Exhibition reviews and comment

The first work to greet you as you entered the Spode China Works – the primary venue of the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent – is the monumental work created in situ by Lee Kang-hyo. At the opening of the exhibition Lee did one of the performances for which he has become known: the decoration […]

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Exhibition visit: Soon-Hak Kwon — everynothing, at Union Gallery

by Philip Gowman 29 October 2017
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The Union Gallery in Teesdale Street is going through a refit at the moment: as well as the exhibition space on the ground floor, a new showroom space is being developed in the basement. Soon-Hak Kwon, a Union regular, specialises in documenting the history of a gallery space by creating ultra-high resolution life-size images of […]

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Exhibition visit: Oh Man-chul ceramic paintings, at Han Collection

by Philip Gowman 15 October 2017
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I was sorry to have missed the opening of the current exhibition by Oh Man-chul at Han Collection. I made up for it by spending some time at the gallery a couple of days later. Park Jinsu kindly provided a photo of Master Oh’s opening performance, a painting on a 2 metre square canvas executed […]

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Kim Juree’s work at the V+A is melting …

by Philip Gowman 22 September 2017
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An integral and intended feature of Kim Juree’s work is that it self-destructs. As I said a couple of months ago when first reporting on the V+A’s Contemporary Korean Ceramics exhibition: “Kim makes models of 1980s-1990s houses being demolished in her naighbourhood. The houses are characterised by a unique combination of western and Korean architectural […]

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Exhibition visit: Contemporary Korean Ceramics at the V+A

by Philip Gowman 26 June 2017
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This year-long exhibition as part of the Korea/UK 2017-18 cultural collaboration brings together a range of approaches and responses to Korean ceramics. From work that is purely functional to work that is purely decorative, via work that seeks to critique contemporary Korean society, the unifying element is the quality of the craftsmanship and execution. Yoon […]

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Exhibition visit: Haenyeo, Women of the Sea, at National Maritime Museum

by Philip Gowman 14 June 2017
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The National Maritime Museum, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich, played host to an exhibition featuring South Korea’s latest inclusion in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. Life-size photographs of Jeju’s famous diving women were dotted around a building which began life in 1807 as a school for the children of British seafarers. […]

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Hwang Jihae’s Shoes Tree project at Seoul Station

by Philip Gowman 28 May 2017
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This year’s Chelsea Flower Show has just come to an end. No Korean participation this year, as far as I am aware. Last year Hwang Hay-joung won silver gilt for her Smart Garden sponsored by LG. But loyal readers will remember back to 2011 and 2012, when Hwang Jihae, without a big name corporate sponsor, […]

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Exhibition visit: Chosun Paintings — Beyond Borders, Beauty.

by Philip Gowman 4 April 2017
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When going along to an exhibition of work by North Korean artists you’re not quite sure what to expect. David Heather’s collection that was exhibited at La Galleria in 2007 had something for all tastes, including propaganda posters; a genre, influenced by western painting styles, that might be dismissed as Juche kitsch; and Chosonwha, which […]

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Exhibition visit: Suh Do-ho — Passage/s

by Philip Gowman 19 March 2017
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Visiting the Suh Do-ho solo show at Victoria Miro gallery is a very British experience. You queue to get in the front door, queue in the back yard to get to the second exhibition space and, once admitted to this gallery you queue again to get up close to the main exhibit. In the dozen […]

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Gallery: Yeji Kim – Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things

by Philip Gowman 18 March 2017
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Yeji Kim’s exhibition was the first to be held in the KCCUK’s refashioned space. Gone is the Multi-Purpose Space, demolished and reclaimed as an enhanced exhibition area. Screenings and lectures are now downstairs in the library, and one wonders how the KCC will cope with theatrical presentations in the future. Anyway, the larger space works […]

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Gallery: Korean Artists at London Art Fair 2017

by Philip Gowman 20 February 2017
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A quick post to upload some of the photos of the various galleries exhibiting Korean art at this year’s London Art Fair (plus one gallery that I missed). Hanmi Gallery Jaye Moon Jaye Moon’s work had been getting a fair amount of attention – guerrilla-style installations of Lego dotted around the Business Design Centre and […]

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Exhibition visit: KAA residency — I, Kid

by Philip Gowman 19 February 2017
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For their January 2017 exhibition and performance at the KCC, the Korean Artists Association chose nostalgia for childhood as their theme. The text which follows is from the exhibition catalogue, with installation shots mainly by LKL. I, Kid. 우리어릴적 Childhood memories are special to all of us. They do not disappear, but are planted in […]

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Review: Bongsu Park’s Crossing Over – Ritual of Grief

by Philip Gowman 14 November 2016
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Bongsu Park’s two-part work, Crossing Over – Ritual of Grief, is an ambitious piece lasting for almost two hours which saw its first performance spread over two weekends in two different locations during August. It blends contemporary electronic music with traditional Korean music, and contemporary dance with traditional Korean dance such as Salpuri. Appropriately enough […]

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A look at some of the Korean artists featured at Start Art Fair 2016

by Philip Gowman 25 September 2016
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No matter how much preparation you put into visiting an art fair – planning which stalls to visit, estimating how much time you are likely to spend at each – you will almost always end up spending your time differently from the way you originally intended: some stalls will engage you in conversation, telling you […]

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Biennale visit: Korea’s contemporary vision of Utopia

by Philip Gowman 24 September 2016
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At the heart of Korea’s contribution to London’s first design biennale is a digital rendering of Ahn Gyeong’s famous realisation of a visionary dream described by his patron, Prince Anpyeong, a son of King Sejong the Great. On the left of the image, in place of the calligraphic colophon provided by Prince Anpyeong himself is […]

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Exhibition visit: Kang Ik-joong’s Moon Jars at Robilant + Voena

by Philip Gowman 20 September 2016
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With Kang Ik-joong’s specially commissioned work floating prominently on the river outside Tate Modern, Robilant and Voena have chosen an opportune time to exhibit a collection of his moon jar paintings. Also on show is Things I Know (2010) an installation of 500 small moon jars arranged in a circle. He may have been pulling […]

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Exhibition news: Yun Hyong-keun at Simon Lee Gallery

by Events Editor 17 September 2016
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Yun Hyong-keun (b 1928) passed away in 2007. By arrangement with the artist’s son, a number of his works from the early 1990s are being exhibited at Simon Lee Gallery in Berkeley Street in what is his first posthumous solo show in London. The majority of the works are oil on linen, though one (not […]

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