Skill Futures: A Lifestyle of Casual Scamming by Sungsil Ryu
Set against the stunning backdrop of Marina Bay Sands' skyline, the online performance titled A Lifestyle of Casual Scamming by Sungsil Ryu will showcase her promotion of the online project, Big King Airlines New Engine Fundraising Drive (2023).
Drawing inspiration from her lived experiences in South Korea and Singapore, the performance serves as a satirical commentary on societal behaviours influenced by consumer-driven lifestyles. Sungsil delves into various aspects, from narrating how her family's experience during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis impacted her to recounting personal experiences as both a fraud victim and perpetrator. She shares how these events ultimately contributed to her achieving economic success within her artistic practice.
Utilising popular aesthetics commonly found in online broadcasting through platforms like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and more, Sungsil, in her absurdist critique, highlights the intricate world of 'self-promotion' and its scam-like mechanics.
This session is held in conjunction with the series Skill Futures.
About the artist
Sungsil Ryu uses dark humour by embodying different personas to showcase contradictions within contemporary Korean consumer culture through installation, performance, and video. Sungsil's "Cherry Jang" series depicts the flashy lifestyle and tragic death of a virtual character said to represent the "scam-like" marketing industry, while highlighting the effects of capitalism on Korean society. Likewise, "The Big King Travel" series illustrates the conflict between traditional values and contemporary neoliberalism, following the story of an elderly travel agent, a fake foreign employee, and their elderly customers.
While in residence at SAM, Sungsil will experiment with various online platforms as dissemination and circulation channels to comparatively research the social media ecosystems in Singapore and South Korea.
Sungsil was awarded the 19th Hermès Foundation Missulsang in 2021 and has presented her work in Frieze Seoul (2022), the Daegu Art Museum (2022), and the Nam June Paik Art Centre (2023) and currently has a solo show at 실린더 (CYLINDER) in Seoul, South Korea.
About Skill Futures
In a time when the physical and digital are blurred, what skills do we need to understand and critically shape our hybrid realities? Artists are now being asked to invest in digital skills more than ever: to "upskill" and pursue "personal development," to prepare to emerge on the other side of COVID equipped for a future whose material and digital realities will be even more intertwined. But what does it mean to become "smarter"? To what ends are new technical skills being pursued? Skill Futures is a digital commissioning platform of the Singapore Art Museum, which features performances, workshops, and experimental lectures. It elaborates on the new forms of "intelligence" that emerges from different ways of reading the screen as a speculative medium of the future. These programmes may take the form of talks, discussions, workshops, or performative commissions led by SAM curators. Click here to find out more about Skill Futures in our blog article.