The Yanghyun Foundation (Eun Young Choi, Chief Director), announced the winner of the 2008 Yanghyun Prize
Cameron Jamie, an American artist currently living and based in Paris, took the honor of being named the winner of the first Yanghyun Prize.
Cameron Jamie was born in Los Angeles, California in 1969. And although he on and off attended Cal Arts (the California Institute of Arts) between 1991 and 1994, he describes himself as a self-taught artist.
Cameron Jamie's work-a blend of video, performance, sculpture and drawing-deals with American history and culture, later broader western history and culture, in particular their dysfunction manifestations.
He had his first U.S. solo museum exhibition at Walker Art Center in 2006 and participated in MIT LVAC, Whitney Biennale, Venice Biennale and other film festivals and unveiled his works. Also he has been involved in many group exhibitions such as <Legitimate Theater> at LACMA in 2001, <Contrepoint> at Musee du Louvre in 2004 and <Let's Entertain/Au-dela du spectacle> at Pompidou in Paris, 2000-2001.
Cameron Jamie understands art as an instrument that is closely related to cultural studies. His investigations are determined by the anthropology of cultural creation within the reference framework of its particular societal, historical-political,literary-artistic, economic and legal conditions.
Jamie's sharp critical gaze often focuses on popular culture and its impact on everyday life and the psyche. His intricate work has its background in the artist's own folklore and mythologies. Using American suburban culture as a cultural study, he analyzes how the structures of mythology are shaped and shared and the extent to which they participate in the creation of individuals' fictional worlds, fictional selves.
We made a careful selection to choose Cameron Jamie as the first recipient of the Yanghyun Prize after reviewing many qualified candidates.
We came to this conclusion without a great deal of debate, recognizing in his work several currents that shape contemporary practice and have allowed Cameron's work to make such large waves despite his young age of 39.
These include: a propensity for working across media including performance; a superimposition of pictorial worlds informed by both entertainment and art; a collaborative urgency and embrace of improvisation; and, finally, a skeptical yet intimate approach to those rituals (often cruel), which give meaning to ordinary lives.
He is something of an archeologist, mining our superheroes and broken histories to locate our human connections. Deep down, in a stratum that can only be called "sub-conscious," he finds the unconventional in all of us.
We hear the beat (often literally in the dense and aggressive music of Keiji Haino or the Melvins which accompany his films) and our heart beats faster because we understand that we are capable of both great things and bad.