Five Acts is a new commission by Spike Island studio holder Young In Hong. Exploring lesser-known histories through photographic archives, the exhibition focuses on the history of women’s labour in Korea.
Central to the commission is an embroidered tapestry that depicts women workers’ protests in Korea throughout the twentieth century and up to the present day. Inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry — an 11th century embroidered cloth depicting the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England in 1066 — Hong’s version includes reinterpretations of photographs depicting women’s struggles for better working conditions.
Images from the tapestry will also be reinterpreted in a series of performances and an original musical score.
Born in Seoul, Young In Hong lives and works in Bristol. Recent solo exhibitions include at Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerp (2023); Exeter Phoenix (2018); the Korean Cultural Centre, London (2017); and Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2015). Her performances have been presented at Seoul Museum of Art (2022); the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (2019); Arnolfini, Bristol (2019); Spike Island, Bristol (2017); Block Universe, London (2017) and the 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014). In 2019, Hong was shortlisted for the Korea Artist Prize.
Five Acts is part of the West of England Visual Arts Alliance programme, supported by Arts Council England, with additional support from the Korea Artist Prize.