Tenderhands

Exhibition

19-20 April 2023. Do You Have a Minute?,  Le Vivier, Chapelle Scènes contemporaines, Montreal, Canada
12 Feb-7 Aug 2022. Hope from Chaos, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.


Visit project website

2020-2022. Semi-bleached memo pad of 400 pages, ongoing instructions handwritten, 3.93”X3.93”, video performances (variable duration and installation iterations). 


Partially 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.