Candle Night exhibition in Kilburn Art Space

by Philip Gowman on 20 December, 2008

in Conservation and Environment | Event Notices | Exhibition news | Foreigners in Korea

Kahoidong festival 1Kahoidong festival 2

A couple of years ago tea-merchant David Kilburn appeared in the Korea Times: he had organised a mini arts festival in Bukchon hanok village in Seoul – where he lives in one of the last few remaining unspoilt hanoks. The festival had artistic aims – “to place traditional performances in the intimate traditional setting of a hanok and explore the resonance of their interaction” – but also spiritual: “the festival was also designed as an act of prayer. A prayer that the traditional values should not be wholly eclipsed in the modern world; that there would still be an opportunity for the hanoks of Kahoidong to survive.”

Kilburn has been running a longstanding campaign for the preservation of the hanoks in that part of Seoul – visit his campaign site here. A more recent venture has been the establishment of the Kilburn Art Space at 31-79 Kahoidong. Its inaugural exhibition opens on 21 December – the Winder Solstice – coinciding with an international series of candle-lit events coordinated by Candle Night, whose slogan is “Turn off the lights, and take it slow”.

candles-at-kilburn-art-spaceDecember 21st through January 10th, 2009
Public reception • Sunday, December 21st, 6 – 8pm
Performance • Sunday, December 21st, 8pm

Internationally recognized artists from Macedonia, Belgium, and New York City, as well as emerging artists from New York City, Tokyo, and Korea, will be exhibiting their work at the Kilburn Art Space in Kahoi‐dong from December 21st to January 10th, 2009.

Come visit the historical heart of Seoul for a candle night filled with peace, serenity, and beauty. We offer a unique experience for visitors to enjoy contemporary art in the historical setting of traditional Korean wooden structures, known as “hanok.” The central theme of the exhibition is: “Contemporary Culture Values, Cultural Heritage” and will feature the works of artists from Belgium, Macedonia, New York, and Korea. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

This art exhibition will explore the intersection of contemporary culture and cultural heritage in the historic hanok village of Kahoi‐dong, while raising awareness of the environment and ecology; reflected by the natural materials (stone, wood, mud, and paper) from which “hanok” are constructed.

The exhibit opening and performance will take place in tandem with the Candle Night Celebrations; an event inspired by a mission to raise environmental awareness and widely celebrated in East Asia. The performance will be a blessing by Doshin Monk from Bongeunsa Temple in Seoul.

The Kilburn Art Space is a non‐commercial, non‐profit organization, whose mission is to provide an opportunity to explore contemporary art in the historical setting of traditional Korean wooden structures, known as “hanok.” We are based upon principles of diversity and collaboration in an effort to raise international awareness of cultural heritage and its re‐appropriation. The Kilburn Art Space was created by and is named after Englishman Mr. David Kilburn and his wife Jade Kilburn who bought the hanok in 1988. They have worked ceaselessly for the preservation of Korea’s architectural heritage for 20 years. For more information visit: www.kahoidong.com

The Kilburn Art Space is located between Gyeongbok Palace and Changdeok Palace in Kahoi‐dong, the historical heart of Seoul.

Mr. Pablo Barrera (Director and Head Curator) and Ms. Sol Jung (Assistant Director and Curator) have organized this exhibit at the Kilburn Art Space in Kahoi‐dong. Both are undergraduate students at the University of Pennsylvania, studying Art History. In collaboration with Professors and scholars from Harvard University, Columbia University, and Seoul National University, Mr. Barrera and Ms. Jung have been conducting research on traditional Korean architecture. Their research led them to discover Kahoi‐dong and its beautiful traditional hanok. Through this exhibition, they hope to convey the cultural relevance of traditional hanok in a contemporary lifestyle.

Kilburn Art Space (Korea): Free Admission, Wed. 10am‐4pm, Fri., Sat., Sun., 11am‐7pm Mondays Closed.
Tues., Thurs., by appointment only: Contact Pablo Barrera (pablonb [at] sas.upenn.edu) Tel: (02‐765‐2350)

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