This year’s START will include a Korean Eye 2020 teaser exhibition ahead of its international launch. This exciting teaser will bring together a group of 12 visual artists and one performance artist in a group exhibition.
This eclectic mix of artists are all of Korean cultural heritage, some living and working exclusively in South Korea, and others travelling between their studios in South Korea and Europe. This mix highlights the growing importance of Korean contemporary art and the European influence on those artists living abroad. Local cultural influences have largely shaped their art practice, some reflect how they have negotiated and responded to changes in the international art scene, ultimately examining the interplay between various cultural worlds. From paintings on silk and traditional Korean fabric to photography to sculpture to light installations and performance, artists included in this exhibition have employed a wide array of artistic methods in their practice, which synthesises the multifaceted nature of South Korean identities and triggers a consideration of the nation’s artistic spirit regardless of geographic location.
The teaser acts as a glimpse into Korean Eye 2020, narrating the individualistic experience of contemporary Korean artists, whether shaped domestically or internationally.
A new show featuring 30 artists will open in St.Petersburg in Spring 2020 before travelling to the Saatchi Gallery and finishing in Seoul next autumn.
Teaser artists include: Cha Jongrye, Doo Hwa Chung, Doowon, Eemyun Kang, Hayoung Kim, Helena Parada Kim, Hyun Kyu Kim, Kim Bumsu, Kim Jae Il, Lee Jeonglok, Soowhan Choi, Yun Hee Toh and performance artist Da In Park.
Seoul based Doowon (b.1982) is a self-taught artist who instinctively draws and paints as he travels through rural landscapes around the world. Nature is his atelier, and the surroundings provide motivation for his work. Instead of using traditional canvas, he paints on local fabrics found while traveling. Stones, discarded buttons, brooms, and unique antiques bought at local markets are also found in his works.
Kim Jae Il (b.1969) Seoul is a sculptor who draws inspiration from transitional energies. In consciously avoiding figuration and in citing the influence of nature and spirituality on his work, Kim’s approach reflects an attitude which began with artists who, in the 1970s, started producing works in reaction to the realism that had been prevalent in Korean art. While extending these interests, Kim’s use of negative space also responds to what he sees as extrovert and unequivocal tendencies in contemporary art. Unfolding in a spirit of generosity and resistance, Kim’s abstract works invite contemplation over time.
Hun Kyu Kim studied MA painting at the Royal College of Art in London where he currently lives. He delicately paints on silk with traditional oriental pigment used for ancient East Asian religious paintings.
Lee Jeonglok is a Korean artist who uses photography to create and record his world. He makes mysterious and evocative images of strange and magical events. These happen in carefully chosen, personally significant landscapes, realised by a thorough mastery of photographic technique. The production of these pieces is a complex and painstaking process. These images are not made digitally, but by an ‘in camera’ technique. This means using long and multiple exposures, manipulating artificial light and deploying various props on site and in real time. The physicality and engagement of this process is important to the artist. He states that this effort allows him to reveal another, parallel world.
Eemyun Kang (b.1981) Busan, South Korea. Lives and works in London and Milan Kang obtained a BA degree from Slade School of Fine Art (2006), completed her Postgraduate Studies in Fine Art at The Royal Academy of Art in London (2009) and received a Doctorate in Fine Art (DFA) at the University of East London (2012). Her paintings depict her fascination with nature and the process of morphology, translating organic forms into lush abstraction, she creates complex natural worlds marked by energetic and fluid brushstrokes.
Cha Jongrye achieved a MFA in Sculpture from Ewha Women’s University, South Korea in 1996. Using wood as her chosen medium, Cha constructs seamlessly intricate wooden landscapes by sanding and layering hundreds of delicate wood boards. Her process is intentionally unintentional; rather than executing a predetermined design, she allows herself to discover images in the fluidity of arranging and rearranging the uniquely hand-shaped blocks. The result is a richly textured three-dimensional canvas upon which light and shadow dance, transforming the once-recognisable wood material into entirely abstracted landscapes reminiscent of wrinkled linen, rolling sand dunes or rippling water.
Doo-wha Chung (b.1968) achieved a MFA from the College of Fine Art at Dongguk University in 1996. Doo Wha Chung’s painstakingly made works have been featured in exhibitions and collections around the world.
