START Art Fair will feel a little different this year, for followers of Korean art at least, without the presence of Skipwiths. But with a special project featuring work by K-pop artists, including two members of Winner, there’s still plenty to keep our interest. The works of Winner member Song Min-ho were one of the highlights of last year’s exhibition, so I’m looking forward to seeing more this year.
Start Art Fair
Gallery M Platform: Su In Choi
Choi draws abstract landscapes in pastel colours to express a raw and powerful energy. She explores the journey travelling through the fleeting moments of human connection in modern society, as any such moment would leave her with a sense of impulsiveness or chaos.
The recurring subject of Choi’s work is the hairy monster representing her desire to hide from the world. Whether depicting torrential rain, volcano eruption, stormy sea, or simply a symbolic triangle in the colour red, her canvas is saturated with the intense emotions she experiences post-human connection.
Haerim Lee (aka Rim Lee) aims to stimulate dialogue with external communities through her artworks; paintings, public murals, books, and photography. Her practice is rooted in extensive ethnographical research which is meticulously translated in her studio work. Originally from mono-ethnic South Korea, Lee is interested in the racial dynamics present in her current residence, a neighborhood with different ethnicities from diverse backgrounds and cultural heritage. The experience of living outside of her homeland exposes her to a plethora of life stories enabling her to build a common understanding among her peers, regardless of the challenges presented by racial complexities.
Premium Pages Collective: Jung In-sook
For START 2021, Premium Pages Collective proudly presents Korean artist, Jung In Sook. Graduating from Yale Design Academy and Ewha Woman’s University, majoring in Fine Art, In Sook is a painter with over 30 years experience. Her painting practice aims to express sound and emotion. She uses a plethora of colours which overlap each other, aiming to communicate their own story.
She has participated in exhibitions around the world including America, China, France, Korea and Singapore.
Contemporary pop artist Choi Nari has collaborated with Kpop artists Ohnim, Yooyeon and Henry Lau on a new series of works which blend each artist’s unique style with Nari’s playful and vibrant signature practice.
The complementary juxtapose is particularly evident in Ohnim’s “no way out, but..” his dark emotions are warmly enveloped by Nari’s playful strokes of happiness overseen by her trademark characters Mato and Mayo. Choi Nari (b.1983) is a contemporary pop art artist who lives and works in Seoul, South Korea. Her artworks consist of intense colours, imposing bold black lines, and two prominent leading characters called Mato and Mayo. Her distinctive style and motifs metaphorically depict the human mind and curiosity about others, sometimes revealing desire. Recently, her works have symbolically represented diverse experiences in this world, and ask viewers to question their attitude towards life. As Nari states, “I hope that my work would be a pleasurable journey to find various desires in human lives.”
In my paintings I use the harmony of shapes and colours as a way to capture the fleeting emotions that one cannot express through words.
In this day and age I feel that language itself cannot function in its right form. I wanted to create another type of communication, where the remnants of our feelings that are buried and hidden away, can be conveyed through simple and distorted shapes.
The inability to have real inter-personal relationships and human touch in the world we currently live in has made me realise that I am unable to escape feelings of emptiness and hollowness. In my work I try to capture the moments where I realise these primitive emotions, which I had previously tried to deny.
Kang Seung-yoon is an accomplished musician, actor, photographer and member of hit K-pop band
Winner. Kang’s passion for photography has become increasingly important to him in recent years.
He unveiled his photography practice at Korean Eye 2020: Creativity and Daydream in Seoul under the name Yooyeon.
Henry is an artist, actor, producer and classically trained musician of Chinese-Canadian heritage. Last year Henry took-up pendulum painting, he treats each canvas as a performance meticulously planning each piece, yet embracing the sometimes unexpected and unpredictability of paint.
He debuted this series publicly under the name HENRY LAU at Korean Eye 2020: Creativity and Daydream in Seoul, June 2021.