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Sora Kim is the KCC’s 2015 Artist of the Year

The KCC have announced their artist of the year 2015 – an award judged by Jonathan Watkins (Director, Ikon Gallery), Emily Pethick (Director, Showroom), Binna Choi (Director, CASCO) and Je Yun Moon (Curator, KCC). Sora Kim has had a solo show in Britain before (Beccy Kennedy reviewed her 2007 BALTIC exhibition Melting Alaska for LKL here) but this is her first London exhibition.

The exhibition will feature a conceptual work which is being performed at 11pm British Summer Time on 13 September.

2, 3 — a project by Sora Kim

12 October – 5 December, KCCUK
Performance: 11pm BST, 13 September, Belgrade, Copenhagen, Eindhoven, Gwangju, Iksan, London, Mexico City, New York, Paris, Seoul, St Erme, Sydney, Yangon

2-3 graphic
2, 3 is the title of a new conceptual performance by the acclaimed South Korean artist Sora Kim. Commissioned for Kim’s forthcoming exhibition at the Korean Cultural Centre (KCC), her first solo exhibition in London, this marks her nomination as ‘2015 Artist of the Year’. Taking place at precisely 11pm (BST) on Sunday 13 September, the performance 2, 3 involves 14 performers who enact a score written by Kim, whilst being in different locations.

2-3 poster

The performance explores the idea of distance and the possibility of being together whilst being far apart; the participants perform simultaneously, wherever they are at that particular moment – from Belgrade to Mexico City, from London to Seoul. As such, 2, 3 is designed not to be seen all at once, neither by an audience, the artist, nor by the performers themselves, yet it can be imagined in the mind’s eye. Kim is interested in questioning the limits and possibilities of seeing: ‘what are we not seeing when seeing? What are we seeing when not seeing?’ 2, 3 stems from work in recent years, such as Three Foot Walking, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2013, projects that exist only in text form and which the audience therefore have to imagine without seeing.

Kim’s practice often involves participants and collaborators. For 2, 3 Kim wrote a score consisting of 14 acts, each act being a single word or phrase such as: ‘pain’, ‘abstract walking’, ‘under-bridge echo’. She then invited 14 artists from different spheres each to perform a specific act, gathering an extraordinary collection of talented and renowned practitioners, including a theatre director, a dancer, a filmmaker, artists, designers and musicians. The score is left entirely open to the performers’ own interpretation; for Kim it is important that she does not yet know the final outcome of the work – she embraces the unknown as integral to her working process.

The only requirement is that they perform Kim’s score at the specified time, for 2 to 3 minutes, and that they film or record their performance. The resulting videos and sound recordings will be presented as an installation in Kim’s forthcoming exhibition at the KCC (opening 12 October 2015).

Although the performers are not physically together at the time of the performance, the artwork is constituted precisely by the fact that they perform the score simultaneously. There will also be an audience – though the performance is impossible to see in the conventional sense – consisting of any person who shares this particular moment with the artist and performers; with a copy of the score, the names of the performers and their locations, the audience can enjoy the performance as it comes into being in their own mind. As a way of embodying the audience, Kim has invited 6 writers to document their experience of the performance in the form of a short text.

Participating artists: Eungie Cho | Adrian Heathfield | Chosil Kil | Okkyung Lee | Wah Nu | Minhee Park | Sarah Pierce | Eugenio Polgovsky | Dragan Protic & Djordje Balmazovic (Škart) | Linda Reinered | Jan Ritsema | Samon Takahashi | Simon Whetham | Jang Young-gyu

Born in 1965 in South Korea, Sora Kim graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1991). She belongs to a generation of enfants terribles emerging in South Korea in the late 1990s who re-defined artistic practice in relation to the internationalised art scene. Her practice is diverse, with a conceptual approach to video, installation and performance. She examines and attempts to rearrange the existing social and cultural order, encouraging reflection on the way people act and interact in given circumstances and surroundings. Positioning herself as both director and audience, she initiates projects that are always open to interpretation and adaptation by others, ‘Not knowing what the work is going to be is important to me, so that I can stay curious about what I’m doing.’

