Gwangju Biennale 2014

Opening Ceremony of the Gwangju Biennale via gwangjubiennale.org

Last week Art in America was the first Western source to reveal first hand information about the censorship of Hong Seong-dam’s Sewol Owol and subsequent resignation of the current president and cofounder of the Gwangju Biennale, Lee Yong-woo. The satirical painting includes criticism of the current president, Park Guen Hye and references the Korean ferry that sank last spring tragically taking many lives. The Korean Herald also covered the topic quoting Mr. Lee saying “‘From an art critic’s point of view, the painting should be on exhibit. I don’t think it is taboo to satirize a country’s president,” said Lee. “Freedom of artistic expression should not be restricted by the government just because they have the exhibition budget under their control.”‘

Among the controversy, some sources were able to shift focus back to the artwork. Art Radar Asia reviewed eight artworks from the Biennale including Minouk Lim’s Fire Cliff 3. I wrote about Lim’s Fire Cliff series when she came to Chicago in 2013. The Economist also touched on some of the artwork and the head curator, Jessica Morgan. Morgan has continued to progress; Art in America just announced  that the curator will be the new director of the Dia Art Foundation.

Posted: September 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Visual and Critical Studies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Gwangju Biennale 2014

Sunday Morning Coffee [Must See Art in South Korea this September]

Lee Bul, Bells From the Deep, 2014 in Beyond and Between at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

The exhibition featuring the artists who received the 2014 Korea Artist Prize is now on display through 9 November. Chang Jia (장지아), Noh Suntag (노순택), Kim Shinil (김싱닐), and Koo Donghee (고동회) were selected for the prize. I had the honor of visiting Chang Jia in New York this March and got to see her new work in progress. Here’s a film about all of the artists. Around 18:50 might be of particular interest to my family and friends.

The Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art (삼성미술관) in Seoul is having a tenth anniversary exhibition, Beyond and Between, featuring many well known artists from Asia and elsewhere including Ai Weiwei, Lee Ufan (이우환), Kimsooja, Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and others. The aim of the exhibition is to encourage communication with people (e-flux). The online galleries for the exhibition are divided into three parts: Beyond Time, Beyond Space, and Between Art and People. It is open until December 19, 2014.

Mediacity Seoul (미디어시티서울) 2014 began this week. This year’s theme is Ghosts, Spies, and Grandmothers. It runs  through Novemeber 23. You can keep an eye on different events via their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Doosan Gallery Seoul (두산) presents Minae Kim’s (김민애) Black, Pink Balls (검은, 분홍 공) until October 4. Kim is Doosan’s artist of the year. “In this exhibition, the artist seeks to examine the contradiction that arises when one ceaselessly aspires to deviate from and overturn the established order, but can ultimately do nothing but move around inside this order. Within this deliberative process, she seeks to create new meaning.”

The Busan Biennale (부산비엔날레) theme this year is Inhabiting the World (세상 속에 거주하기). “Inhabiting the world is an active attitude, a sign of vitality, the will to act upon the world and change it, and this energy, this fluidity, characterizes the city of Busan.” The Biennale opens on 20 September. For a list of participating artists, see e-flux.

The Gwangju Biennale (광주비엔날레) opened last week and runs through November 9. This year’s theme is Burning Down the House (터전을 불태우라). The Biennale website gives a brief chronological review of the themes from the past starting with the first Biennale in 1995, Beyond the Borders. I will be revisiting this Biennale in the coming weeks with an article about some controversy this year.

Another iteration of the REAL DMZ PROJECT (리얼디엠지프로젝트) began at the end of last month and will run through 27 September. So far the website for 2014 is quite sparse but it does include basic information about the project such as participating artists. If you’re curious to see more, you can look at the archives from 2012 and 2013.

New York Times did an interview with MOMA curator and Korean native, Doryun Chong, about how to approach viewing art in Seoul. He discusses rapidly changing history, the new National Museum of Contemporary Art, and weighs in on preservation.

For general viewing of art in Seoul, South Korea, see the article I wrote for Art Radar Asia last fall.

Posted: September 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Sunday Morning Coffee | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sunday Morning Coffee [Must See Art in South Korea this September]

Sunday Morning Coffee

Byeong Sam Jeon’s Dialogueye II (2013)

Byeong Sam Jeon (전병삼) is giving an artist talk at SAIC  this afternoon. Based on a visit to his website, I was intrigued by Wind From West (2014) and Dialogueye II (2013).

“Don’t be that dude: Handy tips for the male academic” by Tenure, She Wrote.

Should this be NSFW? Calling on Jenny Saville, Egon Schiele, and Lucian Freud!

10 female artists from Nepal via Art Radar.

Sung Hwan Kim (김성혼) at Art Sonje Center (아트선제센터) from 30 August to 30 November via e-flux. According to e-flux, “The title of the exhibition, Life of Always a Mirror, is a play on words in Korean on a Korean elementary school textbook’s title, Joyful Life. This method of education merges music, art, and physical education into a single subject as a didactic gesture in public education that teaches the youth not only knowledge but also the way they should lead a joyful life.”

Along with a salute to my former city, I should share that I plan to attend an event with Jung Rae Bae at the Asian Art Museum here in San Francisco.

Posted: August 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Sunday Morning Coffee | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sunday Morning Coffee

“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: , , , , , | Comments Off on “Top online resources for Korean contemporary art” (Art Radar)

Art in Seoul

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Click here to see my most recent post on Art Radar Asia! I review top contemporary art destinations in and around Seoul.

