London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Landslide at I-MYU

Notice of I-MYU’s upcoming group show:


Gordon Cheung | Masakatsu Kondo | Sea Hyun Lee
19 November – 20 December

I-MYU PROJECTS is pleased to present LANDSLIDE, a group show that brings together the work of artists, Gordon Cheung, Masakatsu Kondo and Sea Hyun Lee, who working internationally each have strong links to Eastern Asia, to China, Japan and South Korea respectively. Their work individually and collectively informs a site of landscape that draws on historical representations of landscape from the East and West as well as current social and political interchanges between its cultures and economies.

Gordon Cheung’s paintings create spaces of fictive encounter that draw on the lucid nostalgia of multiple layers of cultural motifs that include comic books, cinema and computer gaming. The pictorial elements of the work are underpinned by collaged elements, vertically aligned financial numbers from the stock market pages of the Financial Times. Structurally supporting the printed and painted overlay of urban reaches and tower blocks these newspaper elements hint as much to a fragility and disjunction underlying the paradigms of a global economy as they do to the power of construction. The works reveal points of Chinese cultural heritage, motifs from political posters intercut with contemporary motifs of sprayed graffiti. The capitalist money markets exist in a real sense in these landscapes, and the works draw on the fluctuation of both utopian and dystopian fields of encounter, describing an uncertain terrain between real and unreal spaces, and between economies of cultural exchange in a world underpinned by numbers and a global network of virtual reality.

In conjunction with Cheung’s work the paintings of Masakatsu Kondo further draw on a cross-cultural currency of visual language concurrent to traditions of landscape painting from both Eastern Asia and Europe. The works construct intricate points of tension between elements of heightened nostalgia. Receding and washed-out landmasses of fallen or broken trees are punctuated with the intensity of an occasional mark and painterly slippage that brings the work uncompromisingly to a contemporary sphere. Devoid of human presence the works jar against the site of dreamscape to which they elude, butterflies become harbingers of an unspoken but darker social tension that resonates through the work.

Sea Hyun Lee’s paintings are constructed from pictorial fragments of mountainous landscape drawn from both North and South Korea, each element contained and isolated as a singular structural landmass within a large missive void. Consistent in their tonal rendering these multiple pockets of mountainous landmass sidestep social and political division, constructing formal articulations of traditional Korean landscape painting through the conjunction of contemporary sites of landscape and fictive representations drawn from historical sources, from books, engravings and photographs. Vertically layered the works adhere to pictorial conventions of receding perspective and retain a linear flatness akin to that of a printed text, the individual blocks of landmass becoming equivalents to calligraphic marks. Sea Hyun Lee consistently uses a monochromatic of red across his work, allowing the work to simultaneously draw on multiple points of social and political evocation whilst offering a singularity of reading across the real and unreal spaces that are juxtaposed as convergent fragments.

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