LKFF 2022 x LUX: Yun Choi

Where the Heart Goes_Poetry Collection
마음이 가는 길_시 모음, 최윤
Yun Choi
2022, single-channel video, 17 min
Korean with English subtitles


Where the Heart Goes_Poetry Collection is a disorienting film that embodies the fatigue and emptiness of material culture and its blinding optimism. Questioning the fast cycle of cultural production, Choi recycles her exhibition into a context and material for a shapeshifting film in which a group of performers play the spirit medium of the unattended. The resulting film enacts trance-like rituals – a dramatic monologue, ghostly rave party and wistful self-affirmation – with an animistic imagination. Colliding references to the horror genre with pop spiritualism, Choi choreographs feelings of disillusionment induced by the pressure to constantly “upload” and “update”.

The film is structured around five poems written by the artist; each draws on a word (over)used in political rhetorics, aphorisms and memes in the Korean language and acts as a prompt for absurd world-building. The recurring motif throughout the film is the word “마음: Ma-eum” (meaning “heart” or “mind”), which is repeated, exhausted and stripped of its nuances and authenticity. This repetition renders the word all at once meaningless and desirable. Choi leans into this malfunctioning of seemingly unquestionable words and images that populate restless Seoul, trapped in perpetual weariness and emptiness.

Viral Lingua
오염된 혀
Minhwi Lee and Yun Choi
2018, single-channel video, 15 min.
Korean with English subtitles


Playing on a word-of-mouth strategy of viral marketing, Viral Lingua explores language as a vessel that transmits and mutates political ideology. The film is propelled by a performer who lip-syncs to melodramatic songs, immersed in otherworldly make-ups and hyperreal images of Korean landscapes. The lyrics adapt wordplay and self-loathing satire with wry humour, reflecting the irony of living in a society built upon the histories of colonialism and the cold war. From a Korean patriotic song lamenting an ill-fated love for a country to a children’s song set in a sci-fi dystopia, the film composes an anthem of a neo colony.

Viral Lingua (2018) was commissioned by the 2018 Busan Biennale.

LUX and the London Korean Film Festival join forces to present the first UK solo exhibition by Korean contemporary artist Yun Choi, Running at the Speed of Light, the Body Becomes a Turtle

Yun Choi collects images, words and behaviours marked by Korean banality and remixes them for her videos and multimedia installations. Through the fantastical embodiment of vernacular culture, her practice activates a society into multi-body beings, manifesting the contemporary psyche. Ecstatic and melancholic, her work traces collective belief and reverie that underlie absurd socio-political phenomena. 

The exhibition at LUX presents two films that explore language as a bodily experience: the latest rendition of Choi’s film Where the Heart Goes_Poetry Collection (2022), and Viral Lingua (2018), a collaborative film made with Minhwi Lee. Grounded in the embodied writing practice, these films animate words through utterances, visual symbolisms and bodily movements to enunciate gut feelings that challenge logic.