Jae Eun Choi: The Oldest Story of Today …

Jae Eun Choi Messenger, 2022, Steel Gold Foil / Readymade remake, 280 x 300 x 50 mm

崔在銀 Jae Eun Choi
The Oldest Story of Today …

Friday, April 8 – Saturday, May 28, 2022
Tuesday-Saturday 12:00-19:00 (Closed on Mon, Sun, Public holidays)


Photo: Keizo Kioku

Press Release

Download Press release (English)
Download Press release (日本語)

The Oldest Story of Today can be considered a condensation of Jae Eun Choi’s world view. We live in a time of disaster and wars, and have to ask what we can call our time, other than ‘today.’ Today is simply what we have been given, but at the same time it will keep coming around, for ever. It is vivid like salt, and, like wind-scattered ashes, it leaves nothing behind. Such a ‘today’ is probably engraved in everyone’s memory.

—Jinsang Yoo

Choi’s practice has long addressed questions of the life-cycle and time. Her new installation consists of salt, ash, a deer, photographic works of the sky playing above them, and the sound of small drops of water falling. Its lyric composition quietly brings to mind the infinitely revolving story of time and life, a story continuing since time immemorial.

Salt piled up in a small heap on the floor is covered in parts by ash, and there is a sculpture of a deer with a gold colored leg. Salt is essential for human life, and in ancient civilizations it was sometimes traded for its weight in gold. Over history there have been disputes over the right to produce salt, and salt taxes have even triggered wars and revolutions. The history of salt is the history of humankind. In Japan, salt has a place in religious rituals, with piles of salt used to bring good luck, and salt used for purification. In contrast, the ash strewn over the salt recalls lost memories of great numbers of sacrifices, destroyed by fire and, unable to return to their original form, no longer retained. The deer appears in myths around the world, and Japan is no exception, with the deer depicted as a sacred presence or a spiritual medium. In Greek mythology, there is the story of Actaeon, transformed into a deer as punishment for peeping at an uncloaked divine. The deer’s leg is dyed gold, symbolizing the secrets of nature and of the world that were made manifest through the original-sin-like glance for which the Actaeon was sacrificed, punished for seeing something that should not be seen.

In April 2011, Choi conducted a project that involved taking a photograph of the sky once a minute for a full day—twenty-four hours—from an olive grove at the edge of the sea in Puglia, Italy. Called the Puglia Sky Project, it resulted in a series of 1,440 shots. Choi’s installation incorporates eighteen shots from that project, showing the sky changing minute by minute during a nine-minute period at dusk, and a nine-minute period at dawn. Puglia is a region bordered by sea to both east and west, with a long history of being home to many different peoples and being controlled by many different rulers. Choi’s series of photographs taken in a village in this Italian region brings into contrast between the unchanging cycle of the universe and the different time in which we live below the skies.

Her installation provides its own unique language to depict sharing and the time cycles of living things that live for minuscule periods of time. Experiencing it triggers thoughts about things such as the path walked by humankind, and the state of current society and the world.

This is Jae Eun Choi’s first solo exhibition at MISA SHIN GALLERY since 2017.

Jae Eun Choi
In 1976, she moved to Japan where she studied the Sogetsu style of ikebana. She worked as an assistant to Hiroshi Teshigahara, the third generation master of the Sogetsu school on numerous installations and the film “Rikyu”. From the 1980s onward, she has been producing artwork around the themes of life cycles and time. In 1986, she presented an installation “Earth” at “Heaven” designed by Isamu Noguchi, Sogetsu Plaza Garden, Tokyo. In 1993, Expo’93 (Taejon, Korea) she designed the Recycle Art Pavilion which was the Korean government pavillion. In the same year, she presented a tea house “Une Surrender Lune” at Grand Tea Ceremony in Paris, UNESCO, together with Tadao Ando, Charlotte Perriand, Ettore Sottsass and others. In 1996-2000, she designed stupa for Grand Master Sengcheol in Haeinsa Temple, Korea. In 2000, she directed a documentary film “On The Way”. She has participated in a number of international art exhibitions such as the 1991 São Paolo Biennal, the 46th Venice Biennale in 1995 where she represented Japan, and the 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture. Solo exhibitions include Lucy and Her Time at the Samsung Gallery (Seoul, 2007), Forests of Aśoka at the Hara Museum (Tokyo, 2010) The house that continuously circulates at the National Gallery (Prague, 2014) , and The Nature Rules: Dreaming of Erth Project at Hara Museum (Tokyo, 2019). Ongoing projects are “World Underground Project” in which paper is buried within the earth for a period of time started in 1986, and working on a plan to restore destroyed forests as an extension of the “Dreaming Earth Project” in the Demilitarized Sone (DMZ) on the Korean Peninsula which launched in 2014.