Sora Kim lives and works in Seoul. Key solo exhibitions include Three Foot Walking, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2013); Abstract Walking, Art Sonje Center, Seoul (2012); , Atelier Hermès, Seoul (2010); Hansel & Gretel, Kukje Gallery, Seoul (2007); Melting Alaska, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (2007) (LKL review here); Antarctica, Artsonje Center, Seoul (2004); Cosmo Vitale, REDCAT, Los Angeles (2004).

Sora Kim’s work has been exhibited in numerous group shows internationally, including Count Down, Cultural Station Seoul 284, Seoul (2011); Inner Voice, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2011); 10th International Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul (2007); Busan Biennale, Busan (2006); International Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohama (2005); Secret Beyond the Door, Korean Pavilion, 51st Venice Biennale, Venice (2005).

Sora Kim’s exhibition at the Korean Cultural Centre, London will be held 12 October – 5 December 2015, marking her nomination as ‘2015 Artist of the Year’.

‘Artist of the Year’ is the KCC’s major annual award programme and aims to introduce a key aspect of Korea’s vibrant contemporary art scene to UK audiences. The jurors for this year’s award were Jonathan Watkins (Director, Ikon Gallery), Emily Pethick (Director, Showroom), Binna Choi (Director, CASCO) and Je Yun Moon (Curator, KCC).

‘2014 Artist of the Year’ was awarded to Lee Bul and her first UK solo exhibition was held at the KCC in collaboration with Ikon Gallery, Birmingham.

Biographies of Performers

Eungie Cho

Eungie Cho is a Seoul based artist, performer, video maker and artistic director. In recent works, Cho activates the movement and inherent energy of urban remains, traces and suspended matter such as mud, stone and dust through performance, installation, situationist intervention and writing. She graduated from Central St. Martins, London and Ewha Woman’s University, Seoul. She has exhibited and presented her work widely, including at the New Museum, New York (2013), RM Gallery, Auckland (2012), Nam June Paik Art Center, Yongin (2011), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2010) and Museum of Modern Art, Ansan (2010).

Adrian Heathfield

Adrian Heathfield writes about, curates and creates performance. His writing has focused on questions of time, memory and the ‘ethics of the encounter between the spectator and the artwork’. His books include Perform, Repeat, Record: Live Art in History (ed. with Amelia Jones); and Live: Art and Performance. He was co-director of Performance Matters, an AHRC funded research project on the cultural value of performance. He is Professor of Performance and Visual Culture at the University of Roehampton, London and a Fellow in the School of Arts at Columbia University, New York.

Chosil Kil

Chosil Kil is an artist living and working in London and Seoul. Her work takes the form of sculpture and installation; using a variety of mundane objects she assembles them in creative ways to outline stories. Kil graduated from Camberwell College of Arts, London and the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited at institutions and exhibitions internationally including: Dallas Museum of Art, Texas (2015); Basel Statements, Basel (2013); David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2013); 9th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2012); Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul (2009).

Okkyung Lee

Okkyung Lee is a South Korean cellist and composer based in New York. She studied composition and film music at Berklee College of Music, Boston and improvisation at the New England Conservatory, Boston. Lee has released over twenty albums and collaborated with numerous artists including Laurie Anderson, Douglas Gordon, Christian Marclay, Zeena Parkins and Evan Parker. She is known as a fearless and powerful performer whose playing incorporates a love of noise, extended technique and elements from the outer fringes of contemporary composition. Based on a solid classical training, Lee merges contemporary techniques with jazz, sounds and traditional Korean music to make a unique musical synthesis. She distorts, disturbs and even deconstructs the sound of the cello, for example using crude equipment and unorthodox microphones to record her solo album Ghil (2013). Lee curated the 27th Music Unlimited Festival (2013) in Wels, Austria.

Wah Nu

Wah Nu is an artist based in Yangon, Myanmar. She often collaborates with her husband, the artist Tun Win Aung; their practice addresses elements of historical and contemporary culture, established custom and innovative practice. They both graduated from the University of Culture, Yangon – Nu in music, Aung in sculpture. Afterwards Nu turned to painting and video, while Aung extended his practice to performance, multimedia work, and painting. They have exhibited their work internationally, including at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013), the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2011), Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2011), and at international festivals, most recently the 4th Guangzhou Triennial (2011).

