The Saatchi Gallery presents a fascinating display of the largest collection of modern Korean art in the UK to date. Until 23rd September 2012 you can see 33 of the most exciting korean contemporary artists rich in sculpture, paintings & photographs .. Showcasing different elements of Korean art including fusing the traditional alongside the modern. Here Passion Palette casts a spotlight over some of the featured works.
Kim Byoungho (1974 - )
Kim Byoungho is famed for combining his spiraling sculptures, which extend from their core to reach out in various directions with electrical components that transmit sounds.
He is intrigued by our continuous pursuit of new desires & the complexity we adopt as we grow with these desires. With the sound frequencies representing the desires & the physical structure representing society these regular audible beeps take on a deeper meaning.
The sculpture shown within Korean Eye 2012 is titled ‘Soft Crash’ & made from numerous aluminium rods, with piezo & arduino providing the electrical components. A quality exists within the sculpture as the viewer orbits the structure. Approaching ‘Soft Crash’ from distance provides an almost asteroid type experience. Whilst moving from side to side the sculpture seems to come to life, as if possessed by movement it breaths. This accompanied by a regular beeping sound make for an interesting sensibility.
Shin Meekyoung (1967 - )
As you walk into a large room within the Saatchi Gallery decorated with an impressive array of vases you will notice a fragrant aroma, which fills the air. It is upon closer inspection that you realise that these traditional Chinese vases are sculpted by hand with Soap. Not often associated with art, Shin Meekyoung chooses this material to take on the tradition of Chinese porcelain vases. Replicating these vases by hand with this material seems to question the originals authority, whilst Meekyoung herself is interested in the varied reaction to her work achieved by removing this traditional form of art from its origins & placing them within a culturally foreign environment. This serves to provide her with different translations to her work. The artist sees herself as a mediator between the 2 diverse cultures.
Moon Beom (1955 -
Moon Beom creates traditional korean landscape paintings with a twist as he uses abstraction to achieve a refreshing representation of this established art form. Beom’s practice has been embellished from its roots by his time spent in America and Europe providing a modernity to this conventional art.
This more progressive approach is produced by combining the use of oilsticks and acrylics to create abstract shapes, which provide a substance to his landscapes. Convoluted shapes appear as the oilstick is added to the canvas by quick movement of his fingers.
A monochromatic quality is proposed by limiting himself to 2 colours as the use of tone determines the evocative notion of each piece. His darker paintings provide an almost harrowing sensation, whilst his paintings using a lighter palette stimulate in contrasting ways.
These fabricated landscapes contain a great sense of depth, which engage the viewer to explore.
Lee Gilwoo (1972 - )
Lee Gilwoo uses traditional handmade korean paper known as Hanji, which is made from the inner bark of a tree native to Korea. He uses a dissolving technique to burn delicate holes into the paper with the use of incense and iron before applying indian ink to his creations. Gilwoo places 2 - 3 images on top of each other to provide greater depth. As if superimposed, these dual images invite closer inspection as a hint of an image subtly lurks behind the main feature.
The technique that Gilwoo adopts by using fire to breed life into his work introduces a ceremonious quality, providing a deeper context as he strives to depict the beauty of nature through human images.
Lee Jaehyo (1965 - )
Powerful & intricate yet seemingly simple, Lee Jaehyo’s sculptures are devised from raw materials such as wood to form geometrical shapes.
An environmental comment on the beauty of nature, which is so often overlooked & disregarded. Taking wood & manipulating it to become something foreign whilst clearly bearing its origins serves to provoke a response to the natural world combined with human creativity.
Jaehyo flirts with the label of designer as well as sculptor due to the practical uses some of his pieces pertain such as tables and chairs. His work is rich in texture, which is testament to the physical labour that goes into producing his creations.