The current group show at Hanmi Gallery, entitled The Others, features artists who “question the nature of individuality, solitude and the unreal in a group setting. Rather than work to a strict theme, these ʻOthersʼ present what is individual and personal to them, from dreams to questions of ontology and the fear of death.”
Movie watchers may associate the title with a psychological ghost story from 2001 starring Nicole Kidman. And both Korean artists in the group show present work which is perhaps unintentionally sinister. In Kim Shin-wook’s video work Grass Messenger, the artist risks incurring the wrath of national agricultural ministries by smuggling turf across national borders. He films himself digging up turf from his own garden, which he then plants in borderlands such as the border between Belgium and Germany. He then brings turf from those borderlands back to his London garden and uses it to fill the divots in his own lawn. That act is not in itself sinister, but the resulting video work has the artist appearing as a shadow, a ghostly gardener who seems to be in a different dimension from the foreground of the video.
Yun Sung-feel’s work is similarly sinister. The main piece on display is from his series Looking at The real world from within The real world (2010-2012) in which magnets rotate around a metal cone dragging with them either iron filings or ferrofluid.
Yun explains his work thus:
The universe is composed of energy.
The energy created by the electromagnetic force (Yin and Yang) circulates.
The universe repeats the cycle of creation and extinction.
In the installation at Hanmi Gallery the ferrofluid oozes around the steel cone, dripping dark red trails like dried blood. To add to the unsettling nature of the work, it is rigged up to a motion sensor so that the magnets only started rotating when someone approached it. Altogether a grisly piece fitting for the title of the show.
The Others is at Hanmi Gallery until 30 November