START Art Fair is now in its fifth year. As in previous years, there is a strong representation of Korean artists:
START Art Fair
Address: Daewon Building 305, 49, Duteopbawi-ro 60-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea www.artwa.net
Exhibiting artists: Lee Hak | Jo Yun-guk | Hae Ryun | Ko Kwon
ARTWA is an artist promotion initiative that aims to professionally advance the participants as global artists in the international art scene. Experts from each field support domestic artists through a structured programme.
The group of artists, curators, critics and collectors working with ARTWA are agents who continuously develop the scene and create values that will be passed on to future generations. The initiative’s mission is to illuminate the beauty of Korean Art throughout the globe to the public.
Address: Moonchon maeul 12th 1203-604, Juyeop-dong, Ilsan seo-gu, Goyang, Gyeonggi, South Korea
Exhibiting artist: BiHop
From a young age BiHop was noticed for her artistic talent. However, due to her parents strong opposition and her diagnosis with psychopathy (paranoia) in 2000 she had to suppress her dreams and even had to stop working as an English Grammar teacher. After years of struggle, BiHop finally managed to paint again in 2006. She successfully staged her first exhibition and published her first poetry works in 2007.
BiHop is deeply absorbed in the philosophies of Merleau Ponty and Deleuze. Her works express movement and sound, so several objects depicted in a painting may actually suggest different movements of a single object. A recurring theme of her paintings is the depiction of two or more identical animals whose images are linked or overlap like “Siamese twins”, suggesting the movements of one single animal, also a metaphor for the division of her country, North and South Korea.
Jade Flower Gallery
Address: B1, C Famileebillra 1-1665, Bookahun-daong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, KOREA
Exhibiting artist: Yang Okkyung
Established in 2014, Jade Flower Gallery began experimenting and developing the idea of ‘imagination linking’.This concept reflects the gallery’s goal to make links between the imagination of the artists and the audience. The gallery is driven by the belief that artworks have an invaluable language that helps us understand the world surrounding not only the artists but also the audience. For START, Jade Flower is delighted to present Yang Okkyung’s works, which are great examples of this “imagination linking” idea. Yang is the first artist who developed Marker Art, and is considered a pioneer of this artistic craft.
In this series of works, Yang explores language and the diversity of human emotions through the use of colour and delicate ink strokes. She uses colour as a language, mixing them together to represent three different emotions of her imagination and to evoke the individuality of her audience. Yang believes that it is through this diversity, or ‘imperfectness’ that leads to the wonderful ability to communicate and the desire for humanity to connect. Yang’s recent work continues to explore multiple themes such as ‘big data’, ‘hologram cosmology’, ‘event horizon’ and ‘matrix’.
Address: Bae Jae Bldg. 1F, Gang Nam Daero162gil 16, Seoul, KOREA
Exhibiting artists: Jeong Sang-gon | Lee Jin-Seok | Yu Hee-yeul | Lee Heum | Moon Sung Hyun
KUNST1 is a mixed word between Kunst (meaning “art” in German) and 1 (meaning “the first”). The name’s source is based on the gallery founders’ arduous intention to be leading content planners.
KUNST1 is a platform for multi-media artists looking to establish an artistic career and to receive recognition for their artworks.
The gallery encourages a collaborative approach to creating artworks. Through a process of reinterpretation and extraction, the artists fuse genres by using existing artworks and products to create new artworks.
Address: 101 ho, 297-28, Bulgwangdong, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Exhibiting artist: Oh Jeong-il
Born in 1972, Oh Jeong Il depicts hair-styles with each hair meticulously, drawn one by one with a single strand brush on a black background.
“Hair is the part of a human body that captures the essence of the circulation of energy between the living body and dead material. The hair in his painting uses a visual vocabulary to demonstrate the way individual objects are interlinked with each other. To the artist the black background presents a dark space in which new life can be conceived. Each strand and line is representative of vitality created from that space. The hair is, for him, a link that mediates human beings with nature and a strand of hair symbolises an individual human being with self-regulating consciousness. Hair for him means a field of circulating energy within himself and society, materials and the universe.”
– Cho Kwan-yong (Art Critic)
Address: 17 Clifford Street, London, W1S 3RQ www.skipwiths.com
Exhibiting artists: Park Hyojin | Kim Jae-il | Chun Kwang-young | Toh Yun-hee | Chung Doo-hwa
Founded by Grey Skipwith and Heejin No in January 2015, Skipwiths brings together expertise in Korean and Asian artists such as Kwang Young Chun, Kang-So Lee, Xing Danwen and Hyojin Park, and introduces their work to European audiences. Heejin established her own international art project company in 2006 after completing her Masters at Sotheby’s Institute, and Grey ran his own IT company for many years before returning to his roots in the art world, which he started working in at the tender age of 13.
For five years they have been curating shows for galleries and public institutions as well as managing artists at different needs and stages in their careers.
Recent publications include co-producing Korean Art: The Power of Now, published by Thames and Hudson in 2013 and supported organising the major solo exhibition of Alex Katz in Seoul, 2018.