agency) are available for purchase on site.  

The program consists of five public events, accessible via online streaming platforms due to COVID-19. The underlying themes of the programs intersect on the sense of the self, body neutrality, disability rights and accessibility of art exhibitions, and critical perspectives on technology. The exhibition and program is an extension of “Your friend: Collaboration and Correspondences” at the Factory2(which used to be Gallery Factory) in 2015. I intend to self-publish the previous exhibition in a book format with Kyunghee Lee. Perhaps it will take another few years to wrap up the current exhibition into documentation, or perhaps it will take less time now with a sense of urgency and clarity.  [2020/6/12: Taeyoon Choi]

For inquiries, contact

Venue: factory2
Screen printing: SAA
Seoul assistants: Juyoung Min, Bokyung Kim
New York Assistants: Adina Glickstein, Jet Harper, Christopher Willauer, Shira Feldman, Emily Miller, Livia Huang
Support: CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile), Hong Kong, Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons, Utrecht, Pioneer Works, New York, Recess, New York, Visual Arts, Arts Council Korea (ARKO) 한국문화예술위원회시각예술창작산실
Furniture: Small Studio Semi 소목장세미
Curator: Saerom Suh
Coordinator: Green Kim
Assistant coordinator: Dadeum Geum
Translation: Achim Koh, Jaeyong Park(Seoul Reading Room)
Design: Mingyu Shin
Guidebook: Yeo Hyejin

Special thanks to Bora Hong, Factory Collective, Na Kim, Eunjin Wang, Steve Choi, Joonyeon Park, Binna Choi, my family and friends in New York, Seoul and everywhere else 🙂