Posted September. 09, 2015 07:06,
Art works dont necessarily have to be beautiful. Marcel Duchamp released Fountain, a piece of porcelain urinal, and Damien Hirst exhibited a dead shark embalmed in formaldehyde. While their art works were provocative, they also broke the convention of art. Art works can also carry political meanings. Eugene Delacroixs Liberty Leading the People is a masterpiece that expresses the spirit of the French Revolution that expelled the king.
Art works deserve respect since they express artists unique mental world. However, Hong Sung-dams drawing of anti-U.S. activist Kim Ki-jong and U.S. Ambassador to Korea Mark Lippert doesnt deserve merit no matter what. It shows two men on each side of a table, one man pulling the tie of another man pointing a knife at him. It describes the incident where Kim attacked the U.S. ambassador with a knife, slashing his face, at a breakfast seminar in March. The work has neither metaphor nor is symbolic. On the table is a long, densely written text, which appears to be supporting Kims assault.
Hong is an activist artist previously created a stir with a picture satirizing President Park Geun-hye at the Gwangju Biennale last year. He came with Sewol-Owol, a drawing that describes President Park as red hen, the marionette of the late former President Park Chung-hee and former presidential secretary Kim Ki-choon. Despite disputes on the limits of parody of the head of state, exhibiting such work in a place operated with public money cant be defended as freedom of expression. Hongs latest work had been on display at the Artist Guild Art Fair hosted by Seoul Museum of Arts annex building in southern Seoul. Seoul Museum of Art is managed with publics tax payment and posting the work is another terrorist act disguised under the name of art.
People have been protesting to take down the picture. Seoul Museum of Art arts director Kim Hong-hee said that he had acknowledged the problem but the exhibition directors right to select artists had to be respected. It is a pity that the authority of exhibition director was respected at the expense of the publics right to obtain sound knowledge. The museum ultimately decided to take down the drawing, but Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon should still ask for responsibility of people in charge. Gwangju City Mayor Yoon Jang-hyun had banned exhibition of Sewol-Owol last year.