PRESENT FROM THE PAST: The 60th Commemoration of the Korean War

Dates: 16 June – 17 July 2010
Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK, 1-3 Strand, London, WC2N 5BW
Tel: 020 7004 2600

A positive, dynamic and exciting exhibition of contemporary art by forty Korean Artists, reflecting on the Korean War and its legacy. And thanking the men and women of Britain who came to Korea’s defence in the name of liberty in 1950.

From 16 June to 17 July 2010 the exhibition PRESENT FROM THE PAST marks sixty years since the Korean War began on June 25 1950. It also offers forty artists an unique opportunity to express their gratitude to British veterans of the war. Some 58,000 British men and women served in Korea and helped to secure the independence and liberty millions of Koreans have today.

PRESENT FROM THE PAST sees forty newly commissioned works from forty Korean artists working internationally. The exhibition pays particular attention to the ways artists deploy their own history – whether through a reinterpretation of the Korean War or its legacy for the people of Korea.

After the exhibition, all the exhibited art works will be donated to the Royal British Legion and will be auctioned in September 2010, with the support of Sotheby’s. The auctioneer Lord Dalmeny of Sotheby’s will auction the lots and all proceeds will be donated to the British Korean Veterans Association Relief Fund. In addition, as a Thank You present, 80,000 special edition postcards of the artworks on show have been printed so that each member of the British Korean Veterans Association may have a set.

As with every Korean, the contributing artists each fully appreciate the importance of 25 June for the people of the Korean peninsula. Korea’s contemporary art scene is indebted to the sacrifices of the Korean War veterans and the honour of marking this anniversary with an exhibition and auction is such that not one of the artists approached turned down the invitation to contribute.

The artworks encompass sculpture relief, oil on canvas, print, drawing and photography, with many artists creating new works especially for this unique event. Each artist was asked to produce a piece of work reflecting one of the following four themes:

I. ‘Connections that transcend Time and Space’
II. ‘Destruction and Creation’
III. ‘Forgotten War, Unforgettable People’
IV. ‘My Korea, its Fragile Peace’

The Exhibition PRESENT FROM THE PAST is brought to you by the Korean Cultural Centre UK. The auction is organised by the Royal British Legion in association with the British Korean Veterans Association. This exhibition is curated by Stephanie Seungmin Kim of the Korean Cultural Centre UK.

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