Korean Exhibition: ‘NOWS: Traverse over time and space’

Date: 13 August – 26 August 2011
Venue: 30 Maple Street, London W1T 6HA, United Kingdom

The Hanmi Gallery is pleased to announce its third interim exhibition, NOWS: Traverse over time and space, commissioned by four young Korean artists whose works are not much shown to public yet. For the project, those up and coming artists deliver their diverse artistic concepts to meet the mission that the gallery pursues.

Hanmi Gallery is due to open in early 2012 after the planned renovation to be transformed into the official gallery look. The gallery focuses on introducing either Korean and international artists by supportively committing to present their art works. With operations in both London and Seoul, Hanmi Gallery aims to role as a milestone to direct the vibrant contemporary art scenes to the international audiences.

As the exhibition title literally denotes every single moments of one’s been and being in transcending the times, four young artists explore a hallowed 1930s building that was rebuilt during World War II and the last renovation was completed in 1981. The space, in which many events happened over the period of its being, has left a large number of vestiges behind. The cracks on the floor, the stains on the walls, and the broken ceiling have derived artists’ intention into the existing memories of the space.

‘Space’ is the main theme of the exhibition, in both its visible and invisible forms. In the contemporary art world, a space is not merely recognised as the product of three dimensions referenced somewhere along the tangible planes of the physical world. A space instead has an identity, character, provenance and emotion. It is formed from nothingness at its beginning and comes gradually, in the most passive of ways, to build an existence based on the memories associated with its history. Every instant that passes by continues this process in perpetuity.

The individual work of the contributors will separately occupy each one of the building’s four floors to deliver four diverse experiences at four different levels representing four unique identities.

The participating artists Eunsook Choi, Juyoung Lee, Yeojoo Park and EJ Cho will devote an artistic contribution to the allocated gallery spaces.

Eunsook Choi examines routinely objects scattered around her own physical space. In recognition of those objects as references that mirror the relationship between individuals and the society, she translates those into her subtle language by adopting the gesture of an abstract painting with artificial colours. In the given space, on the ground floor she plans to construct a studio where she will be capturing the memories of the space through her paintings. she will perform the process live during the exhibition period as well as the viewers will be allowed to witness the isolated and individual working process through the shop-window.

Juyoung Lee is interested in finding and creating new structures and rules. ‘Scattered No.2’ is a work which she changes words to dots through her own system named ‘The Alphabet chart’ that she initiated herself. In the rule, alphabet letters are transformed into numbers, afterwards, numbers are coded into musical chord. In her recent work, she used dandelion seeds to visualise the experimental
coding work by differentiating the height of each dandelion seeds. The artist will translate the water stains on the walls of the first floor into sound by coding work. She will measure the area of each blemishes and, based on their individual sizes, create collections of proportionate musical notes. The output will be a musical composition derived directly from the history of the building.

Yeojoo Park transforms the second floor with her own approach to cognise spaces surrounded by four walls in which we most spend our time in modern society. Inevitably, such circumstance leads individuals to crave escape from the suffocating walls that enclose us. Looking back the transformation of the walls from ancient times to present, which are deeply embedded in human being, Yeojoo Pack considers the walls as an obstacle but, simultaneously, which have the latent power to open a suppositional space. In this exhibition she builds a wall which is packed with diagonally arrayed timbers. The timbers are parallel to each other. There are small lined gaps in between the timbers which are regularly lined up. Viewers may see the other sides of the coloured gallery wall through those gaps. It is on a same effect with varied colours on the back sides of the work. When viewers walking around the wall, because of a narrow field of vision that coincides with the big wall she made, they may not speculate the whole of the space in a sight. Instead, they, rather, keep having coloured lines in which those are kept changing and filling with the lined blanks on the process of looking around the construction.

EJ Cho creates new texts with chalk whose idea, for this special occasion, comes along with the concept of a site-specificity on the third floor. Her work tells stories that juxtapose the facts and the fiction associated with the relationship between the past (1980s) and the present (2010s), between Seoul and London. She explores the historical moments from 1980s of Seoul to 2010s of London, which has led her to the idea of the Olympic Games. Her work seems somewhat personal but it lies in social and political context, too. She tells stories, stories about herself that may or may not be true. All the values are grounded in the fact derived from her own experience. By immediate writing of the ideas and questions about the Olympics on the black-painted wall and on the floor with chalk, she attempts to question the actual motto of the Games.

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