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IM Heung-soon Snatches Silver Lion at La Biennale di Venezia

May 11, 2015
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
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Director IM Heung-soon was awarded the Silver Lion from La Biennale di Venezia, during it 56th International Art Exhibition. Screening in the ‘All the World’s Futures’ exhibition, the documentary Factory Complex earned the filmmaker the prize for promising young artist.

IM’s film debuted at the Busan International Film Festival last year, where it was well received by critics, and was subsequently recut for its screening in the Venice, Italy fest. The film depicts the plight of female laborers in Asia, particularly Korea, and was awarded for being, according to the Biennale jury, a ‘moving video work that probes the nature of precarity in relation to the conditions of labor for women across Asia. Factory Complex takes the form of a documentary but with a direct, lightly mediated, encounter with his subjects and their working conditions.’

Previously, IM made the lyrical and meditative Jeju Massacre documentary Jeju Prayer, which bowed at the Jeonju International Film Festival and later received a pair of nominations (in the best Documentary and New Director categories) at the 1st Wildflower Film Awards Korea. The director, who began making Factory Complex in 2010 as a tribute to his family, thanked ‘the many women who have lived with principles in their everyday life and work’ during his acceptance speech.

The prize is the highest honor won by a Korean artist in the history of the Biennale, which was first staged in 1893. LEE Yong-woo, a renowned art historian and president of the Gwangju Biennale Fondation, served on this year’s jury.


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