Sang Hyeon Cho

Photographer: Vincent van Gurp


In contemporary capitalist society, matters have been replaced with symbols, while reality is substituted with copies or images of reality, simulacra. Now that the relationship between reality and reproduction has been reversed and simulacra, which have been freed from the subject or the original to take after, now produce a hyper-reality, this seems to be more like reality. Now there is no original copy and, in a sense, there is no differentiation between the original and the copy. The simulacra lead and guide our sense of order, based on an increase in information and media. The things that rule people’s perception of an object in contemporary capitalist production, where one ‘code’ could make numerous copies, are the information and media surrounding this object. Absorbing all kinds of information and media, the contemporary mass acts as sponges or black holes that are insensitive to the inherent meaning of these objects. Can the qualitative aspects of objects, neutralised by the violent nature of capitalism, break the ‘code’ (meaning uniformity) and increase their ideal beauty again? Ideal beauty may be felt when we give up uniform outlines and identical contours of the world and look at the world as if we were seeing it for the first time. The world should not be appreciated as if it already existed and we only just opened our eyes. Rather, it exists through me when I open my eyes and appreciate it. Objects that can be recognized are not simply being recognized time and again. Rather, the structure of our objects could reflect the moments when we were just born and experienced the world for the first time. But, are we capable of pure recognition when we have grown accustomed to looking at objects limited by conventional cognizance in a world where everything has become uniform?

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