The multidisciplinary project CONTOUR is a collaboration between artists Ted Oonk (NL) and Su Jung (KR). After spending the last five years on forming an archive, which contains letters, text, imagery, audio and video-works, the necessity arose to complete the project. After those five years the true essence of CONTOUR has become apparent.
The starting point of the project CONTOUR was the opposite viewpoint both artists had on the concept of ‘the island’. What makes an island, how is it shaped in our minds and how do we reflect on the physical form. Where Oonk had a romantic and utopian image of the island, Jung emphasized on its dark and isolated side. The archive shows both sides but mainly plays and questions the idea of the island as an insignificant and forgotten ‘thing’ rather than our collective utopian ideas.
After going through the archive, the artists came to the conclusion that this project is mainly about the island as a metaphor for the hiding of things that are different or perceived as a burden. How do mechanisms of exclusion come to be expressed here and who appropriates these mechanisms? The island as the perfect form of physical isolation or in other words; the island as a utopian safe haven that becomes a non-place.
Think, for example, of the Pacific island of Nauru, which for years has been used as a detention center for migrants (2016). And not only now but also in the past, islands were eminently ‘used’ for this purpose. This is the core of the CONTOUR project. The archive (which will expand even further) will play an important artistic role for the continuation of the project.