Yang Chul-mo, who founded the artist-duo mixrice with his wife Cho Ji-eun, has said he will take a step back from his art career and resign the collective following allegations of sexual harassment.
Two artists who took part in projects at the Collective Chungjeongro, an artist-run space headed by mixrice, claim Yang made inappropriate comments to them, allegedly telling one woman, ‘I want to have sex with you’ and ‘(People) would have wanted to seduce you as you look like a rustic and pure North Korean woman’.
Collective Chungjeongro said it would temporarily suspend all activities. ‘We are angry at the current situation and express deep regret for the incident,’ reads a statement on social media.
In a statement on Facebook, Yang wrote, ‘I have been making frivolous remarks and people around me have been warning me. On this occasion, I would like to make an apology to those who have been hurt by my remarks.’
Mixrice won the the Korea Artist Prize in 2016 with a practice that has spread across photography, video, animation, wall painting and sculpture, often produced in collaboration with migrant communities. They have taken part in shows internationally, including the Sharjah Biennial, as well as numerous residencies, including the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo and Eastside Projects in Birmingham.