A list summary of the spaces reviewed in the article:

Samcheong-dong: PKMArt Sonje CenterKukje GalleryGallery Simon,  Palais de SéoulOne and J Gallery;  Alternative Space LoopDOOSAN Gallery (in Seoul and New York); Art Space Jungmiso; and Hyeri Art Valley in Paju new the DMZ.

Posted: November 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Art in Seoul

Sunday Morning Coffee [Masculinity]

Image from Joseph Maida’s series New Natives (Hawai’i)

Huffington Post’s article, “8 Scantily Clad Reasons To Rethink Your Understanding of Masculinity” written by Priscilla Frank. Reviewing Joseph Maida’s photographs, “Far removed from your typical headshot, Maida’s photos capture the wide variety of men who happen to find shelter on the tropical islands, combining blatant sensuality with traditionally masculine and feminine poses.”

Knife and Fork shared an interesting article about male eating disorders posted on Jezebel, “I’m an Alcoholic Dude With an Eating Disorder. Hi.” written by stand-up comedian Jamie Kilstein. In a comedic but poignant tone Kilstein explains, “I would tell people that if they ever did a Behind the Music-type special on me, it would be the lamest one ever. Instead of a heroin or a crack addiction, it would just be me on the road after a gig, naked in a bathtub, surrounded by stuffed crust pizza boxes sobbing into my phone, ‘YOU DON’T KNOW ME!'”

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the male body in contemporary South Korean art for Art Radar Asia. I touch upon the urger to prefect the body and ways artists alter the actual human figure through their art.

On a different note, take a look at this man’s collection of Barbie dolls!

As I write this post some artists come to mind such as Dutes Miller, this exhibition, and of course some of these dudes. Speaking of, have you seen Ai Weiwei’s latest? According to Art Radar Asia, “… bloody performances, simulated sex and government repression can still provoke art audiences.”

If you’re interested, here’s some recommended reading regarding South Korea and masculinity: Sun Jung’s Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption: Yonsama, Rain, Oldboy, K-Pop Idols and Stephen J. Epstein and Rachael M. Joo’s article “Multiple Exposures: Korean Bodies and the Transnational Imagination.”

Posted: September 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Sunday Morning Coffee, Visual and Critical Studies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sunday Morning Coffee [Masculinity]

“Giant cyborgs and miniature humanoids: male nudes in South Korean art” (Art Radar)

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As a compliment to my article, “Supplementary Skins”, my most recent post for Art Radar Asia, “Giant cyborgs and miniature humanoids: male nudes in South Korean art” reviews work by Lee Yongbaek, Choi Xooang, Dongwook Lee, Hyungkoo Lee, and Kim Joon. See an excerpt below.

Korea is the male make-up capital of the world and cosmetic surgery for men is becoming increasingly prevalent. For business or for pleasure, Korean men are willing to augment their bodies through means beyond pumping iron and following a stringent diet. This sea change in attitude towards acceptable masculinity has not escaped national or international critical comment: Sun Jung’s book Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption: Yosama, Rain, Oldboy, K-Pop Idols digs deeper into changing Korean masculinity, as does Stephen J. Epstein and Rachael M. Yoo’s article “Multiple Exposures: Korean Bodies and the Transnational Imagination.”

Posted: August 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “Giant cyborgs and miniature humanoids: male nudes in South Korean art” (Art Radar)

Sunday Morning Coffee [Things I’ve been meaning to read/write about]

Image of Young Jean Lee’s Untitled Feminist Show (source)

Article on Art Radar: nudity to challenge state corruption in China, an interview with Kimsooja (who represents South Korea in the Venice Biennale this year), an interview with Afghanistan’s first female street artist,  and finally, I was thrilled to see an article on Young Sun Han! Hang grew up outside of Chicago (and has since lived all over the world). I had the pleasure of meeting him last year. Some of his work addresses his North Korean heritage.

Last spring I had the privilege of seeing Young Jean Lee’s Untitled Feminist Show at the MCA in Chicago. The experience was shocking, liberating, energizing, and hands down the most intelligent and provoking work I’ve seen on a stage. I also saw a talk with Lee before the performance and met her briefly afterwards, she was humble, intelligent, and gracious. This week I was thrilled to see a piece about her “We’re Gonna Die” on the New York Times. Here’s a clip about it on NYT (I love that the next clip is about Avenue Q) and Lee’s Viemo stream.

I always enjoy immersive art via DesignBoom.

Have you heard of the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania? The name of the museum doesn’t revel the content of the collection: sex and death. Here’s an article about it from the New Yorker.

Doosan Gallery in Seoul just opened the exhibition The Next Generation. Someone go take a peak for me!

Five films for those who are involved in the arts via Art Radar. I show Un chien Andalou to my students the second day of class!

Hazel Dooney on the gallery system.

Some portraits on DesignBoom: Kim Jong Il framed in pink,  colorful x-rays, and lego heads.

A little bit of nepotism, my sister just moved to England and started a new blog to document the experience with her stunning photography and marvelous writing. She used to write here.

Posted: August 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body, Sunday Morning Coffee, Visual and Critical Studies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sunday Morning Coffee [Things I’ve been meaning to read/write about]

“Supplementary Skins: the female nude in South Korean contemporary art” (Art Radar Asia)

I recently started contributing to Art Radar Asia! See my first two articles here and here. They also asked me to write an article on the female body in contemporary South Korean Art. I focused on Lee Rim, Miru Kim, and Nikki S. Lee for the article but could have included many more artists!

“Even today, artists using the nude figure create a distance between the model and the viewer and convey a sense of modesty. The body, even when fully unclothed, is exposed modestly.”

To read the piece in it’s entirety click here.

 

Posted: June 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “Supplementary Skins: the female nude in South Korean contemporary art” (Art Radar Asia)