There has been a recent surge of global interest in Korean arts and popular culture, as evidenced by neologisms such as K-pop, K-drama and K-classic. Korean contemporary art has also captured the attention of a growing number of international biennales, exhibitions and fairs, attracting an international audience to Korea’s local artists and the scene they comprise. This is where our questions begin: despite a growing sense of nationalism in the global political stage, through a post-postmodernist lens, national categorization appears anachronistic. Is the prefix ‘K’ then a mere political ploy and capitalist commodity? If ‘K’ were to be removed, on the other hand, how else might we attempt at providing a portrait of the changing currents in Korea’s art scene? Is collective categorization or generalization ever worthwhile, and if so, to what extent can it be done without reducing or marginalizing individuals?
Community of Parting is an extension and continuation of Jane Jin Kaisen’s artistic practice. Kaisen brings past and present, the eternal and the temporal into play through layered, performative and multi-voiced, feminist works that explore topics such as memory, war, migration, and borders in a field where individual experiences and collective stories intersect. Her works negotiate and mediate the means of representation, resistance and reconciliation, thus forming alternative genealogies and sites of collective emergence.