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Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Exhibition news: Give me Shelter, at the Union Gallery

Roadrunner meets the Natural History Museum - Lee Hyung-koo

Thanks to Peter Corbishley who told me about this exhibition over a soju or two at the Anglo-Korean Society V&A evening.

At the Union Gallery in Southwark there’s an exhibition of works – sculpture and paintings – by five emerging Korean artists, Hyunjhin Baik, Suejin Chung, Osang Gwon, Dongwook Lee and Hyungkoo Lee. Above is a still from a Lee Hyung-koo installation – a skeletal Roadrunner in an eternal chase with a similarly skeletal Wile E. Coyote.

Open six days a week (closed Sundays), the gallery website is here. As ever, it’s now on my calendar, with links to the gallery site and google maps. Until November 28.

Here’s the official press release:

Give Me Shelter

19/09/2006 – 28/11/2006

UNION is pleased to present new works by emerging Korean artists Hyunjhin Baik, Suejin Chung, Osang Gwon, Dongwook Lee and Hyungkoo Lee. The group show brings together these diverse and stimulating young artists for the first time on an international platform.

The sculptors Dongwook Lee and Huyngkoo Lee consider the human condition and deconstruct scientific dogma respectively. Dongwook Lee’s miniature humanoid figures are unsettling fusions of horror and beauty. They are outsiders, de-individualized in a neutral setting, thus embodying an emotional tension. They seem on the verge of bursting out from their containment, ready to re-inhabit the world. Hyungkoo Lee’s sculptures, Canis Latrans Animatus (2005-2006) and Geococcyx Animatus (2005-2006) reconstruct a chase between the cartoon figures of Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner as skeletons within a faux-scientific framework. This playful and thought provoking work turns a slice of pop culture on its head, suggesting that a cartoon and a natural history museum exhibit may occupy similar symbolic ground concerning the representation of a ‘natural’ order.

Both Osang Gwon’s sculptures and Suejin Chung’s paintings feature visual references freed from their everyday context and usage. Gwon creates sculptures by arranging cut outs of advertisements for luxury commodities from glossy magazines. In Deodorant Type (2005-2006), the exteriors of his light, hollow sculptures are composed of photographs pasted onto the corresponding area of the figures. Methods of representation are called into question here. The human figures in Seujin Chung’s paintings are emptied of content, occupying the canvas alongside playfully de-contextualised soft drink containers and food products. The multi-dimensional geometry of her work creates a sense of escapism from the everyday and the figurative representation is engaging in its vivid detail.

The paintings of Hyunjhin Baik resonate with a vibrant and explosive abstraction. The artist’s unconscious seems exteriolized through an organic and expansive rush of colour. Out of this tumultuous mindscape may appear human forms, blurring the lines between the abstract and the figurative.

Recently Hyunjhin Baik and Dongwook Lee participated in the group exhibition Egomania, Civica Gallery, Modena, Italy. Suejin Chung showed at Gallery Skape, Seoul and was part of the group exhibition Yangguang Chanlan, Biz Art, Shanghai, China. Osang Gwon presented a solo show at the Andrew Shire Gallery / 4F Gallery, Los Angeles. Hyungkoo Lee had a solo exhibition at the Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul and was involved in a group show at the Japan Foundation Forum, Tokyo.

Hyunjhin Baik (b. 1972), Suejin Chung (b. 1969), Osang Gwon (b. 1974), Hyungkoo Lee (b. 1969) and Dongwook Lee (b. 1976) live and work in Seoul, Korea.

(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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