Mingyu Song

SFD Code

Mingyu Song

Since 2016, Mingyu Song has been working on his unique painting project, commonly known as “SFD” (“Science Fiction Drawing”). According to the artist, the works of SFD “translate and edit today’s landscape into signs and symbols while disguising themselves as abstraction, relying on the computer graphics and special effects typically used to create scenes of fantasy and imagination in movies and novels.” In this exhibition, the first part of the SFD project has three sections: Section 1, entitled “The Atlantic at the Edge of a Swimming Pool” (2016), is composed of abstract signs rendered in traditional colors of Thailand; Section 2, entitled “Brighter Than the Day” (2017), reflects a relatively social narrative about perfect darkness and the light that passes over it; and Section 3, entitled “The Combination of Metal and Sugar” (2018), extracts, alters, and combines various images that inundate our daily lives.

Encompassing all of these sections, the exhibition title SFD Code is also meant to invoke the characteristics of the social and cultural arrangements and compositional methodology that Mingyu Song references. His particular genre of science fiction typically features motifs relating to the universe, the light of celestial bodies, artificial objects and rays that cross between such bodies, futuristic narratives of war and migration, and landscapes tinged with romanticist or fin-de-siècle fantasies. By transforming and relocating such images, Song converts them into symbols with minimal representational traces, which eventually accumulate to form the visual “glossary” of his works: a darkness that is almost absolute; a striped moon that looks like an onion chip; a trajectory of light that discontinuously captures rapidly passing objects; and objects and events recorded by stains of ambiguous information. Viewers soon become familiar with this glossary, as the motifs are repeatedly expressed, combined, and superimposed in various ways.

Song coined the term “sensory translation machine” to describe the mechanical process that is inherent to his works. Using acrylic paint, he creates pictorial planes that are indiscernible from computer graphics. His insistence on manually painting his works, rather than simply printing out computer graphics, shows his veneration of the subjective and intuitive intervention of the artist. For example, in Other Synthesizing (2019), he directly visualizes and cites the symbols of pictorial events by repeating stains that resemble splashes of paint. Hence, the sensory translation machine that has thus far defined his unique pictorial bandwidth seems to be expanding its scope from systematic, repetitive patterns to areas where more irregular and humanized symbols coexist.

Mingyu Song’s art world is inhabited by numerous images, information fragments, and cybernetic symbols, including shining planes made from digital signals, objects in topological states of motion, images of informatization captured by machines, and the glitched, distorted, or flickering afterimages of such informatization. In his works, these motifs catch the eye momentarily, before losing their context and being re-edited. Like the alchemy inferred by the title “The Combination of Metal and Sugar,” all of the disparate elements seem to have equivalence. Standing before these manifestations of infinite reading and discontinuity, viewers come to feel like gods peering down into the fragmented depths of transcendental algorithms. The endless bombardment of rapid emissions from these massive canvasses eventually elicits a sense of absurdity, which is, after all, the essence of the paintings.

Artistic Director Jinsang Yoo

The overlapping images within Mingyu Song’s works, which express the concept of the “speed of darkness” as a place and territory, recall: 1) the headlights of cars driving through darkness; 2) a white bird flying across the night sky; 3) the infinite fractal pattern of a rias coast; 4) sperm cells in fluid motion, like the stark symbol of life-giving water; 5) turbulence of ascending air; 6) geometric patterns in cave paintings; 7) anamorphosis of time and space, dramatically curved or bent according to Einstein’s catechism; 8) clouds that cannot be mapped by equations; 9) movies that embrace broken time; and 10) images of plants and other natural matter.

from “Metallurgic Rhythm of Computer Graphics and Sense of Medium as Testimony to Life” by NamSoo Kim (choreography critic)

Mingyu Song
b.1981
Solo Exhibitions
2020

Wave Wave Wave, Cheongju Creative Art Studio, Cheongju

2019

The Day When the Saw Tooth Stopped, Incheon Art Platform Window Gallery, Incheon

Other Synthesizing, Art Space Tetra, Fukuoka

Mass of Moonlight, Government Complex Seoul Gallery, Seoul

2018

Code: Black Bay, Gallery LUX, Seoul

Combination of Metal and Sugar, KSD Gallery, Seoul

2017

Brighter than the Day, Space Can, Seoul

2016

The Atlantic at the Edge of a Swimming Pool, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan

2012

Operation Plan: Allegory, Art+Lounge Dibang, Seoul

2010

Slogan of Scene, Gallery King, Seoul

2008

Level 1, Gallery SoSo, Paju

Selected Group Exhibitions
2020

New Party, New Party, Space Type, Seoul

Art and Energy, Jeonbuk Museum of Art, Jeonju

The Journey of Eternity, SeMA Bunker, Seoul

Turbulent Area, Cheongju Art Studio, Cheongju

Seoullo Media Canvas 2020 1st Exhibition, Seoullo Media Canvas, Seoul

2019

Trivia, Plan B Project Space, Seoul

Platform Artists, Incheon Art Platform, Incheon

One Day Edition, Incheon Art Platform, Incheon

Variation of Symbol, Karas Gallery, Seoul

A Scene in One’s Memory, Gallery SoSo, Paju

2018

Open Studio 14, MMCA Residency Goyang, Goyang

Artists on the Move, MMCA Residency Goyang, Goyang

Seoul Mediacity Biennale: A Good Life, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul

Refraction, Hidden M Gallery, Seoul

2017

Something New, Goyang Aramnuri Arts Center, Goyang

Drawing Life, Guri Arts Hall, Guri

City Observation Log, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan

The New Acquisitions of Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan

2016

Treasure Island, Gyeonggi Creation Center, Ansan

Blinking Satellite, Gyeonggi Creation Center, Ansan

Good Morning, Have A Nice Day, Good Morning House, Suwon

Dual Channel Fiction, Gallery 175, Seoul

Sensible Reality, Seoul Citizens Hall, Seoul

Mature Gamer, Bonbonbangagan & Alternative Space Concrete Platform, Gangneung

Romantic Compass, Gyeonggi Creation Center, Ansan

2015

SOMA Drawing: Mindful Mindless, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art, Seoul

Expressions and Gestures, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art, Seoul

Residencies
2020

Cheongju Art Studio, Cheongju

2019

Incheon Art Platform, Incheon

2018

MMCA Residency Goyang, Goyang

2016

Gyeonggi Creation Center, Ansan

Collections

MMCA Art Bank

Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art

Incheon Foundation for Arts & Culture-Art Bank

Seoul Metropolitan Government Museum

Seoul Olympic Museum of Art