subtitle: Instructions for Anxious Hands

+ Semi-bleached memo pad of 400 pages, ongoing instructions handwritten, 3.93”X3.93”, 2020-2022.

+ evolved into installation version & performance videos 

+ Purchase note: one instruction for a three-minute-video of your own hands. Email me for inquiries.

+ Funded by the Korean Art Council & GyeongGi Cultural Foundation & the Canada Coucil for the Arts

      Since the global pandemic has given us too much time to stay inside, isolated from the outside world all of a sudden, it has become a common struggle that people find difficult to process what it all means to have so much time alone. Time had always been there, but the global change was too imminent and extreme that people even delude as if additional ranges of time were added on our ordinary 24 hours a day. It has felt as if time has stretched, extending its scope beyond the normal amount of time. Time suddenly flies slower than ever, and during the unwelcomed yet anyhow given isolation times, the idea of the existence of body has also changed alongside. We all are born with bodies, but maybe people tend to forget the very fact that we have bodies. Particularly, hands, which are the body part that people genuinely use every single second, must be the invariable part whose physical existence people easily forget. COVID-19 has enabled us to re-approach every segment of interactions carried with bodies of crowds, bodies of other friends and acquaintances, and the bodily burden entailed from the idea that a person puts their bodies in public. Like time, body has been re-considered with different notions and measurements once it has become the fatal agency that most likely transmits this novel virus.

Similar to what Instruction #9, “To realize your unrealized hands,” visualizes in this stream of thoughts, Tenderhands is full of poetic instructions that question and counter-question the readers and their own bodies in search of rebonding between a body and a mind of one person. This personal, private reattachment has taken place in the most domestic places-home-, either alone or with the most intimate groups of people during the past lockdowns. Nevertheless, the revealed intimacy has spoken to us that we have precarious bodies; our bodies can be infectious to others and vice versa; physical isolation reciprocates with mental and emotional isolation and vice versa; that body and mind cannot be separated from one another.

Within Tenderhands, the artist observes social and societal changes that have responded differently at each COVID wave biopolitical inquiries. Not only in/decreasing anxiety lurking in the idea of publicity, but also ever-lastingly changing COVID measurements (re)channel various perspectives about hands, bodies and bodily interactions. Likewise, Instructions of Tenderhands have evolved on their own as fluidly as national and local responses to the virus and the public sentiment have changed. Kang attempts to confront those questions regarding the re-realization of one’s body and the delicate, precarious act of channelling between private body and public body with this ongoing writing practice of Tenderhands.

Instruction #1-16

Instruction #100-116

Instruction 121 - 137

Tenderhands has evolved on its own through the strange times of COVID-19
as different, various presentation formats such as an installation version, Instagram live version, in-video performance version,
and a persistent project that is an email subscription-based.

Tenderhands performance video #1 : HD, 39m 03s, 1080*720. Presented as part of By Proxy (group exhibition) on the Arlington Arts Center’s Instagram account:

Tenderhands Performance Video is a video documentation of 15 instructions that the artist live-streaming performed on the Arlington Arts Centers' Instagram account from 13th - 31st July 2020.

• Tenderhands Instruction #4, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 21, 25, 28, 30, 31, 33. 


Tenderhands performance video #2:
HD, 42m 11s, 1920*1080. Edited by Juni Kim and sound-mixed by ijo. Supported by Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation.

Tenderhands Performance Video Series 2 is a video documentation of 17 instructions that the artist performed herself at her house in Toronto, Canada in December 2020 - January 2021.

• Tenderhands Instruction #32, 37, 38, 39, 43, 48, 49, 52, 53, 57, 60. 62, 65, 69, 73, 74, 77.


• Concept, written, shot and performed by Ivetta Sunyoung Kang
• Edited by Juni Kim
• Sound mixed by ijo

Financially supported by the SoSoHan Digital Art Award by Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation

+ Installation shot at From Body to Body to Bodies (group exhibition)

+ Installation version includes: Tenderhands Instructions #1-50 (3.93” X 3.93”), semi-bleached memo pads, a green netting (6.6ft), fifty instructions, staple, three photographs (13” X 10”), a chair, a table, a pen, a glass jar, blank memo pads (3.93” X 3.93”), a video installation (single, colour, English subtitles, sound, 41m), 2020-current.