Entry Title: "En Cave"
Name: Jinkyun Ahn , United Kingdom
Category and Expertise: Other_FA|Family|Deeper Perspective, Student


Entry Description: In the project En Cave, I construct my own cave in the form of a tent built with white cloth hung from the ceiling. In this temporary imitation cave, my parents and I act out the allegory of Plato’s cave with the use of shadows and projections as well as our own family dynamic by performing the Confucian tradition of bowing down to one’s parents. The final work I present is a series of photographs of the overall view of the cave. The view not only includes me and my parents but photographic equipment such as light stands and electric wires. The apparatus is exposed rather than hidden; my photographic process is photographed explicitly.

Story: When I returned to Korea in 2006 to begin compulsory military service, one of my first responsibilities as the eldest grandson was to visit my grandparents’ burial sites as a sign of respect. Nearby their burial sites is an empty plot where my parents will also one day be buried. As I stood in front of the plot, my parents walked into my line of vision. In their facial expressions, more than sadness and emptiness, I sensed relief and serenity. Their calm acceptance of their own eventual deaths struck me with mixed emotions. Suddenly I realized that I would stand at that very spot at my parents’ funerals some day. I could not stop the inevitable transformation of the view--from living parents to graves--nor could I turn away from the view where my parents’ deaths will be evident. Like the chained slaves forced to watch illusions in Plato’s cave, I am bound to observe a scene of my parents’ death in the graveyard. In the project En Cave, I construct my own cave in the form of a tent built with white cloth hung from the ceiling. In this temporary imitation cave, my parents and I act out the allegory of Plato’s cave with the use of shadows and projections as well as our own family dynamic by performing the Confucian tradition of bowing down to one’s parents. The final work I present is a series of photographs of the overall view of the cave. The view not only includes me and my parents but photographic equipment such as light stands and electric wires. The apparatus is exposed rather than hidden; my photographic process is photographed explicitly.

About the Artist: