Tamna Artists Group
Sasam Art Exhibition
The Tamna Artist Group was born from Jeju artists striving to answer the questions: “What is art?” “What are the social roles of art?” and “How should artists live?” On Sept. 18th, 1993, a group of artists gathered at Iho Beach and declared that they would break old practices and breathe new life into the art of Jeju. And what they produced was art that paid special attention to the lives of the Jeju people who have to live on barren soil, their history of having been unfairly oppressed and exploited and Jeju 4·3. If the uniqueness of art stems from the movement during which artists are repeatedly born from, and diverge from, the constant tension and dialog between the artists themselves and the world, it was the Sasam Art Exhibition that lay at the center of that artists’ movement.
The TAG held the first Sasam Art Exhibition under the theme of “Opening Closed Hearts” at an exhibition hall of the Jeju Culture and Arts Center in 1994. The exhibition was to show that the artists are in line with the local people who have tried to pull themselves out of taboo and face history as truth and they, as human beings, pay respect to the efforts and dedications the people of Jeju have made. It was also an artistic declaration to encounter the land and history that will be intertwined endlessly with the artist’s own path. The art exhibition marks its 27th anniversary in 2020. Continuously holding the exhibition year after year represents the artists’ desire for freedom that comes from repeated differentiation, or the repetition of gathering and scattering. I hope that today’s artists who lead a life that the dead never lived can reveal the awareness of the public nature of life along with self-respect through the Sasam Art Exhibition.