Beckers Art Award 2021
– Goes to Youngjae Lih because, through his deep personal understanding of the ways in which technology works, he creates works of art that produce poetic qualities and unique experiences.
The 34th Beckers Art Award - a grant of 200 000 SEK - will this year be awarded to Malmö-based artist Youngjae Lih, born in 1984 and from Seoul in South Korea. He graduated from Malmö Art Academy in 2016.
With his background as an electrical engineer at a large electronics company in South Korea, Youngjae Lih is very knowledgeable about the advanced technology that distributes sound and pictures to consumers around the globe. In art, he sees completely different opportunities to develop his own personal solutions, create new technology, and work in an area where alternative expressions and communication are created.
Lih constructs the equipment he uses in his artworks himself. He familiarises himself with the various functions of technology by deconstructing it. This approach, known as reverse engineering or decompilation, generates knowledge that is integrated into new technology. In order to enable the person taking part of the artwork to better understand what he does, he often produces manuals formulated in pictures as a form of documentation for the artwork.
By taking technology apart, Lih creates his own material where the correlation between different properties interacts and produces new, self-generating expressions. Image and sound work together: one generates the other as part of the artwork, where you see what you listen to, and hear what you see.
Youngjae Lih is awarded the 2021 Beckers Art Award because, through his deep personal understanding of the ways in which technology works, he creates forms of communication that elevate both the simple and the complex in the potential of technology to create works of art that produce poetic qualities and unique experiences. This is art that, in the meeting between technology and content, evokes philosophical questions about perception and understanding.
Magnus Jensner /on behalf of the jury
Youngjae Lih, Unseen
Date & Location
March 13th to May 9th 2021
Main hall, Färgfabriken