London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Acquainted with the Night: Dongwook Suh, Ahnnlee Lee and Yoonhee Choi at No 9 Cork Street

Date: Saturday 3 June - Saturday 17 June 2023
9 Cork Street | London W1S 3LL | | [Map]

Tickets: Free | Exhibition notice here
Installation view of “Acquainted with the Night” at No.9 Cork Street
Installation view of “Acquainted with the Night” at No.9 Cork Street, London, 2023. © The artists and ONE AND J. Gallery. Photo by Juliana Vasquez.

ONE AND J. Gallery is pleased to present the group exhibition “Acquainted with the Night” featuring three Korean artists – Dongwook Suh, Ahnnlee Lee, and Yoonhee Choi – at Frieze No.9 Cork Street, London. It presents various artistic practices through portraits, abstract paintings, installations, and poem that have been created by experiencing the night which are metaphorical to darkness, solitude, and emptiness as a fate of humans. Dongwook Suh presents the portraits implying the emotion of solitude we all feel as human beings. Having delved into her internal being, Yoonhee Choi paints her innermost emotions by rubbing paint with her physical movements. Between the paintings, the immersive installations by Ahnnlee Lee, inspired from his poem ‘Alchemy’ (2019), mingle with the exhibition scenery like an alchemist. It will be on view from 2nd June through 17th June 2023.

The exhibition is titled after the poem Acquainted with the Night (1928) by Robert Frost (1874-1963, USA) which explores the fundamental train of thought as a human being, depicting the darkness of depression and loneliness of the individual as the metaphor ‘Night’. The night can be interpreted in a variety of ways, depending on the emotions, situations, and our surroundings at the time. The night mostly feels depressing and melancholy, but at the same time, lets us explore deep inside and seek the dim light, even if there is only moonlight far away. Nowadays we are surrounded by numerous media with high technology. Everything can be connected, spread outward, and consumed by the unknown unwillingly. Paradoxically, more connected with the world, more isolated from myself. In other words, we are acquainted with the night. We are wandering lonely and struggling to find a way to encourage life. The exhibition presents the practice of artists who are also acquainted with the night. Keeping a distance from the lonely night in their mind, the artists face the darkness and get along in their ways by thinking deeply, even if they feel like wandering the street alone in rain or there is nobody to pay attention to them. By utilizing their own intrinsic media through a corporal sensation, they throw fresh light on the night.

Oil painting of a young Korean man smoking while sitting on the floor
Dongwook Suk: Smoking DW (2019) Oil on canvas, 162.2 x 130.3 cm. © ONE AND J. Gallery and the artist.

From the compassion for humans on the stage of life, Dongwook Suh (b. 1974, Korea) has metaphorized life by portraying people’s emotions like sadness, solitude, joy, aging, and others. In particular, Suh has painted portraits for people he has known for a long time, to show what he has experienced in person through his physical act of painting. Therefore, the inner side of the person naturally turns out to be the painting and the artist often projects his emotions onto it as the same as the human.

Abstract painting by Yoonhee Choi
Yoonhee Choi, Silent Noise #5 (2023). Oil on canvas, 130 x 97 cm. © The artist and ONE AND J. Gallery.

By interpreting the out-of-sight through her corporal sensation, Yoonhee Choi (b. 1986, Korea) has started to delve into her internal being since 2021. While talking to herself, She tries to open up her innermost emotions like emptiness, anxiety and others. Going back to the inside of her body, she goes through the process of finding traces of emotions. In her paintings, we could see the dynamic flows of the criss-crossing thin lines as like the tangled emotions. By rubbing paint with her hands and focusing on presenting her movements on the canvas, she feels free from the unknown emotions which she could not outwardly express until now and then gets relieved herself. The new work Silent Noise #6 (2023) from the ongoing series Silent Noise came from the feeling of emptiness, yet was commingled with mixed emotions coming up with rubbing the paints with expression.

Complex pendants hanging from a wall
Ahnnlee Lee, Alchemy, Transmutation of Matter (2023). Yellow copper eyelet, stainless wire, rubber cap, peanut
shell, ottchil lacquer, stainless ring, electric cable, Dimensions variable. © The artist and ONE AND J. Gallery. Photo by Juliana Vasquez.

Ahnnlee Lee (b. 1985, Korea) has been interested in the tiny things in his surroundings such as streetlights, fruits, seeds, plants, birds. He has tried to find the pure essence of things with his intuitive eyes and expresses it to abstract shapes. To reveal the existence of things and make it more vibrant Lee explores various gestures such as drawing, painting, scratching, sewing, carving and so on. At the exhibition “Acquainted with the Night”, he presents one of his gestures, sculptural drawing. With his poem ‘Alchemy’ on the bronze screen, there are the vertical mobiles Alchemy, Transmutation of Matter (2023) on the ceiling and the sculpture Feedback II (2022) embracing the diverse found objects which were abandoned on the street or dying plants by transforming it to bronze. Through this practice, Lee presents an attitude of affirming his life itself with welcoming every moment.

Artists’ Biography

Dongwook Suh (b. 1974, Korea) received his B.F.A. degree from Painting, Hongik University and DNSAP degree from École Nationale Supérieure d’arts de Paris-Cergy, Paris, France. He has held solo exhibitions at Sahngup Gallery Yongsan, Seoul (2022); ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul (2020, 2013); Space Willing and Dealing, Seoul (2020); Noblesse Collection, Seoul (2019) and others. Participated in numerous group exhibitions including those held at the Sahngup Gallery, Seoul (2022); Gallery Soso, Seoul (2021); Wumin Art Center, Cheongju (2021); ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul (2020, 2020, 2019); Hongik Museum of Art, Seoul (2017); OCI Museum of Art, Seoul (2016); Ilhyun Museum, Gangwon (2013) and others. Also, he participated in the artist-in-residence programs of Seoul Museum of Art Nanji Residency, Seoul; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Residency Changdong, Seoul and others.

Ahnnlee Lee (b. 1985, Korea) received his DNAP and DNSAP degrees from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, France. He has held solo exhibitions at Drawing Space SAALGOO, Seoul (2018); Drawing Space SAALGOO, Seoul (2016) and a duo exhibition at ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul (2023). Participated in numerous group exhibitions including Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Gyeonggi (2023); Wumin Art Center, Cheongju (2022); LEE KANG HA Art Museum, Gwangju (2022); ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul (2022); Space So, Seoul (2021); HITE Collection, Seoul (2020); Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art, Jeju (2018); SEONGBUK Creation Center, Seoul (2017) and others.

Yoonhee Choi (b. 1986, Korea) received her B.F.A in Painting from Gachon University and M.F.A in the Department of Fine Arts from Korea National University of Arts. She has held solo exhibitions at A-Lounge, Seoul (2023); Project Space Sarubia, Seoul (2021); OCI Museum of Art, Seoul (2019) and others. Participated in numerous group exhibitions including those held at the Daejeon Museum of Art-Daejeon Creative Center, Daejeon (2023); ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul (2022); Amado Art Space, Seoul (2022); P21, Seoul (2020); Mimesis Art Museum, Gyeonggi (2019) and many more. She was selected in PS Sarubia Support Artist in 2021 and awarded OCI Young Creatives in 2019.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.