Illusive Waves: Breathing Underwater (2019)
In collaboration with Mitsu Salmon
Installation and Performance at Incheon Art Platform (Incheon, South Korea)
Illusive Waves: Breathing Underwater is an exhibition and performance at Incheon Art Platfrom (March- May 2019). Speculating on Incheon’s history as a place of transit from its various ports, the installation depicts an illusive underwater trading network. In the 1800s before Jemulpo port was built, Korea was closed off to international trade. But below the ocean’s surface, a matriarchy of merchants worked trading underwater. Their stories are presented through speculative archives that speak to the past’s developments as related to contemporary inquiries. For example, the trade will exist not above water in boats but below in the water. What are the devices which allow people to breathe underwater? How is breathing while submerged a metaphor for the 19th-century industrialization and its environmental impact? How does a group of women merchants become a powerful force during this time?
The exhibition displays constructed artifacts, drawings and a multi-media installation from this imagined underwater workforce next to the Jemulpo Port. The piece interweaves the real with the imagined, as a way to both challenges how history is seen as objective as well as to expand upon the fantastical possibilities of this past.