Pinocchio’s Fantastic Journey by Sang Phil Lee
Sang Phil Lee brings into life the wooden doll ‘Pinocchio’ which couldn’t become a human being, through illustrations and sculptures. Pinocchio wears a hat, and makes a meaningless smile.
He expresses himself as a modern man, for he was cultivated through various images in modern days.
Pinocchio, as a kind of cyborg, pursues his dream of becoming a human being as a meson between a living creature and a machine.
He consumes a hyper reality image in cyberspace as a masterpiece brand. Jean Baudrillard, a French sociologist, philosopher and cultural theorist, points out that, in the modern age, unfulfilled desire appears as bogus image(hyper image) with much greater power than reality, and that the representative image of this is masterpieces of famous brands. Pinocchio’s image of desiring to be a human being represents the image of modern man who pursues a bogus image(masterpiece) to accomplish his desires in this hyper reality world.
Pinocchio enhances his value by bearing the logotypes of masterpieces. A masterpiece is not simple merchandise but an important medium for accomplishing desires and realizing identity. Also, the famous brands for consumption, such as Starbucks Coffee, reflect the image of modern man who fails to find his existence and holds his unfulfilled desire(dream) through consumption.
Pinocchio, self-portrait of modern man, shows the way we live through consumption in this hyper reality world.

Byung-Hee Oh,
Curator, Gwangju Museum of Art