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Collection (2021)

Collection (2020)

New Methodology Visual Semiotic: Replica

-Artistic Designer Siyoung YANG

W. Jieon LEE

With the advent of the catastrophic social networking system and extreme capitalism, the design has been a significant factor and presented the identity of the nations, cities, institutions, art museums and galleries. Furthermore, the iconic symbols and specific signature designs of the brand such as fashion, furniture and IT industries etc. are understood as a dynamic way of reading visual semiotic. This societal state evokes new cultural phenomena, rapid consumption of the images of the particular brands, and shares the consumed images as a new language in the social media society.

Visual semiotics in visual culture is interpreted as signifying practice. Once Potts(1996, 21) stated that signifying practices simply refers to how, rather than what, meaning is produced and, finally, the social convention which links signs with meanings is called a code. Employing his idea, signifying practices as a methodology rather than a demonstration, provides the approach and accessibility to interpret visual cultural semiotics. As one of the results after the formulation of identical images, replication and imitation have proceeded.

Given the root of ‘representation’ in notions of resemblance and imitation, among other factors, visual images have often been thought of as more direct and straightforward in their meaning than language itself, which varies from culture to culture.

Curtin.B, Semantic Scholar

YANG here provokes a question; How can we extend the narrative in order to indicate and discuss the current societal phenomena, and do with new visual impact?

Along with ‘representation’ which is a word of Curtin, YANG creates the assemblage of the debate points in the digital society and the image consumption with replication as a methodology.

Her practices commenced with varied material, and the first experiment is hand-sewing the fad items such asPrada Nylon backpack, Margiela tabi cross bag, Jaquemus Le Chiquito Bag etc. with toilet paper and Nike Air Jordan 1, Pierre Jeanneret, Cane armchair and Louise Poulsen, Pendant Ph5 Ettore Sottsass, Ultrafragola Mirror & Lamp with canvas. Those items lead to faddism, recently, toilet paper becomes symbolic of human instinctive weakness and selfishness, living in the pandemic circumstance. YANG keen elicits the collective material that shifts its value reversed. Her replica experiment with materiality, relevant to the societal issue and specific rising phenomena, visualises the unexpected value of certain material and notes vanity and selfishness in the modern era. Furthermore, her artwork Cane armchair with canvas is clung to the ceiling, and when she cut the thread and the chair naturally and fluidly collapses. Through the series of performance, she finally completes her own initial artistic-semiotic language that expresses the answer to provocative questions. The collapsed chair envisions symbolically her thoughts regarding the image consumptions. Her attempt to bring the images out of the media, show them physically in the exhibition and remain the installation views creates a new circulation of the image consumption. Moreover, the specification of an installation placed the artworks on the partly perforated chromakey setting evokes visual confusion and delirium by layering replicated images and objects. This procedure states that her suggestion to reproduce images with displayed and exhibited gesture makes a narrative regarding a new sort of image consumption and circulation.

Replica, a methodology to indicate and symbolise the idea and consideration of YANG toward contemporary issues, is the alternative voice and perpetuating societal, international, political and ecological matters.   

Jieon LEE

Awarded Think Big Scholar at the University of Bristol obtained an MA in History of Art with a Distinction on the dissertation. Published a book Me, Book(2013; M&K) and an anthology Therefore, we decided to do a side hustle (2020;playject). Directed The Map of Art Expedition (2020;Busan Biennale Organising Committee). After work in Munshin Sculpture’s Museum and Seoul Museum of Art, currently working for the exhibition team of the Busan Biennale Organising Committee.


Curtin, B. (2009). Semiotics and visual representation. Semantic Scholar.

Potts, A (1996) ‘Sign’ in Robert S. Nelson and Richard Shiff, eds., Critical Terms for Art History, London and Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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