(몸살) “Body Ache” Art Exhibition in Seoul, South Korea

Image above Lee Seung-hoon’s Plastic Surgery #01 via Korean Herald

Momsal (몸살), literally meaning body ache, examines the body as a site that represents the distress and aches of society. According to the Korean Herald, the exhibition at Sungkok Art Museum (성곡미술관) features six artists four of which are South Korean: Shin Je-heon (신제헌), Lee Sun-haing (이선행), Lee Seung-hoon (이승훈), and Black Jaguar (흑표범), and two from abroad: Sigalit Landau (Israel) and Cui Xianji (China). Above and below are some images of the artwork from the exhibition.

Black Jaguar, Giant–Monster, 2013, 150 x 100 cm, Digital Print

The first image in this post,  Lee Seung-hoon’s Plastic Surgery #01, initially drew me to this exhibition. The marks on the people’s faces in the photographs recall battle paint. Cosmetic surgery is in a way a form of battle paint; it distorts the original likeness so that one can achieve greater success, or so they hope. The melancholic expression combined with the quickly painted child-like marks create a layered view into not just the act but also the person. While looking at Lee’s images I came across an opinion piece written for the New York Times by Han Kang about cosmetic surgery in South Korea. Kang describes looking at the before and after images, ”Whenever I look at these pictures, it’s the ‘before’ face that I’m drawn to: the face that has been discarded; the one that has disappeared from the world forever.” Read the rest of Kang’s essay here. If you’re interested in more details, here’s some information from the Economist.

Lee Sun-haing, Place to Rest, 2013

It is easy to become distracted by cosmetic surgery when approaching the concept of the body and South Korea. This exhibition appears to have moved beyond that and addressed further corporeal themes. Alongside the images above, there is a bust of Damien Hirst, a video called Mermaids [Erasing the Border of Azkelon], and more. To see further images you can visit the museum website linked above and there is also an essay in Korean about it here.

I initially found this exhibition through The Korean Herald in “Depictions of ‘body aches’ in modern society” by Lee Woo-young.

Posted: April 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Korean Landscape, Photographs by Sungseok AHN

Image Via Design Boom

South Korea is a country known for how quickly it went from being one of the poorest to one of the richest countries on the globe. This quick transition is captured in many ways. In this case, Sungseok AHN demonstrates Korea’s landscape in layered photographs of the past and present. To see how the artworks were displayed visit the artist’s website.

Posted: April 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

“Top online resources for Korean contemporary art” (Art Radar)

June17_Pieta

An image I took in 2011 of Lee Yongbaek’s “Pieta”

I wrote an article for Art Radar Asia about the top resources for contemporary South Korean art:

“The digital sphere offers a relatively limited number of resources on contemporary South Korean art in English, especially compared to Korea’s East Asian neighbours. Although online resources for English-speaking art professionals are becoming more abundant, a need still exists for varied and critical debate among the online art community.

To help you make the most of South Korea’s exciting art scene, here are the best online resources that feature contemporary Korean art. Ranging from online archives to critical reviews, as a collection these virtual spaces allow anyone with internet access to delve into the rich contemporary art scene flowing out of the Korea peninsula.”

To read the entire article click here!

Posted: April 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Visual and Critical Studies | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

“Cruel and beautiful…”

Chang Jia’s Sitting Young Girl from 2009 via Doosan Gallery

This Friday, March 7, Doosan Gallery in New York will open a solo exhibition of Chang Jia’s work. Chang is currently participating in the Doosan Gallery residency program. The exhibition will be up March 7 – April 3. Among the work to be exhibited, Standing Up Peeing (2006) will be shown. I wrote an article about those work for Modern Art Asia last summer.

Posted: March 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Body Update: Bending

Images by Bill Durgin via DesignBoom

Virtual gender swap via DesignBoom. This is an interesting concept but I don’t see why it has to be specific to gender. Size? Race? Health? Also, gender is not necessarily a binary thing as it seems to be presented here.

Speaking of gender, Facebook has some interesting news.

People are making the internet a better place! (Don’t tell my student’s I endorsed something Wikipedia related! ;) )

A friend shared Ren Hang’s photography with me a few weeks ago because of my work on Chang Jia’s Standing Up Peeing. 

Posted: February 18th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body, Visual and Critical Studies | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Burning Down The House, the Tenth Gwangju Biennale

The tenth Gwangju Biennale’s theme is Burning Down The House. According to the Biennale website, “Burning Down the House explores the process of burning and transformation, a cycle of obliteration and renewal witnessed throughout history. Evident in aesthetics, historical events, and an increasingly rapid course of redundancy and renewal in commercial culture, the Biennale reflects on this process of, often violent, events of destruction or self-destruction―burning the home one occupies―followed by the promise of the new and the hope for change.” Read the rest here.

Click here for a list of the past nine iterations

See more here.

Posted: February 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review | No Comments »

Happy V-Day

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Screen shot of the Google Doodle for 14 February 2014.

Also, a fun playlist for the day.

Have a great, day!

Posted: February 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Lifestyle | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Current Reading List

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From my Instagram taken outside of the restroom at Alternative Space Loop in Seoul

“Pink Writing: P.R.C.-Based Publishing in English on Queer and Pot-Queer Issues” in Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific (Issue 33, December 2013) by Maud Lavin

“Big Flesh, Big Emotions: Jenny Saville’s Paintings And Melissa McCarthy’s Comedy” in The Last Women’s Magazine by Maud Lavin

“The Politics of Identity for Korean Women Artists Living in Britain” in Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture by Beccy Kennedy

“Bargaining with Patriarchy” in Gender and Society (Sept. 1988) pp. 274-290 by Deniz Kandiyoti

Americanah by  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

Posted: January 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Body, Visual and Critical Studies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Cosmetic Transformation in Real-time

Read the article on DesignBoom.

Posted: January 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Lifestyle | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Body Language (Body Conferences)

Freddy will always have a piece of my heart. Queen’s “Body Language” (1982).

If I had all the time and money in the world I would apply to participate in these two conferences:

Bodies in Between: Corporeality and Visuality from Historical Avant-garde to Social Media

Deadline for call for papers: February 15, 2014

Conference Dates: 29-31 May, 2014

Location: Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA

Time, Space, and the Body

Deadline for call for papers: April 4, 2014

Conference Dates: 7-9 September, 2014

Location: Oxford, ENGLAND

Posted: January 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body, Visual and Critical Studies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »