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Asia Triennial Manchester 2018 opens on 5 October

Asia Triennial Manchester has come round again, with two weeks of contemporary art from around Asia. The event was last held in 2014, with a focus on China, which somewhat squeezed any Korean interest out of the programme.

ATM18: Where are you from? No, where are you really from?

5 – 21 October 2018, Manchester

Two weeks of art, performance, exhibitions and discussions on the theme of Asia.

Asia Triennial Manchester

From 5 – 21 October 2018, ATM18 will explore Asian identities through a diverse programme of free performances and special events by contemporary visual artists. Events will take place at fourteen venues across Greater Manchester and will include a one-day symposium Who do you think you are? at the Whitworth.

Asia Triennial Manchester is Europe’s only Triennial dedicated to contemporary visual art on the theme of Asia. It is a festival of visual culture that not only celebrates Manchester’s diverse communities but also explores cultural, artistic and political debates of the 21st century.

For 2018, the central concern of the festival is one of identity. Our provocation for this edition who do you think you are? is a reframing of the ambiguous and impossible demand so often encountered by people of colour in a post-industrial, multi-cultural city in the UK, where are you from? The question invites artists to interrogate how narratives around Asian identities intersect with the present cultural preoccupation with the nature of identity, organised around dialectics of gender and sexuality; community and migration; technology and humanity.

ATM18 will open on the night of the 5 October, with an evening of performances at HOME, and will run for two weeks, offering a diverse programme of free performances and special events by contemporary visual artists at ATM partner venues across Greater Manchester, including a one-day symposium at The Whitworth.

With a focus on commissioning young and mid-career artists to explore socially engaged, participatory artistic practice, the Asia Triennial forges new, cross-cultural approaches to engaging audiences. It fosters international and local curatorial collaborations and new partnerships across the arts and communities.

ATM18 is happening in venues across Greater Manchester in October, comprising HOME, Manchester Craft and Design Centre, Manchester Cathedral, Castlefield Gallery, Gallery Oldham, Bury Art Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, The Holden Gallery, MMU Special Collections, the Whitworth, Manchester Museum, Alexandria Library, Portico Library and The Manchester Contemporary.

The following events and exhibitions include Korean artists:

If you are not a bird

The Holden Gallery | Cavendish Street | Manchester M15 6BR |
Monday 8 – Friday 19 October 2018
Monday – Friday, 12:00 – 18:00 | Open late on Thursdays until 19:00

If You Are Not A Bird

Who do you think you are? is a fundamental question that enables a multiplicity of voices and marks a discourse in perception. Artists evoke spaces and time in order to make their concepts visible and to take on a transformative level. Their attempt to illustrate the perception of identities often moves beyond collectively repressed social structures. Under these circumstances, their productive processes begin to play with the possibility of differentiation of identities. The project IF YOU ARE NOT A BIRD investigates and brings into question the subjective concepts of the unfixed and a multiplicity (cultural, social & political) of self. To speculate and question about being a bird may appear paradoxical and absurd. But this attempt enables us to explore boundaries and give rise to transformation in different states of selves. What would you do if you were a bird?

Participating artists: Jimok CHOI, IM Heung-soon, Hyungkoo LEE.

Curators: Jung Me Chai, Won Jung Shin.
Assistant Curator: Jungmin Lee
Coordinator: Heejin Cho

Jimok Choi is an artist and a performer based in Berlin. He focuses on identity issues by using frames; he cuts and rearranges existing objects to reverse their order or position. He participated in the group show (ulti)mate Event at Diskurs Berlin in 2016 and 2017 and the Art Space Tetra, Fukuoka in 2017. Since his first solo exhibition at the Muthesius Kunsthochschule, Kiel in 2013, his works have been exhibited in Germany and Korea, including the Künstlerhaus in Laurenburg and the Underdog Gallery in Hamburg in 2014, Den Ort verlassen / ALLES MUSS RAUS in Berlin Weekly in 2016, the Space O’NewWall in Seoul in 2017 and the KUNST & CO in Flensburg in 2018. He is a recipient of the Künstlerhaus residency program in Lauenburg in 2014, and won the 2014 Muthesius Prize by Muthesius foundation in Kiel, Germany.

Im Heung-soon is an artist and a film-maker based in Seoul, South Korea. His first exhibition Reincarnation in the United States was presented at the MoMA PS1 in New York. He explored in the exhibition the horror that women have to endure during war. In 2015, Im was invited to the Arsenale, international exhibition, at the 56th Venice Biennale and won the Silver Lion for Factory Complex. He participated in the 2015 Sharjah Biennale and the 2016 Taipei Biennale, and his work was also exhibited at Tate Modern in London in 2015, National Art Center in Tokyo and Pompidou Centre in Paris in 2016. He recently had an exhibition Things that Do Us Part – Belief · Faith · Love · Betrayal · Hatred · Fear · Ghost at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea, as a selected artist for MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2017. He is going to take part in the 57th Carnegie International 2018 in Pittsburgh.

