London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Being and nothing-ness at Nolias Gallery

Notice of a group show by three Korean artists in Bankside:

Being and Nothing-ness

27 March – 7 April 2009 (10.30 am – 6 pm)
Venue: Nolias Gallery, 60 Great Suffolk St SE1 0BL Bankside
Participant Artists: Youngmi Kim 김영미, Kiwoun Shin 신기운, Seunghyun Woo 우승현
curated by JW Stella 구정원

‘Being and nothing-ness’ will explore notions of being, and the gaps and voids created when being fractures, from the aesthetic perspective of three emerging Korean diaspora artists.

Our world often breaks into dualisms, inside and outside, mind and body, black and white, good and evil. These appear to offer a map pointing to understanding but perception and reality can turn out to be yet another dualism, in a hall of mirrors where nothing finds a finite definition. Youngmi Kim, Kiwoun Shin and Seunghun Woo gamble with these uncertainties and mysteries in their artworks.


Youngmi Kim’s work tests the limits of the dynamics and structures that a canvas can hold. Having studied and exhibited in Korea and the USA, this will be Youngmi Kim’s debut on the London art scene. With an impressive body of work drawing on her primary source of inspiration – architecture – Youngmi Kim aims to stimulate the eye and the brain with her three-dimensional voids of emptiness.

Kiwoun Shin’s contribution to ‘Being and nothing-ness’ is an exciting multi-sensory video piece. Using echoes of Genesis -‘dust to dusk (for dust thou art)’ – and of Buddhism – 自古以來 (man comes with nothing and also finishes his life with nothing, going back to the earth) as principal motives for his work ‘Grind’. Kiwoun Shin’s video piece explores the questions with which objects and their negative counterpart, nothingness, confront the viewer.

Seunghyun Woo plays with beauty and desire in the mixed-media sculptures she presents at this collective show. Investigating the nature of right and wrong through Buddhist theories, Seunghyun Woo has created an unconscious and automatic way of working which she terms “marbling is-ness”. Seunghyun Woo has recently completed her MFA at Slade School of Art, and has studied and exhibited in both Korea and London.

JW Stella is an independent curator and art consultant, and project managed and coordinated international contemporary art exhibitions since 2005, such as Fantasy Studio, 2008 Liverpool Biennale (A Foundation, Liverpool), Good Morning Mr. Nam June Paik (Korean Cultural Centre, London 2008), Seoul Until Now (Charlottenborg Exhibition Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark 2005). She is currently invited as a guest curator for an inaugural show for The Museum of Art in Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, South Korea and involved in an advisory capacity with a cross-cultural engagement between the UK and Saudi Arabia; the project rests on the premise that contemporary art is a major influence in creating cultural, corporate and brand values.

This exhibition is kindly sponsored by Art Council Korea, Corona and media sponsored by OpenVizor (, Kube Media (


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