Sung Neung Kyung (b. 1944-) is a prominent Korean conceptual artist whose works embracing nontraditional mediums such as newspaper, photography, and performance broke the ground for experimental art in Korea. Sung debuted in Korea’s art scene in 1973 as a member of the avant-garde art group ST. Until the late 1980s, he showcased newspaper-related installations and performances challenging government censorship of the media and the press’ misuse of editorial power. Also, he was among the first artists in Korea to use photography in the context of fine art in the 1970s.
Sung Neung Kyung’s daily practice of art has escaped critical notice, yet like the mosquito he has been active for much longer and his influence is felt more widely than many realize. Sung’s conceptual actions, documented through photographs and performance artifacts, reflect his decades-long interest in everyday moments of exchange between people in a social context. The exhibition “Contraction / Expansion” reflects the artist’s ongoing interest in daily actions that become iconic when isolated within the context of the art work. “Contraction is what the people in power wanted and expansion is what the people under control wanted,” Sung explains. These small gestures create a “mosquito noise” by activating everyday elements of behavior into a resonant, politically charged buzz.