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Bittersweet Thunderspace at Hanmi Gallery

Hanmi Gallery near Fitzroy Square announces its sixth “interim” exhibition:

Bittersweet Thunderspace

Tuesday 18th – Thursday 27th October 2011

Bittersweet Thunderspace poster

Hector Castellis Matutano | Ikuyo Omura | Jinkyun Ahn | John Appleton | Marianne Spurr | Nicky Deeley | Nicholas Pankhurst | Seokyeong Kang | Stephanie Theobold | Suk An | Wonwoo Lee

Bittersweet Thunderspace is an exhibition comprising eleven young interdisciplinary artists currently residing in the UK. Four of the eleven international artists are from Korea, and in part this grouping is a conversation about cultural exchange, exploring the space between translation and meaning. Just as most of the artists involved have come to reside temporarily in the UK to study or work, the exhibition space itself – which is awaiting renovation – is also very much temporary and liminal. It is a stop gap, between one life and another.

The richly active word Thunderspace is a Korean expression to describe ways of creating something: a show, a space, an artwork, a party, a feeling … an exciting happening which arises suddenly and from nowhere, by the spontaneous presence of the right people, at the right place, at the right time.

The term Bittersweet seemed a fitting oxymoron to capture this cultural discrepancy – arising from the discovery of the difference in meaning in describing certain tastes in European and Korean cuisine. In one, the word bitter connotes something positive and strong, whereas in the other it has more negative connotations. It is this cultural slippage and the disparity in taste and value that forms the basis of enquiry for this exhibition – to explore how the artists encounter each other and the site, to rediscover lost meanings.

Hanmi Gallery

London, 30 Maple Street, London W1T 6HA, United Kingdom |
T +44 (0)2082 864 426 | F +44 (0)2082 868 976 | M +44 (0)7862 283 414 | [email protected]
Seoul, 1425-12 Seocho-dong, Seocho-dong, Seoul, South Korea |
T +82 (0)70 7733 3883 | F +82 (0)2 539 8894 | M +44 (0)10 8765 2571 | [email protected]

Participating Artists

Héctor Castells | [email protected]
Born 1978 Lives and works in London and Barcelona
2010-2012 Sculpture, Royal College of Art, London (current)
1997-2000 Biology, UAB Universitat Autónoma, Barcelona

Héctor Castells-Matutano is a sculptor and filmaker. How cinema expands sculpture or how film becomes sculptural. As a biology student got really interested in the basic mechanisms of life and death, which he tries to capture in his work

Ikuyo Omura | [email protected]
Born in 1975, Kanagawa-ken, Japan. Lives and works in London.
2010-2012 MA Royal College of Art, painting (current)
2006-2009 London Metropolitan University, BA ( Hons ) Fine Art / Painting.
2004-2006 City Lit College, Foundation Diploma Fine Art and Design.
1993-1995 Tokyo Women College of Physical Education, Bachelor of Physical Education and Teaching Certificate.

I enjoy the moment of Celebrating Chance in my work / working process.

Jinkyun Ahn | [email protected] |
Born 1983 Lives and works in London and Seoul
2010- 2012 MA candidate in Photography, Royal College of Art
2010 BFAs in Photography and Film, Animation and Video, Rhode Island School of Design

John Appleton | | [email protected]

Born 1976 Auckland, New Zealand.
2000 Bachelor of Visual Arts, Auckland University of Technology, NZ

Appleton’s surreal and unsettling images are informed by the traditions of classical portraiture, still life and ornament. His works often employ anthropomorphism and decorative distortion to highlight the theatricality and artifice of the painted image. They also play with the relationship between representation and power and give us cause to reflect upon cultural politics and hierarchies of genre in art and crafts.

Marianne Spurr | | [email protected]
Born 1981 Lives and works in London
2010 – 2012 MA Royal college of Art, painting (current)
2000 – 2003 BFA Fine Art 1st class hons, Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University
1999 – 2000 Foundation, Chelsea College of Art and design

In my work I explore formal relationships and tensions between materials and objects, and their relationship to the spaces that they occupy. Ultimately rooted in painting, I make environments that incorporate many other elements such as cloth, found objects and readily available building materials. Through a constantly shifting process of placement, negation and re-arrangement, I seek to create new intersections between these material elements and uncover new associations and ambiguities.

Nicky Deeley | | [email protected]
Born 1978 Lives and works in London
2010- 2012 The Royal College of Art, MA Sculpture, London (current)
1997- 2000; BA Media Arts, WINTEC, Hamilton, New Zealand

Nicky Deeley is a New Zealander who has been living in London since 2003. Her work explores dual aspects of sacrifice/ecstasy, intoxication/dreaming violence/celebration, imagined landscapes/internal landscapes, utopia/dystopia. She flits between many mediums from sculpture, to drawing, performance and installation.

Nicholas Pankhurst | [email protected]
2009 – 2011 MA in Painting at Royal College of Art

My work is formed by the individual and its inheritance of an evolutionary culture. Dealing with the idea of constructions of reality, of internal and external anthropic forces mutating its own laws. It tries to act like a cartographer of these elements of perception, realities and fantasy.

Seokyeong Kang | | [email protected]
Born 1977 Lives and works in London and Seoul
2010- M.A. in Painting, Royal College of Art, London, UK (current)
2002 M.F.A. in Oriental Painting, Ewha Woman’s University, Korea
2000 B.F.A. in Oriental Painting, Ewha Woman’s University, Korea

My practice exists at the intersection of installation, drawing, painting and space where my formal interest in emptiness, blank space and emotional movement is coupled with an intuitive understanding of leftovers such as lethers,threads, fabric. Presented as leftovers or traces of human emotion, these items, transmigrated from their own possess a certain vibration within the work.

Stephanie Theobald | [email protected]
Born 1969 Lives and works in London
2010 – 2012 MA Royal College of Art, painting (current)
1987 – 1989 BA Visual Arts Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane

Looking at a pile of things I notice that most of the stuff is in pretty good nick. Good enough to nick. My gaze rests on a large immobile lump. It is stained and shabby. My thoughts lift distractedly at its surface and as I start to move on an opening appears. I try to make sense of what I’m looking at but the opening rapidly expands and alters shape, making it difficult to concentrate. Eventually there is a gap large enough for a person to enter and, behind that, a dark space sufficient to move around in.

Suk Ahn | [email protected]
Born 1982 Lives and works in London and Seoul
2010-2012 M.A in Sculpture at Royal College of Art, London, UK
2009-2010 Attended in MFA in Art and Technology School of the Art Institute of Chicago
2003-2006 M.F.A Hong-ik University, Seoul, Korea
2002-2006 BFA in Sculpture at Sungshin Women’s University, Seoul, South Korea

Two opposite features coexist at the same time at the same place. The world is full of paradoxes such as the nature of humanity being aggressive yet fragile. One side of the meaning emphasizes its opposite. This arrangement creates drama or situations which mirror life.

Wonwoo Lee | [email protected]
Born 1981 Lives and works in London and Seoul
2010-2012 M.A in Sculpture at Royal College of Art, London, UK
2001-2007 B.F.A Hong-ik University, Seoul, Korea

My artistic practice is concerned with spatial interventions, transforming objects, and phenomenons that are related in physically and socially. I continuously focus on making actual happenings that can change the given situations turned into imaginary and uncanny situations. I also not only aim to maintaining oscillation between physical space and human body, but retaining slight resisting and humorous attitude toward the given physical and social matters.

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