Ilmin Museum: Cho Duck Hyun (조덕현) Solo

August 28 – October 25, 2015,

IMG_20150915_165907Cho Duck Hyun’s main skill is the ability to minutely copy photographs as graphite pencil drawings on large canvases covered with Korean mulberry paper. The photos are reproduced in black and white, and the originals are also usually black and white vintage photographs. This technique that produced beautiful detailed artworks is his trademark differentiation, similar to Yeesookyung’s broken-and-reassembled porcelain vessel sculptures, Sekyung Lee’s human-hair-on-porcelain-drawings or Osang Gwong’s photo-sculptures. In order to differentiate further, Cho Duck Hyun groups his oeuvre according to projects, sometimes theme-specific (e.g. drawings based on photographs of a writer in whose foundation museum the show takes place) or location specific (e.g. drawings based on photos from an archive of a photo studio in a Japanese town). Sometimes a performance aspect is incorporated as well, like the staging of a ‘fake’ excavation project. Continue reading

Ujung Art Center: Jeon Gisuk Solo

September 16 – 30, 2015,

IMG_20150916_184053An exhibition of paintings. All seem to be based on old black and white photographs, but I did not know why, so I assume it is the preferred period in which the artist would like to live if she could choose. The element of fascination with the past and the dream-like-ness of any memory is further amplified by the composition technique, which seems to stem from using some kind of kaleidoscope which decomposes the selected images into repetitive hexagonal or circular shapes. Continue reading

The Creative Center for Convergence Culture: “Art as the Future”

September 16 – December 15, 2015,,

Jung Ju An, Je Baak, Sunghun Choi & Sunmin Park, RohwaJeong, Sojung Jun, Lee Nam Lee, Wan Lee, Yongseok Oh, Junebum Park, Ho Yeol Ryu, Shin Kiwoun, Yangachi, Hyun Mi Yoo

Lee Nam Lee

Lee Lee Nam

The Creative Center for Convergence Culture is located in Seoul’s Digital Media City, a purpose-built urban cluster for media companies, and inside of CJ E&M Center, CJ E&M being a media company owning numerous TV channels globally and indirectly related to the Lee family (Samsung) empire. The space has a design hotel lobby feel, with different sizes and types of digital display devices, here brought onto another level by including not only sofas and tables for latte sipping and e-mail checking, but also actual high-quality workstations for artists to produce works right there. There is a sound recording studio, a motion capture set, two 4k video editing suites, and maybe something else I overlooked. Continue reading

SongEun Art Space “Summer Love Part 2”

August 19 – September 19, 2015

기본 RGBAs the title suggested, this was the second part of the show, and indeed it was a continuation of part one. Overall it seemed that this two-part exhibition tried to give justice to each and every artist SongEun has cooperated with in the last 5 years. There was no curatorial theme or narrative, which was good to simply see different artists in a nice space, to get an “objective” overview of Songeun Art Space’s preferences and of a slice of Korean art scene, a bit like an art fair but much more calm and focused. The poster design was fresh and attractive too.

Following, some samples from the show: Continue reading

MMCA Gwacheon: “The Sound of Things” + Choi Jong Tae “Retrospective”

June 23 – November 1, 2015 (The Sound of Things) and September 1 – November 29, 2015 (Choi Jong Tae),

IMG_20150910_151230“The Sound of Things” presented 30 or more years of Korean minimalist/nature-related art in the large circular exhibition space of MMCA Gwacheon and adjacent rooms. It was a comprehensive selection and very worthy to see, something I unfortunately had to undertake within a short time. Continue reading

HITE Collection: “Klingsor’s Last Summer”

September 11 – December 12, 2015,

Artists: 강서경 (Suki Seokyeong Kang), 김영은 (Young Eun Kim), 로와정 (RohwaJeong), 박형지 (Hyungji Park), 이은우 (Eunu Lee), 정희승 (Heeseung Chung)

이은우 (Eunu Lee)

이은우 (Eunu Lee)

Each of the works in this exhibition was special in its own way, but as a whole it felt a bit bland. I am guessing it is a result of trying too hard to balance and smooth out everything: Media employed, size of the artworks, spatial distribution, etc. It may be the influence of having a corporate foundation gallery in a corporate building, and I have a similar feeling when visiting Samsung’s Plateau exhibition space: The exhibitions are perfect, yet they blend in too well with the environment. Continue reading

Plateau: Elmgreen & Dragset “Aeroport Mille Plateaux”

June 23 – October 18, 2015, Plateau (Samsung), Seoul,

IMG_20150911_163022This show was a perfect match for Plateau’s space: Elmgreen & Dragset transformed Plateau into an airport-themed exhibition space, and in fact they only needed to add some small touches to complete the “transformation” of this space which in itself feels very similar to a modern cool airport design. Continue reading

SeMA Bukseoul Museum of Art: Gum Nuri vs Hong Jungpyo “Title Match” + “Festival of Hands” + “The Secret Kingdom _ Wonderland”

September 8 – November 8, 2015 (December 13, 2015 for The Secret Kingdom_Wonderland)

IMG_20150908_171606_HDRTwo artists of two different generations were confronted in “Title Match”. Gum Nuri is an artist in his 50’s or 60’s, a sculptor working in a kind of post-minimalist tradition. He makes use of found objects, or simple materials that are sculpted into curved forms, sometimes using natural forces like gravity, sometimes bent according to the artist’s vision. In Gum Nuri’s works, the selection of materials embodies the question of what is or what can be art: How can an everyday object like a book or a rusted metal part of an instrument take on a new life within a new signification chain? Continue reading

Cake Gallery: Jeong Ki Hoon Solo

September 3 – 25, 2015,

IMG_20150911_145641Cake Gallery is located in Dongmyo, Seoul, an area of flea markets and small metal work, wood work and second hand appliances shops. As such it seems to be a forerunner of a future gentrification project if it succeeds. Tucked away in the 6th floor of a building, it is rather hidden, but easy to find when following a map. Inside, the gallery looks clean and spacious, more than one would expect given the narrow crowded street and corridor that leads to its entrance. Continue reading