Entry Forms: UK Korean Artists

Dates: 9 December 2008 – 15 January 2009
Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK, Ground Floor, 1 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5EJ
Tel: +44 (0) 207 004 2600
Fax: +44 (0) 207 004 2619
Email: info@kccuk.org.uk
Web: http://www.kccuk.org.uk/
Opening hours: Mon- Fri: 10.00 – 18.00, Sat: 11.00 – 17.00
Nearest tube: Charing Cross or EmbankmentThe British Council and the Korean Cultural Centre UK announced “Entry Forms: UK Korean Artists”.

Many Korean artists are all too aware of the formalities necessary to live in Britain, whether it is to apply to study or to work in the UK. “Entry Forms” celebrates fourteen artists’ investigations and their responses to their new environment.

Whilst not a prescribed presentation, the exhibition offers a picture what is being produced today by a selection of artists from Korea who are living in Britain. The exhibition attempts to capture a sense of the diversity of works produced – all have responded to their new environment through varying guises, in different forms. Whether it is by scribing their experiences or performing to us on a screen, a common interpretation of place carries through the exhibition, and guiding threads – issues of communication, the imaginary, investigation of form, and documentation – help us weave our way through their experiences.

Communication concerns are highlighted in the work of Soonnam Lim. Her frustration with the failure of words is repeated throughout her writing. Due to the experiences of being misunderstood, she writes down her ideas, to keep, hold and control them in perplexing moments, as a way of negotiating potential misunderstanding.
In Bommsoon Lee’s work, she often seeks the audience’s sympathy for weaknesses or mistakes she might have made. Rather that anticipating judgement, she asks of them to be involved in the process.
The performative also comes through in Yun-Kyung Kim’s work. Her images document performances taken in the street in different areas of London. Throughout her series of photos she wears a British doll’s house in Georgian-style, her dress reflecting a romantic yet absurd set-up.
Although Jihye Park’s work is closer to Zen philosophies than classical fairy tales, the symbolism is certainly fairytale-like.
Heena Kim also works with images directly drawn from her subconscious and her childhood memories. As a child, as she often played alone, she developed an interest in living things she could interact with.
Gee Song experiences the city of London which discovers both as an observer and an artist. Song feels that the idea of a holiday place, in other words a retreat from daily circumstances to a utopian and often natural place, can be seen in parallel to more mundane acts such as going to a Thai restaurant and decorating one’s house with exotic souvenirs.
Another aspect of fantasy, the idea of a miniature world is explored by Jeong Mun Hur.
On the other hand, Younjeong Lee’s prints focus on cityscapes with buildings not terraced houses) where, even though they are physically different, they many similar shaped buildings becomes patterns.
Also interested in utopian constructions, Minho Kwon’s work responds to the world in which he lives. In contrast, Jee Oh explores issues of commodity exchange through her work.
On the other hand, Jun-Gu Noh demonstrates an awareness of the use of metaphor in his illustrations of daily life, be it in Korea, the UK or Morocco. He depicts these different locations as stages in which everyday activities are carried out like a play. Also offering a record of social issues, Changwoo Ryu’s series Threshold, is based around young adult’s lives in students halls of residence in south London. He has captured these young people living in Britain on the cusp of adulthood, as they misbehave and experiment with recently discovered pleasures: alcohol, fashion, sex.
Illustration of time can be seen in Hyemin Son’s work which moves between various media, through video, performance and installation. Her work attempts to explore the construction of homogenous space and imaginary experience in place and time. The video installation shows three very similar views of urban landscapes. It documents an unusual chance event, which appears like a mirage across the three screens showing the different locations. The work deals with the way in which we map our internal experience onto the landscape as if in a dream.

Finally the larger issue of looking at the world is examined by So Young Park. By making her subject look in the dark, or see with their eyes closed, she is questioning the location of the division point, or the eye-line, which determines light and darkness, and thus the traditional division between vision and imagination.

The exhibition is curated by Emily Butler and Stephanie Seugmin Kim.
A specially commissioned booklet designed by Language of Form will accompany the exhibition. For more information please contact Korean Cultural Centre UK

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