The best or nothing _2012_trophy figures, wood_40x40x180cm
*I have developed this work into 'World Best' series (2015~2016).>>
Korean people are conditioned to grade everything. The base of a competitive society is a culture of grading everything.
Though Korean people are educated to be the best in the world”, take “the first place” or stand at “the top”, only a few people can attain success. The majority of people grow up, credited as losers at an early age. They cannot live their lives as losers so they wish to achieve a medium status in society. Thus, all people dream of being included in the middle class. Parents now express their hope that their children grow into ordinary citizens.
The “ordinary” they seek is to be average in the class they belong to.
"I want to get first place. I’d like to be a daughter my parents can be proud of and someone to be reckoned with. But my school grades went down. I gave up on my dream to be the best. Now, I just tried to catch up with the students ahead. It felt so lonely to fall behind and be forgotten."
-Written by anonymous audience in the exhibition 'Project Dialogue-archive' (2009)
"Several winners have no glory."
the lost desire like a ' I'd better to give up If I can't win the 1st place.' reminds me of the Jenga which children play with
'1등이 되지 못할바엔 포기하겠다'는 버려진 꿈을 보면서 아이들이 갖고 노는 젠가가 생각났다.
아래의 블럭을 빼내어 누가 높이 쌓는 놀이 말이다.
in gallery (Platoon's show case, Seoul 2012)
"전 1등이 되고 싶었어요. 부모님께 자랑스러운 딸이자 남들이 저를 무시할 수 없는 존재가 되고 싶었죠.
하지만 자꾸만 뒤처지면서 저는 더 이상 부모님께서 자랑하실 만한 엄친 딸이 아니었죠.
이젠 누구를 앞서고 싶은 생각도 없고 그저 앞서 가는 사람을 잃어버리지 말고 따라갈 수만 있으면 좋겠어요.
혼자 동떨어져 잊혀지는 것은 너무 외롭더군요.”
-Project 대화-Archive(2009) 전시장에 남긴 어느 관객의 글