jungho oak3

Jungho Oak

Korea

Born in Seoul in 1974, Jungho Oak studied in M.F.A Korea National University of Arts. Seoul, and employs photography and video to capture his performance works. Known for his provocative public interventions he explores different visual and performance strategies often combining Hindu yoga practice with traditional Korean rituals and customs – The Sun Salutations, Surya Namaskar – to bestow sublimity and well wishes onto others.

Korea has a tradition of “gosa”, a ritual to dispel evil spirits and invite abundance and good luck and is commonly conducted on the opening day of a store to pray for its prosperity or on the house-moving day for a happy life in a new house. In Hindi, surya means “sun” and namaskar means “bow” and “worship”. Surya Namaskar, in the Hindu tradition, is a ritual performed towards the sun as it rises in the dawn. The aim, since ancient times, has been to worship Mother Nature. Prayers kneel down or bow down in their prayer. The current surya namaskar is the most basic posture in yoga.

‘I began the project in Seoul where these rituals were performed in non-traditional spaces such as a busy city centre or in a muddy field with a trolley while wearing a smartly tailored suit. The combination of the unlikely places with insensible clothing and useless props contribute to a feeling of frustration and pathos in this work I want to further develop the series of The Sun Salutations, Surya Namaskar, while in residence at Glenfiddich. This will help me expand the meaning and the performativity of the project in a different cultural background. It will also be an interesting and unique experience to wish for happiness amongst Glenfiddich craftsmen, which could be exotic to them.'

Find out more