Artist Hun Yu’s recent projects aim to map the history of China’s modernity by mixing historical figures, family testimonies, and self-portraits.
In this way, his practice lays bare the essentially subjective nature of storytelling, while playing on its charm vis-à-vis the constructed objectivity of institutional meta-narratives. While most of the above mentioned projects deal with personal and subjective narrative, Hu Yun’s work for the 11th Gwangju biennale, The Preparation Room (2016), dealt with the construct of the state narrative and the way it is preserved or isolated. The Preparation Room was an installation based on two archives from the city of Gwangju, South Korea—the 5.18 Gwangju Uprising Archive and the archive of the Gwangju Biennial itself. By interlacing two archival frameworks and blurring their distinctive perimeters, the artist explored the relationship between artistic and archival practices. Can our memories be revisited in the name of art?