Hyungkoo Lee is an artist and a sculpture based in Seoul, South Korea. Majoring in sculpture at Hongik University in Seoul, he moved to New York and later received a master’s degree in sculpture from Yale University in 2002. Lee has been recognized for his cartoon figures with skeletons. He explores the idea of motion or perception by transforming the appearance or creating fictional animated characters with bones. He represented South Korea in the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007, as the first artist presented alone when the Korean Pavilion was run in 1995. In 2008, he was invited to the Natural History Museum of Basel, and his Animatus was exhibited at the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow in 2015. His works have been widely exhibited, including Royal College of Art, London in 2008 and 2015, Institute Valencia d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain in 2009, Spazio Lightbox, Venice in 2013, and Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Norway in 2016. He is a recipient of MFA Grant Program by Joan Mitchell Foundation in 2002.

Image Credit: Still from Ryeohaeng, 2016, IM Heung-soon, courtesy of artist


Manchester Art Gallery | Mosley St | Manchester M2 3JL |
Friday 14 September 2018–Thursday 1 November 2018

Manchester Art Gallery: Dragon Jar Hero

Subi is a programme located in three venues across Manchester, featuring artists, designers and makers from Korea and the UK who work clay or are inspired by its uses and materiality. Subi is presented to be timed with the Asia Triennial Manchester 5 – 21 October 2018. Subi is a Korean word which when used in a ceramics context refers to the process of refining clay.

Manchester Art Galley highlights its small but fascinating Korean ceramics collection. Korean ceramics have influenced potters worldwide, but there are very few works in international public collections, due to the country’s historic isolation. The gallery has a rare 500 year old iron painted dragon jar which we are featuring along with works by Jin Eui Kim, Jung Hong Park and Jungwon Park, which demonstrate some of the new directions taking place in contemporary ceramics.

Eunmi Kim: A Journey Home

Manchester Craft and Design Centre | 17 Oak Street | Northern Quarter | Manchester M4 5JD |
Thursday 13 September – Saturday 17 November 2018
Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 17:30

Eunmi Kim: A Journey Home

In her first UK solo show, Eunmi Kim explores what it means to be Korean, what traditional Korean art is, and why people admire its broad outlines, randomised spontaneity, asymmetry and intuitive finishing. Kim’s journey considers the impression that JMW Turner’s paintings, the Joseon Dynasty and the Korean Moon Jar, her landscape gardener father, and her upbringing on the beautiful Jeju Island have made on her work. Using the simple, earthy and unconstrained style of traditional Korean pottery Kim creates contemporary work fit for modern life.

Image Credit: Eunmi Kim, courtesy of the artist

SUBI 수비 @Castlefield Gallery

Friday 14 September – Sunday 4 November 2018
Castlefield Gallery | 2 Hewitt Street | Manchester M15 4GB |
Wednesday to Sunday, 12:00 – 17:30

Eunji Briller Kim

Sam Buckley, Insook Choi, Joe Hartley, Eunji Briller Kim, Eunmi Kim, John Powell-Jones, Hyun Min Shin, Gae-Hwa Lim, Gyung-Kyun Shin

Curated by Castlefield Gallery (UK) & Barim (Korea)

The Korean word SUBI 수비 has a particular meaning in the context of working with clay, relating to the refining of clay; whether purifying the raw material for use, or the processes needed to re-hydrate and filter dried clay so that it can be reused. SUBI 수비 displayed across three of the city’s major arts venues, invites audiences to encounter works of art produced by Korean and UK artists either made in or inspired by clay, from traditional ceramics to more experimental works. The SUBI 수비 programme is informed by a series of international artist exchanges and conversations that between 2017 and 2018 have connected the artistic communities of Manchester and the North West of England with those of Busan and Gwangju in South Korea.

At Castlefield Gallery, SUBI 수비 brings together a diverse group of experimental artists, product designers and master makers. All are highly skilled as a result of either formal training, self-teaching, or passing down from one generation to another. They place great value on the transfer of skills, knowledge and ideology through objects and making, and see this form of exchange from one generation to another, and from one culture to another, as integral to creating and communicating the world in which we live. The exhibition features traditional ceramics alongside works which explore the materiality of clay, including ceramic costumes, film, and sound. Visitors to the gallery will also be invited to add their own handmade clay objects to the exhibition.

Featuring the work of Sam Buckley (UK), Insook Choi (Korea / UK), Joe Hartley (UK), Eunji Briller Kim (Korea), Eunmi Kim (Korea / UK), John Powell-Jones (UK), Hyun Min Shin (Korea), Gae-Hwa Lim (Korea) and Gyung-Kyun Shin (Korea).

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