London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Kwon Soonhak and Won Seoyeoung in HADA Contemporary group show

HADA Contemporary has two non-Koreans in its March exhibition downstairs at Albemarle Gallery. But there’s also two Korean artists, who you’ll recognise from Sasapari and elsewhere in the London K-art scene: Kwon Soonhak and Won Seoyeoung.

March Group Exhibition
HADA Contemporary, Mayfair
2 – 24 MARCH 2012

HADA Contemporary is pleased to announce an exciting group exhibition, showcasing the work of four emerging London artists. Korean artists, Kwon Soon-Hak and Won Seo-Yeoung, examine the relationship between visual space, experience and observation. The other two British artists, Leila Haghighi and Melanie Russell, explore distinctive painting styles. Haghighi’s revival of painting references traditional European painting whereas Russell’s interest in shapes and space provide visual insights realised by chance.

Kwon Soonhak: History of the Victoria and Albert Museum II (2010) Giclee print on aluminium panel, 95 x 145 cm
Kwon Soonhak: History of the Victoria and Albert Museum II (2010) Giclee print on aluminium panel, 95 x 145 cm

A blank wall, an empty space – artist Kwon Soon-Hak approaches his work as a projection of his own experiences. The V&A Museum and Lisson Gallery, blank walls in an interior setting, and various gallery walls where Kwon has exhibited, are not entirely seen as they are intended. He believes that seeing the wall would only become possible if we can purely observe, not as recognizable items, but seen as an infant would from their point of view. Kwon also examines the history of space. From far away, the walls appear white and blank. However, from close up Kwon’s works consider the realities of the wall – from variations in whiteness, their linearity, crackled and uncanny exteriors.

Won Seoyeoung: Table (2010). C-print, 160 x 130 cm
Won Seoyeoung: Table (2010). C-print, 160 x 130 cm

The artist’s work was initially developed as an understanding between painting and photography. His work utilizes everyday ordinary objects such as chairs, tables, candles and wheels. The visualization of space portrayed in the paintings, together with the installation of the objects fashioned with wires, provides a visual expression of his subjective view. This subjective view remains dependent on the way in which one perceives the installation, painting and photography. Viewed as one or represented by their differences, the perception of objects and space can be seen as separate modes of media or as one. Won’s consideration of illusion explores the meaning of these objects with sensitivity to visual space.

The artist’s work extracts upon the paintings from artists John Currin, a painter with significant interest for the rich tradition of European paintings. These works later became the starting point for a collection of paintings influenced by works of other artists, such as John Singer Sargent and Sir Anthony Van Dyck. Haghighi’s most recent paintings transpired as a concept of revival, her subjects are remodeled and styled to represent a contemporary individual standing out against an illustrative background together with 2D objects. The amalgamation between the contemporary subjects contrasted by the setting and two-dimensional entities reference the original paintings they were drawn upon. The revitalization of her paintings suggests the idea of renaissance, when everything has been done before, styles are repeated but with new variations and developments.

The artist’s work as seen through her paintings, drawings, collages and 3D cardboard construction works reflects her development and interest in visual perception. The juxtaposition between the foreground and background cultivate an ambiguous relationship, often creating several levels of flatness. Painting and drawing with shapes, vibrant colours, often drawn straightforward and minimalistic – the subject matter is often short of recognizable. Her play with negative and positive spaces, representation and abstraction, communicates subjects that are both simple and complex. The subject matter, often everyday objects, is shaped by the artist in a way which calls the viewer to re-examine the ordinary and familiar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.