Project Dukhoo at Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA)
Kijong Zin, Match the Hatch (detail), 2017. Installation, photography, objects, dimensions variable.
© SeMA, Buk-Seoul Museum of Art
Project Dukhoo: Finding Flow
April 11-July 9, 2017
SeMA, Buk-Seoul Museum of Art
Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) is pleased to present Project Dukhoo: Finding Flow from April 11 to July 9, 2017, at Buk-Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea.
Dukhoo* is a term that was once used to deride “a reclusive fanatic,” but now it has become part of our cultural code, implying a positive recognition given to “an expert without a degree” or “a guru.” While it originates from the term otaku, a symbol of Japanese subculture, dukhoo today can be understood more broadly as a person who accomplishes a professional level of knowledge and expertise by willingly investing time and effort in his/her area of interest. Recognition of their passion and expertise is becoming more widespread in our society. The landscape of the dukhoo activities is also changing. Diversified channels of media production and distribution are allowing more people to express their individuality, while sharing common interests and exchanging information with others. Project Dukhoo: Finding Flow observes the dispositions, gestures, and behaviors of dukhoo that are uniquely acquired in the process of “finding flow,” the act of immersing in one’s passion. By highlighting their significance in the context of changing social perceptions, the exhibition examines the contemporary sociocultural phenomenon represented by the term, dukhoo.
The 11 artists participating in this group exhibition present a diverse spectrum of works across genre and medium that delve into the cultural phenomenon of dukhoo. Some explore the boundaries between everyday life and art by engaging in hobbies that reveal their artistic attitudes, or by collecting objects that closely reflect their creative inspiration and the trends of pop culture. Others experiment with creating new context by appropriating the languages or production methods specific to their areas of interest such as anime films. Some artists probe the systems of production and consumption or the stereotypes reflected in dukhoo, and how these factors affect the dynamics of cultural trends. There are also works that invite the viewers to experience the “essence of dukhoo,” thereby challenging the preconceptions that disregard the act of “finding flow” as meaningless.
What the dukhoo phenomenon indicates to our culture today is the values underlying the act of “finding flow”―understanding one’s inner needs and dedicating oneself to achieve it. In a society with an increasing emphasis on diversity and professionalism, such commitment to oneself may inspire more proactive attitudes toward life. By exploring the phenomenon of dukhoo, the exhibition hopes to shed light on one of the most significant subcultures of our time and share the experience of “finding flow” with the viewers.
*Dukhoo is a shortened form of odukhoo, a term adopted by Korean internet users to pronounce the Japanese word otaku, meaning “a person with obsessive interests.”