Minhee Park

Minhee Park is a vocalist based in South Korea. She studied at Seoul National University and has completed a course in Gagok, a traditional form of Korean vocal music combining poetry, often accompanied by traditional instruments. Gagok is the 30th Important Intangible Cultural Property of Korea (an aspect of intangible culture designated for preservation by the South Korean government). Park is developing her field through contemporary work based on a deep understanding of traditional Gagok. She directed the physical performance series No longer GAGOK (2011) and is continuing to unfold the musical form and sound of Gagok conceptually.

Sarah Pierce

Sarah Pierce is a Dublin-based artist. Since 2003, she has used the term The Metropolitan Complex to describe her project. It demonstrates Pierce’s broad understanding of cultural work, which she articulates through various working methods, involving performances, interviews, archives, exhibitions and self-publishing. The processes of research and presentation that Pierce undertakes highlight a continual renegotiation of the terms for making art: the potential for dissent and self-determination, the slippages between individual work and institution, and the proximity of past artworks. Her work has been exhibited widely, including at the Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff (2014), The Showroom, London (2012), K20+K21, Düsseldorf (2011), 11th Biennale de Lyon (2011).

Eugenio Polgovsky

Eugenio Polgovsky is a filmmaker, cinematographer and editor based in Mexico City. He graduated from the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica, Mexico City. Polgovsky is a prominent independent documentary filmmaker of the Mexican scene, exploring the background of Mexican reality, from the rural ancient world to urban areas and the mega city of Mexico. His films contain an intense social and political density through portraits of forgotten people, researching those that the media do not see. Polgovsky has received numerous awards for his work and is renowned for his documentaries Tropic of Cancer (2004), The Inheritors (2008) and Mexican Ritual (2012).

Dragan Protic & Djordje Balmazovic (Škart)

Škart is a collective founded in 1990 at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade. They work primarily between the mediums of poetry and design, describing their main concept as the ‘architecture of human relationships’. They have designed over 300 book covers, as well as making and exhibiting art and staging performances. Through a constant flux within the collective that has been present since its inception, members work collaboratively to develop new values. Škart is based in Belgrade.

Linda Reinered

Linda Reinered is a dancer, performer and choreographer based in Copenhagen. Before moving to Denmark she worked as a dance teacher and studied dance in Sweden. Her background is in contemporary folk dance where she worked in groups such as Qwinfolk, Contemporary Folkdance Company and Fomp. She then focused on contemporary dance and improvisation and graduated as a dancer from Skolen for Moderne Dans, Copenhagen in 2011. Linda is now working with groups such as the performance collectives Kötteatern and Superhands.

Jan Ritsema

Jan Ritsema is a Dutch theatre director, dancer and Director of PAF (Performing Arts Forum). Ritsema sees theatre as the place where actors and audience in their live gathering can think together. He has directed a wide repertoire from Shakespeare to Jelinek, for theatre companies across Europe. In 1978 he founded the International Theatre & Film Bookshop in Amsterdam and has published more than 400 books. He has been teaching at P.A.R.T.S. dance school in Belgium since 1995. In 2006 he co-founded PAF, an alternative artists’ residency based in St Erme, France.

Samon Takahashi

Samon Takahashi is an artist who lives and works in Paris. He is known for his extensive sound composition and production as well as his video directing and acting. Working between architecture, sound, sculpture and music, his practice attempts to establish links between these different disciplines, creating new forms of language. He has exhibited at Palais de Tokyo (2004), 18th Street Art Complex, Los Angeles (2004), Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris (2002).

Simon Whetham

Simon Whetham is a sound artist based in Bristol. For almost a decade he has developed a practice of working with sound recordings as raw material for composition and performance. These are often environmental sounds he has captured in order to obtain cautious or obscured sonic phenomena, bringing the listener’s attention to sounds not normally noticed. Simon shares his ideas widely through collaborations, concerts, lecture presentations and workshops, and has exhibited his work internationally. He is currently collaborating with the South Korean dancer and choreographer Jin Young Park.

Jang Young-gyu

Jang Young-gyu is a musician and music director based in South Korea. He has worked as music director on over 40 films, including Woochi, The Yellow Sea, The Front Line, The Thieves and Southbound. He is a founding member of the indie band UhUhBoo Project – a pioneer in Korean avant-pop music – and works as the band’s composer, producer and bass player. UhUhBoo Project has created scores for Director Park Chan-wook’s Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Night Fishing, as well as Director Kim Ji-woon’s The Foul King.

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

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