Ip Gim: Feminist Art and Activism Favorite 



Aug 6 2004


South Korea

"Founded in 1997 and active until 2018, Ip Gim was the first collective to use the word ‘feminist’ to describe itself in South Korea.

Ip Gim is an unmatched artist collective that has pioneered feminist activist art practice in the 2000s in South Korea. Its official title, ‘Feminist Artist Group Ip Gim’, denotes a gentle care for the world through the ‘gentle respiration’ or ‘warm breathing’ of women. Founded in 1997, they have been engaging with issues referencing the status of women in the early 2000s in South Korea through various projects, their final one ending in 2018.

Ip Gim’s first project House of Housewife (2000) was selected in an open call from the emerging gallery Boda in Seoul in spring 2000. The work critically addressed conventions still persistent in Korea wherein the domestic space is considered the woman’s domain, and wives are labelled housewives solely due to their sex.

For the 2004 Busan Biennale, Ip Gim exhibited Island-Survivor in collaboration with American activist feminist group Guerrila Girls On Tour (one of the three groups that formed when the original Guerrilla Girls split in 2001). At that moment, sex trafficking was widespread in Korean society through the systematised and industrialised kidnapping and confinement of young women; when they heard about a tragic incident involving three women who had escaped forced sex labour on a remote island near Busan, Ip Gim engaged with the notion of survival. The two groups then created two versions of a poster with phrases like ‘NOT FOR SALE. Now we must end sex trafficking and child abuse’ over the image of a young girl’s face, as well as postcards and stickers distributed to the audience. At the opening, as a gesture of protest against sex trafficking, Ip Gim performed a silent guerrilla performance, covering their faces and bodies with pink skirt-coats while holding the posters on the beach near the exhibition venue."

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