At the London Art Fair it was nice to see some new Korean work as well as re-enjoy some pieces which have already been seen in London exhibitions.
At Purdy Hicks, Bae Chan-hyo was previewing a new chapter in his Existing in Costume series. His past work has him exploring male / female and east / west issues as he dresses as Elizabethan women or fairy tale princesses in meticulously-posed photographic compositions. Now for the first time he’s dressing up as a man, but still in period costume. In the photograph on show at the Purdy Hicks stall, he is Guy Fawkes, looking like he’s mid-way through an interrogation following his capture. The portrait is from his new Punishment collection. He will be getting a solo show shortly which we’re looking forward to.
At Hanmi, Shin Kiwoun’s video works showed a superman toy and various coins being ground to a pile of dust. Shin built his own grinding tool to create these videos: apparently conventional grinders send the dust flying everywhere, which would rather spoil the point of the works – that even the most permanent and powerful icons ultimately return to dust.
Kim Sangjin’s inkjet printer installation In Visibility was shown at Deptford’s Old Police Station, printing a piece of British criminal law, whose words instantly dissolved into the water tank. At the London Art Fair the printer was, more controversially, churning out verses from the Holy Bible. Does the Word of the Lord not endure for ever? Or are we meant to conclude that the Word of the Lord is everywhere, invisible. A word of advice though: don’t try this with the Holy Quran.
It was nice to see Kim Sejin’s Night Workers again. This was recently shown at an evening of video works curated by Anna Miyoung Kim in Hoxton. Two films of identical length are shown side by side on the same wide screen. In each film we see a night worker going through their nightly tedious routine – dressing for work, travelling to work, sitting at their reception desk or car park kiosk, patrolling the empty corridors. The actors, who studied the routines of genuine night workers, capture the nocturnal monotony well, down to the weary flat-footed walk of the security guard as he plods his beat. At the Hanmi stall we were able to see the video in full, and also its two halves separately.
Elsewhere Lee Jaehyo (Albemarle), Kim Ha-young (Hoxton) and Anna Paik’s Moon Vase paintings (Wolsely) were on show.