Kinross, Modern Typography: Exhibition

Photo by Lee Jongmyung

Kinross, Modern Typography (1992, 2004, 2009), Choi Sung Min’s solo exhibition, Gallery Factory, 13 March–5 April 2009.

Photos by Lee Jongmyung

This is the first solo exhibition of Choi Sung Min, who has been working with Choi Sulki as a graphic design partnership Sulki & Min. For him, this exhibition is an unusual opportunity to look back at where he started: typography and its history.

For the last fourteen years, Choi Sung Min has maintained an obsessive relationship with a book: Modern Typography: An Essay in Critical History by Robin Kinross (first edition 1992, second edition 2004). Since he first started to translate the text in the summer of 1995, he has produced more than five different translations, as well as over twenty designs for the imaginary Korean edition of the book. Now that the actual Korean edition is to be published by Sulki & Min’s own Specter Press, this exhibition is to celebrate the realization, as well as extend the translation in a different form. Or maybe it is that he just wants to suspend the finalization of what has become a small part of his life.

The work in the exhibition attempts to show what cannot be shown in the published book. Choi Sung Min is particularly interested in the “Examples” reproduced in the publication. The series Kinross, Modern Typography, Korea Edn., Chapter 14, “Examples” applies the process of translation to the images: it wants to “read” them, as well as see them, by showing the reproduced artifacts in real size, and even by translating the text within the artifacts. Two small publications, Kinross, Modern Typography, First Edn., chapter 12, “Modernity and Modernism” and Kinross, Modern Typography, First Edn., Chapter 13, “Examples” are Korean translations of the chapters, which had been completely revised by Kinross for the second English edition, so had not been made available in the Korean edition that was based on the second English edition.

In this way, Kinross, Modern Typography (1992, 2004, 2009) is not only about typography and its history, but also about translation: from one language to another; from the text to the image and to the text again.

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From a press release about the exhibition (Gallery Factory, Seoul, 2009).