In her first solo exhibition, Soohyun Choi addresses the performative role of language used within personal and broader relationships. Choi demonstrates how in both English and Korean culture, identities and personalities are constructed and controlled by language, particularly in respect to gender norms and white European hegemony.
I call you this you call me that places the failure of language to be inclusive within the context of Korean society, where people use a variety of honorific titles to refer to each other, depending on age, gender and social status.
Drawing upon media tropes used in K-Pop culture and the binary casting of heterosexual romance, Choi’s work investigates the social codes embedded in language and how it is used as a tool for love, manipulation, exclusion and belonging. She thus approaches issues of power and control, but also posits the question of whether the possibility exists for transcending language’s historical purpose and making room for new functions.
Words by Joan Lee