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PERMUTATIONS © 1976 Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: Permutations, 1976 16mm film, black and white, silent, 10 min. University o, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



A Portrait in Fragments

Works and Notes by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha 1974-1982
Contributory commissions by: Ruth Barker, Sujin Lee, Jefford Horrigan and Bada Song

'A Portrait in Fragments' is an open-ended study of works by one of the most significant Korean multimedia artists, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.  During the 70s Cha studied in California, but in 1982 Cha’s life was cruelly cut short, when she was brutally murdered in New York, aged just 31, leaving much of her work and thesis unfinished, except for her highly respected novel, 'Dictee', first published by Tanam Press, New York, 1982.

In co-operation with the BAM/Pacific Film Archive at Berkeley University a number of her film pieces, film scripts and synopses as well as thoughts from her notebooks, journals and photographic contact sheets will serve to present a fragmented image of a complex identity which informed Theresa Cha’s work.

Curator Bea de Sousa:

"Cha’s work solicits questions around performance and film, but also charts a rich autobiographical heritage of being both Korean and Westernized.  In keeping with the often ephemeral nature of her work, contemporary artists Ruth Barker, Sujin Lee, Jefford Horrigan and Bada Song have been asked to contribute 'work-stations' in response to the material of Theresa Cha, piecing together the fascinating and fragmentary archive the artist left behind.

The corollary is that many questions and thoughts have remained unfinished and open to interpretation with regards to Cha’s works in the critical sphere.  Whilst some posthumous exhibitions have attempted to allocate Cha a piece within the feminist ('Difference' New Museum, New York, 1985, 'Fais un effort pour te souvenir. Ou, à défaut, invente, Bétonsalon, Paris 2013) as well as the post-structural film discourse (Thomas Crow, Barbara Gladstone Gallery 2012), this exhibition ' A Portrait in Fragments’ will do neither – it will simply posit new thoughts through other work, to understand the work of an artist whose practice continues to feel relevant both to international art as well as to the understanding of a (Korean) conceptual language."

Theresa Cha's work throughout charts the pain of unresolved injustice experienced by her mother who was displaced to Manchuria China, the fight against the Japanese grip on Korea and her own detachment from being a US citizen.  Her work alludes to exile and the displacement of her parents. There is too a pervading sense in her work that Korea itself becomes an allegory of the violated and beatified woman.

'A Portrait in Fragments' provides a rare chance to approach the work of a crucial artist in contemporary art history, and will enrapture anyone with interests in contemporary art history, Korean culture, the dialectic between East and West, and Feminism.

The exhibition is realized in co-operation with the Berkeley Art Museum, Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA), the KCC London and the ICA London.

The exhibition is curated by Bea de Sousa (The Agency Gallery) as part of the KCCUK 'Curatorial Open Call 2013'.


© 2013 Bea de Sousa & The Agency Gallery, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





SUJIN LEE FOR CHA PROJECT © 2013 Sujin Lee, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





PERSEPHONE
By Jefford Horrigan
Performance inspired by Theresa Cha's DICTEE.


© 2013 KCCUK, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





YEONJI
By Bada Song
Inspired by Theresa Cha's DICTEE.


© 2013 Pui Sureewan S, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





RUTH BARKER
By Ruth Barker
Performance inspired by Theresa Cha's DICTEE.


© 2013 KCCUK, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





THERESA CHA
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: Untitled, 1982; black-and-white contact sheet; 11-3/4 x 10-1/4 in.; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; gift of the Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Memorial Foundation.


© 1982 University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



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