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Nothing is – everything just has been or will be: the KCC’s Open Call exhibition

The KCC announces its final exhibition of the year. It’s a shame the last one was so brief – with the centre now being closed on a Saturday it’s nigh-on impossible to get to these things if you have a day job. It’s good news though that this one has an opening evening PV (registration required) – though attending that will mean you have to skip one of the two interesting documentaries that are perversely scheduled to clash with each other at the London Korean Film Festival.

Nothing is – everything just has been or will be

12 November 2021 – 28 January 2022
Korean Cultural Centre
Opening Reception: 11 November, 6 – 8pm, Free but RSVP essential

2021 Open Call @ KCCUK

The Korean Cultural Centre UK(KCCUK) showcases its annual open call exhibition inviting six international artists selected by four jurors: Alessio Antoniolli (Director of Gasworks), Dr Sook-Kyung Lee (Senior Curator at Tate Modern), Li Zhenhua (Curator), Dr Siegfried Zielinski (Professor). For the first time ever, this year’s KCC Open Call was designed to travel across two major cities – the heart of contemporary art, London and Berlin, in order to expand the opportunity of these talented emerging artists. Entitled Nothing is – everything just has been or will be, the finalists of the 2021 KCC UK and Germany Open call creatively reflect on the notion of time and its fluidity.

The exhibition brings together various ideas and artistic expressions of winners, which interrogate the world where the definition of time has been blurred, and trace the shifting notion or value of time fueled by digitalisation and globalisation. Such ideas are particularly pertinent to this era of pandemic where our lives have been forced to online and physical movement has been restricted. Diverse in content and media, their works each embrace a unique creative practice such as visualisation of the passing of time, material manipulations, and profound research into historical dialogues.

Participating Artists
Gala Bell (UK), Sarah Duffy (UK), Woojin Kim (KR), Hye Young Sin (KR), Yen Noh (KR), Jangwoo You (KR)

2021 KCC Open Call Jurors

Alessio Antoniolli is the Director of Gasworks, where he leads a programme of exhibitions, international residencies and participatory events. He is also the Director of Triangle Network, a world-wide network of visual art organisations that work together to create artists’ exchanges and to share knowledge with each other. He has lectured widely and has been part of many juries including the UK’s Turner Prize in 2019.

Dr Sook-Kyung Lee works on exhibitions, acquisitions and collection displays at Tate Modern as Senior Curator, International art, and heads a major research initiative Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational. Lee curated Nam June Paik at Tate Modern in 2019 with Rudolf Frieling. She has also curated collection exhibitions and displays at Tate Modern, such as A Year in Art: Australia 1992 (2021-22), CAMP: From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf (2019-20) and Xiao Lu and Niki de Saint Phalle(2018-19). She served as the Commissioner and Curator of the Korean Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015)

Li Zhenhua is currently working in Zurich, Berlin and Hong Kong, Active in contemporary art since 1996. he is currently the Curator of FILM at Art Basel in Hong Kong (since 2014). Li was the International Consultant of the Barbican International Exhibition “Digital Revolution”(2014), UK and has served as a final jury member for many national and international organizations, including: Transmediale (2010), CCAA (*now as M+ Art Museum Sigg Prize 2012), Fantoche Animation Festival (2012), Hyundai Blue Prize (2018), etc.

Dr Siegfried Zielinski is Michel Foucault Professor of Media Archaeology & Techno-Culture at the European Graduate School (CH), honorary doctor and professor of the Budapest University of Arts, and Professor emeritus of media theory at Berlin University of the Arts. He was founding rector (1994–2000) of the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, director of the Vilém Flusser Archive (1998-2016) and rector of the Karlsruhe University of Arts & Design (2016-2018). Zielinski is member of the Berlin Academy of Arts and the North-Rhine-Westfalia Academy of Sciences & Arts.

Exhibition Thematic Texts

Nothing like a blue bird
from New York
fall from the sky
into the ocean
there will be light
in a moment
shine from the sky

a big blue whale
scream in the ocean
the wave
the light shine again
just like the bird




a moment to come
a moment to go

By Zhenhua Li

In the mid 1980s, the author and director Alexander Kluge lamented the bitter loss of  historical consciousness. His film Der Angriff der Gegenwart auf die übrige Zeit [The Blind  Director, 1985] criticises the languishing of the present as an effect of time conceived in ever-faster and ever-smaller intervals. In light of two potentially paradoxical but potently interacting processes, society increasingly faces a shortage of time: with digitalisation, time becomes more abstract and its value more difficult to grasp. Further, in an increasingly global service economy, time mutates not only into a commodity but also into a general equipollent in the form of bits and bytes. Time started to tend away from being an experiential quality to be reckoned with.

Today the spread of a flat awareness of time again provokes complaint but with new areas of concern. With regard to the past, criticism focuses on the phenomenon of oblivion which accompanies the development of fast telematic technologies. The act of forgetting is systematically promoted through digital machines and their deification of the present. In fact, one can speak of sophisticated culture technologies of EnBnnern, a combination of the German terms entrinnen, meaning to escape from something, and erinnern, to remember something. But between paranoia and melancholy there is a third mode of time consciousness, which is worth to re:activate – to enjoy the auspicious moment.

by Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zielinski


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