Beccy Kennedy, PhD candidate in contemporary Asian art at MIRIAD, and LKL’s visual arts correspondent, writes to remind us that London is not the only place in the UK to get your fix of Korean culture.
If you don’t already live here and have ever felt like paying a visit to Britain’s birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and Indie/Rave music scene, then this springtime may prove to be an exceptionally fruitful opportunity. There are two major Korean cultural events taking place, which alongside the popular Koreana Restaurant1, and Seoul Kimchi foodstore2, should be enough to entice you to take a long weekend away in Manchester.
This little mock tourism advert is coming from someone who used to live in London and still yearns for life in the multifaceted, multicultural metropolis. Yet part of this yearning is based on the multitude of Korean cultural events which continually take place in the capital, as LKL pays testimony. Now there’s a reason to be in Manchester. Britain’s Asian art triennial, ATM083, will launch artworks from Korea, China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Taiwan in five of the city’s top galleries on April 4th. ATM08, organised by Shisha and MIRIAD (Manchester Institute for Innovation in Art and Design), will be a ground breaking arts event, providing a platform for new intercultural networking opportunities and site specific creations. Manchester Art Gallery will showcase stunning 3D works by two internationally recognised Korean artists, Choe U-Ram and Gwon Osang (who you may remember from Give me Shelter at Union Gallery), until September 21st. There will be a series of public events at Manchester Art Gallery based around these contemporary Korean art works. And a special date for your diary: on 5th April the ATM08 symposium will take place at Whitworth Art Gallery, where you’ll get the chance to hear all the artists talk about their work.
Manchester’s modish cinema/gallery/restaurant, Cornerhouse, has just opened an exhibition of the London based Korean artist, Chosil Kil. Kil’s exhibition, divided into ‘Living with Andis’ and ‘Cocoon’ inventively presents the artist’s personal feelings of memory and modification as she experiences the different cultures of (Korea), Denmark, Canada and Britain. She uses embroidery and recycled objects to produce unique havens signifying episodes of her private life, offering them up to the public space, like communal confessions. I came away from the exhibition feeling trusted and privileged to be let in on her secret story. You can experience this exhibition until March 23rd, so you may want to make your stay into a full length holiday or research into some ‘mega’ cheap coach and train tickets. Beginning in May there will also be an introductory eight week course of Contemporary Asian Art at Cornerhouse, which should introduce themes and debates in contemporary art from Korea, alongside other countries exhibiting at the Triennial.
For more information about the ATM08 related arts events, contact the galleries involved, listed on the Asia Triennial Manchester website.
Finally, being an Arsenal supporter I don’t want to harp on about this last Manchester-based attraction too much, but if you happen to know a Manchester United season ticket holder and fancy a break from the high arts, you may grab a chance to see Park Ji-sung play at Old Trafford too!
Chosil Kil: Living with Andis is at Cornerhouse | 70 Oxford Street | Manchester M1 5NH, 1 Feb 2008 – 23 Mar 2008. More details: artrabbit.com
- 40a King St West, Manchester, M3 2WY, 0161 832 4330
- 275 Upper Brook Street, Manchester, M13 0HR, 0161 273 5556
- See http://www.asiatriennialmanchester.com/ or email beccykennedy [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk for more detailed information