Korean artists make their way overseas
By Kwon Mee-yoo
With the local art scene thriving, more Korean artists are also being recognized overseas.
In June, Korean artists Yang Hae-gue, Moon Kyung-won and Jeon Joon-ho were invited to dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany, one of the largest contemporary art events in the world, for the first time in 20 years and more offers are coming from the other side of the globe.
Artists Park Young-Sook and Yee Soo-kyung are participating in the 18th Biennale of Sydney themed “All Our Relations.” The two artists presented a collaborative work “The Moon Project” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney.
The project combines Yee’s “Translated Vase — the Moon” and Park’s 12 “Moon Jar” pieces. Park’s work reinterprets Korea’s traditionally round white porcelain jar while Yee’s “Translated Vase — the Moon” is a large sphere created from ceramic trash from Park’s failed works for over 10 years. The piece presents the ceramic artists’ yearn for perfection through contemporary art as well as the beauty of Korean porcelain.
Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia, announced that it will purchase Korean artist Gim Hong-sok’s “Canine Construction.” The resin work is shaped like a dog and made from black plastic bags as part of Gim’s public project “Public Nature.” Gim transforms ordinary objects such as plastic bags and paper boxes into public artworks.
“Canine Construction” was exhibited at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art’s “Memories of the Future” in 2010 and was presented at Frieze Art Fair in London in 2009 and Art Basel Miami in 2010.
“Art+Auction,” a U.S.-based art magazine, announced the “50 Next Most Collectible Artists” in their latest issue and Jung Yeon-doo was listed as the sole Korean entry. Jung mostly works with photography and video and portrays fantasies stemming from everyday objects.
“Six Points” (2010), a stop-motion-like video portraying six ethnic minorities in the United States, was presented in a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution. His works have already been collected by prestigious institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Japan’s Fukuoka Asian Art Museum.
Photographer Choe Won-joon was named as the winner of the Quai Branly Museum’s photographic artistic creation aid grant and Choe will present new documentary “Black Monument,” about monuments and the architecture of African dictators constructed by North Korea, at the Quai Branly Museum next year.
Choe is currently a resident artist at Samsung Foundation of Culture’s Cite Internationlane des Arts and Le Pavillion, an arts residency program at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
More Korean artists are holding exhibitions abroad as well.
Lim Min-ouk is showing “Heat of Shadows” at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minn. She is the first Korean artist to have a solo exhibit at the renowned contemporary art museum.
Winner of the Hermes Korea Art Prize in 2007, Lim interprets the agony of the individual and the community inherent in the modernization process of Korea through sculpture, installation and video. The exhibition runs through Sept. 2.
Chun Kwang-young has a joint exhibition titled “The Poetry of Materials” with Anselm Kiefer and Gotthard Graubner at Kunstwerk, Eberdingen-Nussdorf, Germany, running through Sept. 16. He is known for his works using small triangular Styrofoam covered in “hanji,” or Korean mulberry paper, and the thin yet durable material portrays the ups and downs of Korean history.