Time in transition
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Time in transition

Breguet explores the fusion of horology and art

Time in transition
Heemin Chung explores the way our bodies process time.

Breguet's participation at Frieze comes naturally as watchmaking is an art and founder Abraham-Louis Breguet was an artist and designer as well as an inventive horologer.

The second year of this partnership began in May at Frieze New York, where the Breguet lounge presented watch movements and the art of guilloche along with the "Orbital Time" project curated by Somi Sim.

Breguet's collaboration with Sim unfolded with "Streaming Time" exhibited at Frieze Seoul held from Sept 6-9 at the COEX in Gangnam.

Based in Seoul and Paris, the independent curator engages architecture, urbanism, design and contemporary art in her practice.

"Art reflects how human perception has been changed by urban life. At the same time, it visualises what might be unseen, excluded or lost from society," said Sim.

"Streaming Time" focuses on issues between the digital and the real -- how time is both a subjective experience and an anchor of our interconnected world.

Sungseok Ahn's video installation reflects on how streaming time is like streaming water.

The South Korean curator selected young artists Sungseok Ahn and Heemin Chung to interpret this concept as an installation and a series of paintings at the Breguet lounge.

"Anh's video wall installation and digital photographs depict people living in an hourglass, where the passage of time will take place as the sand moves from one hemisphere to the other. His work explores the uncertainty of states and cycles of time, the big questions of our time and the weight of society trying to answer them," said Sim. Ahn primarily works with digital and moving image media, exploring gaming and virtual reality as memory devices for the observation and preservation of reality. He seeks to reconstruct layers of time that have faded away due to contemporary anxiety and crisis.

Explaining his work, the artist said: "There is an alarm ringing, it hasn't been stopped. It's clearly ringing but no one turns it off, and no one -- even if they want to -- can turn it off. Listen, this sound is trying to tell us something. Streaming time is like streaming water, it rushes us along and then is gone without warning. But what should we do, we who are left behind?"

The art of guilloche and mechanical movements are showcased at the Breguet lounge.

Chung looks into self-identity, observing how individuals exist in virtual and real networks as well as in metaphysical events caused by technology.

Sim describes her as a painter, who mediates temporality, drifting between digital and analogue, virtual and reality, through a delicate, materially driven process.

Chung's paintings reflect the way that the body processes present time in a rapidly changing city like Seoul.

"The attempts in my painting to understand form through time have opened new perspectives on ideas of recurring failure. But instead of feeling stranded, there is an awareness of what remains after time has passed through our bodies, and questions about what can be discovered there," Chung said.

Sim will oversee two other chapters of Breguet's year-long artistic project that will unfold at Frieze contemporary art fairs in London and Los Angeles.

The art of guilloche and mechanical movements are showcased at the Breguet lounge.

Curator Somi Sim.

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