Agon (Mytheme, Étude Op. 4, No. 1)
Sougwen Chung's artwork Agon is part of her series Mytheme (Étude Op. 4) and one of four works. The series explores the expressiveness of the abstract form by transcribing the concept of mytheme - the constant unchanging element forming a mythical narrative’s kernel - into a visual exploration. In order to do so, Chung records gestures with paint which she then manipulates digitally, achieving a sense of transformation and dimensionality; without, however, altering the core forms or colours dictating the abstract composition. Her work Agon is linked to ancient Greek drama and binds it into the larger concept of mytheme. In ancient Greek tragedy, Agon refers to the formal convention according to which a struggle - a contest - between characters of a play would be scripted in order to supply a basis for action. Agon dictates the formal debate between protagonist and antagonist, usually with the chorus acting as judge. The literary term stems from the figure of the god Agon, a mythological personification of the term agon defined as a contest, challenge or competition in athletics, horse racing, music or literature at public festivals in ancient Greece - specifically at the Olympic games. A score composed of textural soundscapes of improvisational violin and granular synthesis methods accompanies the works in this collection. Violin compositions were performed by Chung in collaboration with musician Praveen Sharma. Sougwen Chung lives and works in New York.