HaYoung Kim (b.1983) in Seoul previously studied painting at Hongik University in Seoul, Korea, before going on to complete her Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art at the Royal Academy. Since graduating in 2011, she has also completed a Doctor of Fine Art (DFA) at The School of Arts and Digital Industries in London. Working primarily with painting on polyester canvas and drafting film, often incorporating it into animation and installation, HaYoung draws on her interest in modern technology and science, and their effect on the human mind.
Helena Parada Kim (b.1982) Cologne, Germany, currently lives in Berlin, Germany. Parada Kim is deeply touched by photographs featuring Korean nurses dispatched to Germany that she saw in her mother’s photo album, she became deeply interested in the history and culture of Korea. Through this exploration into her own Korean identity Parada Kim began tackling subject matters such as Korean nurses, hanbok (Korean traditional clothing), and ancestral rites.
Kim Bumsu (b.1965) Goyang South Korea obtained a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts at Hong-Ik University, Seoul, before moving to New York to earn a Masters in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Art in 1998. Now exhibited worldwide, Bumsu uses old and discarded Movie Film to create vast and complex collages that manipulate the light that passes through them via LED boxes. Bumsu strives to bring together the generations of analogue and digital, reconstructing their relationship as a new, distinctive medium which has its own expression totally different from traditional painting, sculpture, and film. These works draw inspiration from the process of searching for ‘Hidden Emotions’, wherein Bumsu explores the concepts of time and space isolated within mass culture.
Soowhan Choi (b.1972) Gyeongju, South Korea creates meticulous, immaculate, yet expressive images by drilling holes of various sizes in a black acrylic plate (Plexiglas) or laminate, and then LED backlighting the piece. The result is art based on precision, where Choi masterfully manipulates material and light to create texture, form and substance.
Yun-Hee Toh (b.1961) Toh’s work has been connected to intrinsic qualities of individuals in their everyday lives and her paintings are private confessions of the human existence on the things that cannot be seen but only felt.
Da In Park (b.1983) Daegu, Korea. Park’s specific focus is to reflect rituals and the institutional framework of politics through installations and performances which allow the audience to reflect and question law and a pre-existing sense of natural law. Park studied Art and Law in Seoul and International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights at the Geneva Academy. She studied Fine Arts at the Tokyo University of The Arts. Recent exhibition projects include Camden Arts Centre’s collaborative international summer residency with the Slade School of Fine Art.
Artist taking a bath in the mountain and suddenly stands up, 2018
Mixed media on Georgia military canvas 186 x 94 cm
Book on wood 111 x 111 x 26.5 cm
Book on wood 99 cm diameter
Vestige, Mass, 2018
Acrylic on fiberglass resin 42.5 x 22 x 79.6 cm
Disappearing into All as One, 2011
Acrylic and glass paint on drafting film 305 x 244 cm
Winner winner chicken dinner, 2018
Traditional oriental pigment on silk 39 x 45 cm
Nabi 10, 2015
C-Type Print 120 x 160 cm
Vaga Luna I, 2019
Oil on canvas 130 x 130 cm
Vaga Luna III, 2019
Oil on canvas 130 x 130 cm
Espose Exposed 181120, 2019
Engineered wood 120 x 135 x 26 cm
Espose Exposed 190220, 2019
Engineered wood 72 x 91 x 25 cm
Emptiness - Bamboo Grove, 2019
LED Laminate 190 x 153.5 x 10 cm
Emptiness - Waterfall, 2018
LED Laminate 204 x 124 x 10 cm
Artist resting after making his robots, 2019
Mixed media on canvas 119.2 x 108 cm
Enraged Cat in a flower garden, 2018
Korean ink, acrylic and gouache on vintage paper 103 x 38 cm
Acrylic on fiberglass resin 120 x 110 x 4.5 cm
Antidepressant Girls, 2011
Acrylic on polyester 110 x 110 cm
Traditional oriental pigment on silk 50 x 60 cm
The birth of nation, 2016
Traditional oriental pigment on silk 50 x 120 cm
Tree of Life 6-1, 2017
C-Type Print 152 x 120 cm
Vaga Luna II, 2019
Oil on canvas 130 x 130 cm
The women from Uamdo, 2017
Oil on linen 170 x 230 cm
Oil on linen 20 x 80 cm
Hidden Emotion V, 2016
Movie film, Acrylic, LED 45 x 45 x 8 cm
Hidden Emotion III, 2016
Movie film, Acrylic, LED 45 x 45 x 8 cm
Black Rod performance
Camden Arts Centre August 2019