Korea – Australia arts exchange: engaged, or just hanging out?

Artlink Korea issue

Catching your eyes as you leave the museum shop of Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art is a magazine with the arresting work of Lee Hyung-koo on the front cover. It certainly drew my attention as I reluctantly came to the end of my visit to the Asia Pacific Triennial. Taking a closer look, I noted that the magazine was Australia’s quarterly contemporary art magazine, Artlink. This was its December 2015 issue, devoted almost entirely to the contemporary art scene in Korea.

Inside the front cover is an advertisement for the 2016 Biennale of Sydney. The accompanying image: an installation shot of Lee Bul’s Diluvium from her 2014 solo show at the KCCUK. Along with Lim Minouk, Lee will be representing Korea at the 20th edition of an event conceived to mark the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973.

Lee Bul - Diluvium (2014) at the Korean Cultural Centre UK
Lee Bul – Diluvium (2014) at the Korean Cultural Centre UK (photo: LKL)

The special edition of the magazine coincides not only with the launch of the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial in Brisbane (LKL’s report on the Korean participation is here) but also the co-curated Korea-Australia exhibition New Romance: Art and The Posthuman, currently on show at MMCA’s Seoul branch and moving to Sydney in July 2016.

New Romance poster

These are not the only examples of Korea-Australia artistic exchanges: an interesting article by Sarah Bond entitled Are We Engaged or Just Hanging Out documents nearly 25 years of joint and reciprocal exhibitions and artist residencies. The Korean issue of the magazine itself is a collaboration between Korean and Australian writers, with articles published in both languages and many of them published on the TheArtro website in Korea. Translators were organised by the Korea Arts Management Service and included Seoul Selection.

You can subscribe for Artlink, or buy individual issues, in the Apple Appstore (though the latest issue is only available to full subscribers).

Well worth searching out.

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