Rite of Trans-Mortality

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Young Joon Kwak's project was funded on June 29, 2012
    • 3Arts matched
    • 115% contributed

In a Nutshell

An ambitious multimedia installation, "Rite of Trans-Mortality" explores themes of life/death cycles and will be part of two new exhibition opportunities. 


The Full Story...

I recently received two offers to exhibit an ambitious multi-media installation project titled “Rite of Trans-Mortality,” which comprises video, ceramics, photos, drawings, and a book.  The first exhibition opens July 13th at Happy Dog Gallery in Chicago, the second in September at the HF Johnson Galleries of Art at Carthage College (WI).  These opportunities came sooner than expected and I need your help to cover the cost of materials, production, and promotion to complete this project in time for its public debut.

My hope with the Rite of Trans-Mortality project is to invoke in audience members a sense of agency and anticipation for transforming oneself, and a meditation on themes of life/death cycles.  This project started at Ox-Bow Residency in the fall of 2011, with the creation of a large sculpture for a performance video that I shot in the forest.  The video shows the process of my drag persona Lil Elote building, then trapping herself in a mysterious vessel in a clearing in the woods, in order to undergo an unknown bodily transformation.  The video then continues to document this process of transformation, through which her body eventually decomposes into raw clay.  The final installation includes this video, photos of her body in the vessel and the surrounding environment, drawings that document the transformation process that reference scientific, astrological, and mystical notations, and a sculptural assemblage that represents the decomposed remnants of her body.  This sculpture piece comprises dozens of ceramic pieces that are pieced together in the shape of her body, and displayed atop a large light table/pedestal with a frosted glass surface on top, so that the piece is under-lit.  I will also produce a physical book that contains drawings and writings for this project to accompany the exhibition.

I actually only need to raise 2/3 of my funding goal from your tax-deductible donations, because 3Arts will cover the rest!  With your donations and 3Arts generous pledge, I will be able to print the remaining photos and purchase materials to finish the other pieces for this installation.  Your support will also allow me to print postcards and posters to promote the exhibition at Happy Dog Gallery, which is a non-commercial artist-run space in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood that relies on the continuing support of the community that it serves.  I am grateful for donations of any amount, and I have limited-edition prints, books, posters, albums and other prizes offered as thanks for all levels of support.  For more information on the Rite of Trans-Mortality project and images of past work, please visit my website: youngjoon.com

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $10 - Editioned CD release of Xina Xurner’s album “DIE,” screen-printed sticker, offset poster, and digital copy of the “Rite of Trans-Mortality” book.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $25 - All of the above, physical editioned "Rite of Trans-Mortality" book, offset exhibition poster.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50 - All of the above, and editioned 8 x 11” archival pigment print.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100 - 15 x 20” editioned archival pigment print, and book from the exhibition.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250 - 30 x 40” editioned archival pigment print, and book from the exhibition.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500 - Original ceramic piece, 30 x 40” editioned archival pigment print, and book from the exhibition.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1000 - Original ceramic piece, framed original 30 x 40” mixed-media drawing from the exhibition, book from the exhibition, and a performance at a private event.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
Young Joon Kwak image
Young Joon Kwak (b. 1984 in Queens, NY) is a multi-disciplinary artist working primarily through sculpture, performance, video, and collaboration. Kwak's work aims to transform our perception of marginalized ...
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