Artists  Continent  Asia 

Jungju An

Hand in Hand with Amigos para Siempre

Jungju An  

Hand in Hand with Amigos para Siempre


Year: 2016

Duration: 8 min 30

Video produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation


Born 1979, South Korea 

Works in South Korea  


The 17th SongEun ArtAward Exhibition

12. 15. 2017 – 2. 10. 2018

Venue : SongEun Art Space, Seoul



9. 7. 2018 – 11.11. 2018

Venue : ACC Asian Culture Center, Gwangju

Jungju An was born in Gwangju, South Korea in 1979. He lives and works in Seoul. Jungju An is a graduate of the College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University (2003, BFA) and the School of Communication and Art, Yonsei University (2011, MFA).

Jungju An is interested in the language of propaganda and its impact on the individual. His inspiration comes from his own experience of growing up in a country which has been going through a systematic radical transformation. In his experimental videos and video installations, he examines diverse types of social performances, depicting mundane situations and public events, such as military parades, sports games, community gatherings and youth activities, deconstructing and transforming them into a sequence that acquires a new significance. These are staged, recorded or archive-sourced moving images and sounds that the artist subordinates to visual semantics of his own. The frames pulsate, overlap, pause, repeat and reverse, extracting information from their original context to arrive at almost abstract – if suggestive – imagery. Through exploring the potential of the medium, the artist moves on to probing the mechanics of ideological control of the individual.

Hand in Hand with Amigos para Siempre combines archival film materials from the Summer Olympics – in Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992. Referencing the official songs accompanying both events, the work echoes the distinctive ambiance of the era of rapid globalisation. Following the Olympic motto ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ the images of sporting glory reverberate with the enthusiasm accompanying South Korea’s economic expansion and political transformation that have overcome decades of post-war crisis and authoritarian government. There are parallels to the transformative effect of the Olympics on the modernisation of the Catalan industrial city of Barcelona.


Jungju An draws on the memories preserved in the historical recordings, yet significant editorial interventions in the records break up the continuity of the narrative and provide a counterpoint to the nostalgic spirit of the work. The actions are frozen; they slow down or are compulsively repeated, stopping short of a crescendo of fulfilment. The final dissolution – a triumph? A failure? – is thus anticipated but never completed, leaving the viewer in a permanent state of bewilderment and suspense.