「The Oldest Story of Todayは崔在銀の世界観を圧縮したものと言える。 災難と戦争の時間を生きているわたしたちの今日を、今日以外に何と呼ぶのだろうか?今日はただ私たちに与えられているものであり、それと同時に永遠に到来するものでもある。それは塩のように生々しく、吹き散らされる灰のように何も残さない。この『今日』は皆の記憶の中に刻まれるだろう。」





崔は2011年4月にイタリアプーリア州にある、海辺のオリーブ園で1日24時間、1分に1カットずつ、計1440カットの空の写真を撮影するPuglia Sky Projectを行いました。本インスタレーションではそのプロジェクトから、日没と夜明けにそれぞれ9分間に渡り刻々と変化していく空を撮影した計18枚の写真が並びます。東西を海で囲まれ、多くの民族や権力者から支配されてきた長い歴史を持つプーリア州の村において撮影された一連の写真は、宇宙の変わらぬサイクルとその下で異なる時を生きる我々の時間が対比されるのです。


崔在銀 Jae Eun Choi
草月流終了後、三代目家元、勅使河原宏のアシスタントとして数々のインスタレーションや、映画「利休」の制作に携わり、80年代から生命や時間をテーマに作品を発表している。1986年に草月プラザ イサムノグチ彫刻ガーデン「天国」の空間において、土のインスタレーション「Earth」を発表。1993年 大田国際博覧会 Expo’93(韓国、テジョン)において政府パビリオンRecycle Art Pavilionをデザイン。同年、ユネスコパリ本部ピアッツァ広場で行われたパリ大茶会で 安藤忠雄、シャルロット・ペリアン、エットーレ・ソットサスらとお茶室「Une surrender lune (もう一つの月)」を発表する。1996年-2000年、ソンチョル僧侶(Grand Master Seongcheol)の舎利塔をデザイン(韓国、海印寺)。2000年 ドキュメンタリー映画「On The Way」を制作。91年サンパウロ・ビエンナーレ、95年には日本代表の1人として第46回ヴェネチア ビエンナーレに参加、2016年に第15回ヴェネチア建築ビエンナーレに出品するなど国際展への参加多数。主な個展として、「ルーシーと彼女の時間」サムソンロダンギャラリー(ソウル 2007年)、「アショカの森」原美術館(東京 2010年)、プラハ国立ギャラリー(2014年)、「The Nature Rules 自然国家:Dreaming of Earth Project」(原美術館、東京、2019)など。進行中のプロジェクトには1986年に開始し、世界7カ国に和紙を埋めたのち時を経て掘り起こす、時間を表すプロジェクト「World Underground Project」の他、2014年に立ち上げた韓国のDMZ(Demilitarized Zone:非武装地帯)での「Dreaming of Earth Project(夢の庭園)」の延長線で、破壊された森を復元させる計画に取り組んでいる。

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Jae Eun Choi
Puglia Sky Project 2011
The Cyclical Night
A set of 18 inkjet prints
426 x 286 mm
Edition 4
Jae Eun Choi
Steel, Gold Foil / Readymade remake
280 x 300 x 50 mm
Sold as a set with installation
Jae Eun Choi
Disappearing souls...
Salt, ash, debris and sound
5000 x 3000 x 450 mm