Exhibition reviews and comment

This year-long exhibition as part of the Korea/UK 2017-18 cultural collaboration brings together a range of approaches and responses to Korean ceramics. From work that is purely functional to work that is purely decorative, via work that seeks to critique contemporary Korean society, the unifying element is the quality of the craftsmanship and execution. Yoon […]

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Exhibition visit: Haenyeo, Women of the Sea, at National Maritime Museum

by Philip Gowman 14 June 2017
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The National Maritime Museum, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich, played host to an exhibition featuring South Korea’s latest inclusion in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. Life-size photographs of Jeju’s famous diving women were dotted around a building which began life in 1807 as a school for the children of British seafarers. […]

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Hwang Jihae’s Shoes Tree project at Seoul Station

by Philip Gowman 28 May 2017
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This year’s Chelsea Flower Show has just come to an end. No Korean participation this year, as far as I am aware. Last year Hwang Hay-joung won silver gilt for her Smart Garden sponsored by LG. But loyal readers will remember back to 2011 and 2012, when Hwang Jihae, without a big name corporate sponsor, […]

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Exhibition visit: Chosun Paintings — Beyond Borders, Beauty.

by Philip Gowman 4 April 2017
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When going along to an exhibition of work by North Korean artists you’re not quite sure what to expect. David Heather’s collection that was exhibited at La Galleria in 2007 had something for all tastes, including propaganda posters; a genre, influenced by western painting styles, that might be dismissed as Juche kitsch; and Chosonwha, which […]

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Exhibition visit: Suh Do-ho — Passage/s

by Philip Gowman 19 March 2017
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Visiting the Suh Do-ho solo show at Victoria Miro gallery is a very British experience. You queue to get in the front door, queue in the back yard to get to the second exhibition space and, once admitted to this gallery you queue again to get up close to the main exhibit. In the dozen […]

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Gallery: Yeji Kim – Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things

by Philip Gowman 18 March 2017
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Yeji Kim’s exhibition was the first to be held in the KCCUK’s refashioned space. Gone is the Multi-Purpose Space, demolished and reclaimed as an enhanced exhibition area. Screenings and lectures are now downstairs in the library, and one wonders how the KCC will cope with theatrical presentations in the future. Anyway, the larger space works […]

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Gallery: Korean Artists at London Art Fair 2017

by Philip Gowman 20 February 2017
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A quick post to upload some of the photos of the various galleries exhibiting Korean art at this year’s London Art Fair (plus one gallery that I missed). Hanmi Gallery Jaye Moon Jaye Moon’s work had been getting a fair amount of attention – guerrilla-style installations of Lego dotted around the Business Design Centre and […]

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Exhibition visit: KAA residency — I, Kid

by Philip Gowman 19 February 2017
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For their January 2017 exhibition and performance at the KCC, the Korean Artists Association chose nostalgia for childhood as their theme. The text which follows is from the exhibition catalogue, with installation shots mainly by LKL. I, Kid. 우리어릴적 Childhood memories are special to all of us. They do not disappear, but are planted in […]

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Review: Bongsu Park’s Crossing Over – Ritual of Grief

by Philip Gowman 14 November 2016
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Bongsu Park’s two-part work, Crossing Over – Ritual of Grief, is an ambitious piece lasting for almost two hours which saw its first performance spread over two weekends in two different locations during August. It blends contemporary electronic music with traditional Korean music, and contemporary dance with traditional Korean dance such as Salpuri. Appropriately enough […]

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A look at some of the Korean artists featured at Start Art Fair 2016

by Philip Gowman 25 September 2016
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No matter how much preparation you put into visiting an art fair – planning which stalls to visit, estimating how much time you are likely to spend at each – you will almost always end up spending your time differently from the way you originally intended: some stalls will engage you in conversation, telling you […]

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Biennale visit: Korea’s contemporary vision of Utopia

by Philip Gowman 24 September 2016
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At the heart of Korea’s contribution to London’s first design biennale is a digital rendering of Ahn Gyeong’s famous realisation of a visionary dream described by his patron, Prince Anpyeong, a son of King Sejong the Great. On the left of the image, in place of the calligraphic colophon provided by Prince Anpyeong himself is […]

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Exhibition visit: Kang Ik-joong’s Moon Jars at Robilant + Voena

by Philip Gowman 20 September 2016
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With Kang Ik-joong’s specially commissioned work floating prominently on the river outside Tate Modern, Robilant and Voena have chosen an opportune time to exhibit a collection of his moon jar paintings. Also on show is Things I Know (2010) an installation of 500 small moon jars arranged in a circle. He may have been pulling […]

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Exhibition news: Yun Hyong-keun at Simon Lee Gallery

by Events Editor 17 September 2016
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Yun Hyong-keun (b 1928) passed away in 2007. By arrangement with the artist’s son, a number of his works from the early 1990s are being exhibited at Simon Lee Gallery in Berkeley Street in what is his first posthumous solo show in London. The majority of the works are oil on linen, though one (not […]

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Kang Ik-joong’s Floating Dreams for Korean reunification

by Philip Gowman 14 September 2016
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Kang Ik-joong’s installation entitled Floating Dreams is a symbol of hope for the unification of Korea. Moored on the Thames outside Tate Modern, the installation is an assembly of 500 drawings in the shape of a cube – four square sides and a flat upper surface each featuring a grid of 10 x 10 pictures […]

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Kang Ik-joong’s Floating Dreams installed on the Thames

by Philip Gowman 30 August 2016
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For one reason or another, today at the office I had my eyes glued to my PC screen most of the day. I didn’t have much time to enjoy the view from my window, from where I can see the Thames around the Greenwich peninsula. Which meant that I managed to miss one of the […]

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Exhibition visit: Koo Jeong A upgrades Charing Cross

by Philip Gowman 4 July 2016
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When we visited the Venice Biennale in 2009, one of the installations in the Giardini was by Koo Jeong A entitled A Reality Upgrade & End Alone (2009). The installation involved the sprinkling of 3,000 rhinestones on the grass near the cafeteria, which should have resulted in the tired lawn miraculously coming alive with fairy dust. And indeed that’s […]

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Hay Joung Hwang wins Silver Gilt at Chelsea Flower Show

by Philip Gowman 30 May 2016
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Congratulations to Hay Joung Hwang for winning a silver gilt medal for her first show garden at Chelsea. Hwang’s LG Smart Garden combined soft pastel-coloured planting in a very English style with clean, modern lines for an outside living space. The feature which caught everyone’s attention was the cantilevered pergola which reached over the terrace, […]

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