Midway through 2014, Laura Carthew received an Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant which enabled her to undertake a mentorship in Japan and South Korea with established South Korean visual artist Yeondoo Jung. Best known for his large-scale staged photograph and film, Jung is internationally recognised. Here's how Laura described her experiences during her travel and mentorship.
'During my mentorship I observed Jung’s professional practice while working as one of his artist assistants. At the time, he was producing a major new commissioned video work. While observing his artistic process, I worked collaboratively with his artist assistants and a film crew in order to help produce this artwork. I learned about directing, sets and props, as well as working alongside a team. I also developed skills and expertise in installation, as I was involved in the preparation and execution of two large-scale exhibitions featuring a range of Jung’s artworks. These exhibitions were, 'Asian Contemporary Photography', Daegu Art Museum, Korea and ‘Just Like the Road Across the Earth’, Art Tower Mito, Japan.
'This mentorship changed my artistic practice by furthering my filmmaking, photography and installation skill-set. Through being involved in Jung’s large-scale photography and film sets, I gained insight into his conceptual approach, use of sets and props, and choreography style. I also developed skills in working collaboratively with a professional film crew and artist assistants in order to make large-scale works successfully. I was fortunate to be able to experience working with Jung throughout the entire creative cycle of making an artwork: from preparing it for exhibition through to installation. Because of this I have been able to reflect on these creative methods and adapt my own practice accordingly.
'After my mentorship with Jung, I stayed in Seoul to create and produce a cinematic and visually arresting video work ‘Immortal flower (무궁화)’. This work was significantly influenced by my experiences with Jung and time I spent in Korea and Japan.
'The mentorship I undertook enabled an enormously powerful artistic journey and it was an incredible experience to have as an emerging artist. It greatly furthered my skillset conceptually and practically. My upcoming exhibition. drawing on work developed during my mentorship and residency in South Korea, represents what I learnt from Yeondoo Jung and how I translated that into own artistic practice.'
Immortal flower (무궁화) will be exhibited at MARS Gallery, Windsor, from the 4th – 25th June, 2016.