Through the keywords of Ghosts, Spies, and Grandmothers this exhibition will retrospect on modern Asia.

SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2014

Ghosts, Spies, and Grandmothers

2 September–23 November  2014

Artistic Director: Park Chan-kyong


The word ghost is invoked to call upon those silenced spirits whose presence has been erased by dominant historical narratives in order to carefully listen to their sorrow.

Spy is our keyword for alluding to the particularly serious experience of colonialism and the Cold War in Asia. The immense violence experienced together by East Asia and Southeastern Asia had resulted in war as well as extreme mutual social distrust and this situation is still greatly influential in this region.

Grandmother is the witness who had endured and lived the ‘Era of Ghosts and Spies.’ The recently resurged controversy among Asian countries concerning the issue of comfort women reminds us once again that women bear the brunt of the harms of colonialism and war.

Spies featuring in the movies look attractive, but “spies” in the news are terrifying. One should worship spirits in the ancestral ceremonies but stay far away from ghosts you encounter during the night. Grandmothers should be respected but in reality, they are expelled outside of the huge wave of praise for the young. You can notice all of them sometimes, but they are generally difficult to spot, or one does not wish to see them, or should not see them. We often comment that we get a glimpse of certain hope for change from the paradox of the rare ecosystem being preserved by the DMZ of the Korean peninsula. As such, Mediacity Seoul 2014 is the platform of collective intelligence which strives to cultivate new hope of the human community from the hints of spell, code, dialect used by ghosts, spies, and grandmothers.

Participating Artists: 


Bae Young-whan / Eric Baudelaire / CHE Onejoon / Choi Gene-uk / Choi Sunghun + Park Sunmin / Choi, Min Hwa / Sang-il Choi & Jiyeon Kim / CHUNG Seoyoung / Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani / Nilbar Güreş / Ho Sin Tung / Haejun JO & KyeongSoo LEE / Jesse Jones / Joo Jae-Hwan / siren eun young jung / Mikhail Karikis / Kim Soo-nam / Kim In-whoe / Dinh Q. Lê / Jawshing Arthur Liou / Joanna Lombard / Basim Magdy / Pilar Mata Dupont / Min Joung-Ki / Naito Masatoshi / Jakrawal NILTHAMRONG / The Propeller Group / Rho Jae Oon / Lina Selander / Sean Snyder / SU Yu-Hsien / Tamura Yuichiro / Truong Cong Tung / Otty Widasari / Haegue Yang / YAO Jui-chung / Yoneda Tomoko / YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES / Mahardika Yudha / Zero Dimension (Kato Yoshihiro)


Yosep Anggi Noen / Jean-Claude Bonnardot / Byun Young-joo / Hye Jeong Cho / DOCLAB / Edwin / Ho Tzu Nyen / James T. Hong / Hyung-sook Hong / Hwang Sun Sook / Im Kwon-taek / Haejun JO & You Hee / Ing K / Kim Ki-young / Sangdon Kim / Sook Hyun Kim / Kim Dong-ryeong & Park Gyeong-tae / Lee Jang-ho / Lee Doo-yong / Lee Kang-cheon / Lee Won-se / Wonwoo Lee / Raya Martin / Natacha Nisic / OK. Video & ruangrupa / Joshua Oppenheimer / The Otolith Group / Rithy PANH / Park Bae-il / Shin Sang-ok / Kidlat Tahimik / Tamura Yuichiro & Krissakorn Thinthupthai / Pimpaka Towira / Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL & Christelle LHEUREUX / Yu Hyun-mok

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