The Book of Jests

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Exhibition Title: The Book of Jests

Artist: Hyung Min Yoon

Opening: Thursday Sept 11 (7–10pm)

Exhibition Dates: Sept 11–Oct 11, 2014

Vancouver-based artist Hyung-Min Yoon presents a series of images that draws from an obscure collection of marginal religious illustrations by Albrecht Dürer. Originally used to surround religious texts, Hyung-Min Yoon reimagines their placement and purpose by framing them around contemporary political jokes of various cultures in their original languages.

This challenging combination strikes a balance between different historical and contemporary modes of ideology; the popular and the religious; and the individual and the state.

The Book of Jests is both the exhibition title and the name of the book that Hyung-Min Yoon has produced to house 25 contemporary jokes. Visit grunt gallery to view a selection of prints from the book, a newly created video that documents the book from cover to cover in our Media Lab, and to see the hand-sewn The Book of Jests protected by vitrine.

The opening reception for this exhibition will take place on Thursday September 11th, 7pm –10pm. The opening is associated with SWARM, an annual festival of artist-run centres. The exhibition runs from Sept 11– Oct 11, 2014.

Be sure to attend the artist talk on Saturday, September 27th, 12:30pm –1:30pm at grunt gallery, an event that’s a part of BC Culture Days.

The Book of Jests from Hyung-Min Yoon on Vimeo.

Exhibition Documentation:

Artist Bio:

Born in Seoul, Hyung-Min Yoon studied at the Korean National University of Arts, Seoul (BFA) and Chelsea College of Art & Design, London (MFA). Her works seek to develop the idea of ‘aesthetic translation’ to uncover meaning in the ambiguities and contradictions that lie undetected in an era of globalization. Yoon’s current interest is in the role that printing technologies have had in the dissemination of ideas through time. Her works have been exhibited internationally in Korea, UK, Switzerland, Austria and Canada. She is currently artist in residence at Gyeongi Creation Centre, Korea.


The Book of Jests | Essay by Lorna Brown

Press Clippings:

 Artist reframes old master for modern age

| The Source

Yoon adds that in her work, she tries to match Dürer’s illustrations to the jokes she compiles. Although the religious drawings and political jokes may seem incompatible, Yoon says that the drawings in this piece are portrayed humorously and compliment her work.

“Dürer is an amazing artist who’s really playful with his drawing so it looks quite light and not that serious. It occurred to me that it’s would be a perfect match,” says Yoon.


Hyung Min Yoon: From Page to Screen

| Canadian Art

With that in mind, what does it mean to produce or consume a CD, a DVD or a glue-and-paper book when the music, pictures and literature they contain are now more commonly produced and consumed through one’s phone? Is it both a political and an aesthetic act to continue with these apparently obsolete forms, as it was in the 1980s when the digitization and increased corporatization of the music industry resulted in multi-track tape decks showing up at thrift stores, where they were purchased and put to use by musicians associated with the North American “lo-fi” indie movement? Are we now at a similar place with the hard-copy book?

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