Yoo Hwa-soo's 'Gesture of Cultivation' (2023) / Courtesy of the artist, SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation

Artist Yoo Hwa-soo, whose installations adeptly explore the impact of technological advancements on human labor and the environment, has been named the winner of the 23rd SongEun Art Award, Sunday.In his winning piece, “Gesture of Cultivation,” the artist utilizes trees that were razed to clear space for new residential complexes to underscore the growing insensitivity of human perception of nature as echnology becomes more sophisticated.Within his remotely controlled, data-driven “smart farm,” non-edible mushrooms are kept alive by parasitizing a dead tree trunk — a scene that visualizes the nurturing of seemingly useless lives being performed by cutting-edge technology.Launched in 2001 by the SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation with the aim of recognizing rising talents in Korea, the annual SongEun Art Award remains one of the country’s most prestigious contemporary art prizes, alongside the Korea Artist Prize and the Hermes Foundation Missulsang. The foundation was established in 1989 by the late Yoo Sung-yeon, the founder of the energy company ST International.Yoo Hwa-soo was among the 20 creatives shortlisted for the award’s 23rd edition, selected from a pool of 512 applicants in total.As the winner of the grand prize, he will receive 20 million won ($15,200) and be granted a solo exhibition at SongEun Art Space in southern Seoul, along with a spot in the Seoul Museum Art’s year-long Nanji Residency program.Two of his works will become part of the collections of the SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation and the Seoul Museum of Art, respectively.All 20 shortlisted candidates are eligible to apply for a 12-week residency operated by the London-based non-profit Delfina Foundation.Previous recipients of the SongEun Art Award include Jun So-jung, Kim Young-eun and Jun Hye-joo.Yoo’s “Gesture of Cultivation” will be on display as part of the ongoing group exhibition of the prize’s contenders at SongEun Art Space 온라인카지노 until Feb. 24.