Hanmi Gallery at London Art Fair

Hanmi Gallery is a new gallery to the central London art scene – so new in fact that its gallery space is still under construction, and due to open in October this year in Maple Street, Fitzrovia. But it’s already established in Seocho-dong, Seoul, and has been trailing its London opening by holding a stall at the London Art Fair 2011:

Dedicated to promoting the best of modern and contemporary art from Korea and Asia, Hanmi Gallery is proud to be exhibiting works by the Korean contemporary artists Sankeum KOH and Jiwon WANG at London Art Fair, the UK’s largest Modern British and Contemporary art showcase. Within the Fair, Hanmi Gallery is participating as a part of the seventh edition of Art Projects, established as one of the most exciting sections, with 31 galleries featuring emerging artists and new contemporary works.

Work by Koh San-keun

Sankeum KOH meticulously assembles pearl beads or steels balls to create an illusion of blurred texts. Sourcing from newspaper columns, books and poetry, she transforms the literary word into fragmented visions. Koh draws upon the viewer’s frustration of not being able to read ‘code’, leaving them to question what it is they are actually ‘reading’. Her works are also challenging the validity of such texts in newspapers and questioning the dogmatic approach of its readers.

Koh eliminates the information from the letters, leaving the shape or the configuration of the written word. Thus the written article has transcended into a pure visual or an encrypted body of work that is independent to the arbitrary content of the original text. With written works of art, once the visual process of ‘reading’ has begun, the reader has no choice in receiving the intent information by the author. However, in Koh’s works the viewer can choose to see that the formation of pearls is an article written in memory of Nam June Paik or to undergo an experience similar to attempted recall of something that has been forgotten or that is strangely familiar.

Sankeum Koh holds MFA in Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute, New York and MFA in Painting from Ewha Womans University, Seoul. Awards She was awarded 12 x 12 x(12) from Islip Art Museum, New York in 1994 and the Dong-A Award from the Modern Art Museum of Korea, Seoul. Koh’s works are present in Kyeounggido Museum of Art, Korea and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea.

Work by Wang Ji-won

Jiwon WANG’s futuristically Zen sculptures poignantly question the relationship between man and technology.

The natural human features of Wang’s sculptures with their serene and meditative expressions, are juxtaposed against the disjointed mechanical components, creating a jarring spectacle for the viewer. At the core of Wang’s work is the issue of decision making; the emotive human decisions against the coded and systematic judgments made by machines. Wang is concerned with the status of human thought and how it will transgress to the future. His interest in the manifestation and translation of the human decision making process in works of art through the passage of time can be found in the Buddha-like poses of the sculptures which question whether advancement of machinery and technology has changed the fundamental elements of human life.

The characteristic Buddha-like faces can be found repeatedly in Wang’s sculptures. They show that the concept of ‘personality’ and how it is identified, not as discarnate spirits but as physical organic states. Wang’s combining of representations of human features with the artificiality of machinery question whether the moral nature of the human being is lost with the advancement of artificial intelligence and cyber identity.

Jiwon Wang graduated from Changan university in Seoul, Korea with MA in Sculpture in 2007. He was awarded the Seoul City Nanji Art Studio? In 2009-2010 and the Song Eun Award. Wang’s works have been collected by Art Bank Korea and Kolon Tower. Hanmi Gallery represents Jiwon Wang exclusively in the UK

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(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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