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Of Origin and Future: an I-MYU exhibition in Cork Street

As part of Asian Art in London I-MYU Projects is holding a special exhibition in Mayfair’s Cork Street entitled Of Origin and Future. The press release follows.

30 October – 8 November
Alon Zakaim Fine Art, 30 Cork Street, W1S 3NG.

Asian Contemporary Art is not a combination of Asian Art and Contemporary Art: it is not Contemporary Art with an Asian cultural orientation, either through subject matter or style, it is Art by Asian people engaged with a universal language of Contemporary Art. As traditionally the ASIA WEEK NEW YORK has opened around Amory Show, so ASIAN ART IN LONDON (AAL) is held in the aftermath of the Frieze Art Fair. This gives an opportunity to encounter Korean Contemporary Art during the London autumn fair period, and directly afterwards during AAL. It is an unending challenge to present Asian Contemporary Art to a western audience as a London based gallery, representing Asian Contemporary artists. It can be a matter of finding a balance between an international market and the localisation of Asian Contemporary Art. AAL is a venue where Asian Contemporary Art can be seen as local art.

It is not negative to highlight the localisation of art production. When an artwork informs a local site it can be more communicative to its audience. I-MYU Projects’ first show in AAL hopes to draw an attention to these issues.

Korean Contemporary Art in OF ORIGIN AND FUTURE shows works rooted in Korean culture that inform an international language of Contemporary Art. The six artists selected to show work are representatives of Korean Contemporary Art, artists who have been witnesses to, and participants in, recent shifts that reflect the history of Korean Art.

  • Kwangyoung Chun works with Korean mulberry papers. His work draws on the motif of wrapping paper used for medicine within traditional Korean medical stores. Since the 1990s his work has remained consistent, although changing, through the use of the same motif and materials, these have became iconic within his work. Kwangyoung Chun is one of the few Korean artists who have earned an international fame.
  • Meekyoung Shin is a London and Seoul based artist. She constructs her sculptures from soap, a material used in daily lives and consumable material. Her works replicate Asian cultural heritages from the past, but as pictorial reconstructions these are made from disposable soap, suggesting new considerations of traditional cultural symbols.
  • Seahyun Lee paints contemporary Korean landscapes using the format of traditional oriental paintings, adopting monochrome colour to divide the work across three divisions of perspectives, Geunkyung, Chungkyung and Wonkyung. The recurrent use of a vivid red colour is a central element in his painting that echoes a tradition of sublime oriental landscape painting.
  • Debbie Han’s work depicts Venus as a western standard of beauty. Her works use a ceramic form, that of celadon, which is praised as an eastern symbol of beauty, layering considerations of beauty from East and West. Han further challenges the standard criteria of beauty drawing her representations of Venus from a number of races.
  • Dongyoo Kim paints dual images of modern icons. The pair of faces provides not only the visual effect but also works as a reminder of stories between the two. They provide tension as well as a feeling of engagement. While Dongyoo Kim’s work doesn’t draw directly on historical motifs that have a direct reference to Asian culture, they render a viewpoint of the world of a Korean artist who has been lived and worked his entire career in his local environment.
  • Duckyong Kim’s work reminds us of an oriental sensitivity. His work is made of traditional as well as natural materials including wood and mother of pearl. It is stands in a contemporary sense for the artist who looks back the past and reconstructs its images.

It is hoped that this show in AAL acts as a guide to the way in Asian Contemporary Art can be presented and engaged with in foreign countries.

Kwangyoung Chun: Aggregation 07-D105. Mixed Media with Korean Mulberry Paper. 131x163cm 2007.
Kwangyoung Chun: Aggregation 07-D105. Mixed Media with Korean Mulberry Paper. 131x163cm 2007.

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