Exhibition reviews and comment

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 Philip Gowman 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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2016 travel diary 4: National Folk Museum, Kim Soonam’s shaman portraits and the journey to Chungnam

by Philip Gowman 16 May 2016
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Jongno, Seoul, Monday 16 May 2016, 9am A visit to the National Folk Museum The good thing about having a local companion sense-check your travel plans is that they can point out weaknesses that only a local is likely to know about. So when Chris saw that I was planning a day trip from Seoul […]

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2016 travel diary 3: Seoul’s Fortress Walls, and genre painting at the DDP

by Philip Gowman 15 May 2016
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Jongno, Seoul, Sunday 15 May 2016. The time lag has caught up with me. My intention this morning had been to go along to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza to visit the exhibition of Joseon dynasty genre paintings from the Kansong museum before joining the RASKB for a walk along the eastern sections of Seoul’s fortress […]

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Exhibition visit: Bates’s Room – Shin Kiwoun at the Old Police Station

by Philip Gowman 13 March 2016
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The Old Police Station in Deptford is an interesting, slightly claustrophobic space for exhibiting art. A reception area with, behind, four gloomy holding cells whose walls are clad in ceramic tiles. Given the lack of light, it’s particularly suitable for showing video works. And the oppressive atmosphere was particularly suited to Shin Kiwoun’s  theme which, […]

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Exhibition visit: Yiyun Kang’s Casting, at the V+A

by Philip Gowman 22 February 2016
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Yiyun Kang’s Casting installation, in which she projects lighting effects with pinpoint accuracy onto the complex 3-dimensional surfaces of Roman and medieval sculptures, is a slightly eerie and a very special experience. The technique, known called projection-mapping, requires painstaking measurements of the target surface to be taken, to ensure that the projection is not distorted by […]

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Exhibition visit: Noh Suntag at 43 Inverness Street and Fitzrovia Gallery

by Philip Gowman 15 February 2016
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In his written introduction to the two parallel exhibitions at 43 Inverness Street and the Fitzrovia Gallery, Noh Suntag says “I am exploring how the Korean War lives and breathes in contemporary Korean society. I glare at the space where divided powers manipulate the war and division at will, treating them as a chapter of […]

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Exhibition visit: a brief walk round London Art Fair 2016

by Philip Gowman 31 January 2016
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No matter how well you prepare yourself for an art fair, you are bound to be caught unawares as you follow your planned route from stall to stall. In our visit of course we focused on Skipwiths, Shine and Hanmi, but elsewhere we came across the established photographer Boomoon showing at Flowers Gallery, and emerging […]

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Exhibition visit: Junebum Park’s Maths Test work-in-progress

by Philip Gowman 21 January 2016
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At Tonbridge school, visitors have been privileged to see the work in progress of Korean video artist Junebum Park. And pupils have been privileged to be subjects, almost like laboratory rats, in his latest work. Park is known, among other things, for his Puzzle series, in which students are filmed from above as they struggle […]

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Exhibition visit: Korean artists at APT8

by Philip Gowman 28 December 2015
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The Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) has been hosting the Asia Pacific Triennial since 1993. The exhibition features artists from all over the region, and Korea has been represented from the start. The triennial is spread over two buildings (the QAG itself and the nearby Gallery of Modern Art which opened in 2006) which collectively are […]

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