Back in October last year Beccy Kennedy reported from the 4482 show: 40 Korean artists in London under one roof in a single exhibition. This week there are at least six Korean artists under one roof in Islington, represented by four galleries.
Exhibiting in the London Art Fair are Albemarle Gallery (Lee Jaehyo and Park Seungmo). Lee currently has a solo show at the gallery, but a number of the Albemarle’s artists are represented in Islington:
Lee Jae-hyo‘s work involves cut and planed wood, exposing the age of the natural object by the rings of time that are a part of every tree. The sculptures are refreshingly unvarnished. From afar they look like a single homogeneous shape, but in fact they are individual logs and sticks carefully hewn and assembled together.
Other of his works are constructed out of burned logs with bent and polished steel nails and bolts. Park Seung-mo also uses steel – in the form of thick gauge wire sculpted into musical instruments. Park has also produced (not currently on show) a version in steel wire of the pensive bodhisattva currently in Brussels.
An artist whose work I was not expecting to see when I went to the art fair last night was Anna Hyun-sook Paik. But as I walked past the Wolseley Fine Arts stall the quiet oil representations of Chosun dynasty ceramics, including two moon vases, was unmistakably the work of a Korean. Anna Paik has been in London for the past ten years. She comments thus on her still lifes:
The white porcelain bowl is perhaps the most poignant object from my childhood spent in South Korea. It holds layers of personal memories. It symbolises morning prayers and daily devotions. It is but a simple thing. However, simplicity is perhaps the most difficult task in art to accomplish, especially when tie object has to conjure up something abstract such as one’s memory of childhood.
I wanted to evoke those emotions that are valued and timeless. Memory is a unique part of the human condition. It is perhaps the only thing that all of us truely possess. It bolings to the time that is lost to us and yet its essence is timeless.
Other artists at the fair are Purdy Hicks’s Bae Chan-hyo (right – a review of his current show will be coming soon), plus I-MYU’s Lee Sea-hyun (below left) and Park Hyung-geun (below right). Lee Sea-hyun is a regular exhibitor in London – including a recent solo show at Union Gallery – while Park Hyung-geun had a show of his interesting landscapes at Ritter / Zamet gallery in September 2007.
Quite apart from the Korean artists with works in the London Art Fair, there twenty others currently showing at exibitions in Rokeby Store Street (six artists: Han Keryoon, Hong Young In, Jeon Kyung, Lee Lee Nam, Lee Gil Woo and Yee Sookyung – review coming soon) and at the KCC another fourteen (Hur Jeong Mun, Kim Heena, Kim Yun-Kyung, Kwon Minho, Lee Bommsoon, Lee Younjeong, Lim Soonnam, Noh Jun-Gu, Oh Jee, Park Jihye, Park So Young, Ryu Changwoo, Song Gee, Son Hyemin).
We can look forward to further exhibitions of London-based Korean artists in 2009. More news on this soon.
The London Art Fair in Islington runs until 18 January.