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 [from San Francisco]

Female cartoonists drawing their bodies. I especially like number 2 by Katie Green and number 8 Lucy Knisley. All of the drawings gave me a sense of camaraderie and mutual understanding.

20 Essential K-Pop Songs according to Pitchfork. K-Pop aficionados, do you agree? Are these essential? My K-Pop favorites like Nobody and Sorry, Sorry are a bit dated.

At the beginning of September, the Leeum and Gwangju Biennale are presenting a forum, “Expanding Experiences in Art.” via e-flux

“Enter Pyongyang” is an observational film of the capital of North Korea created by JT Singh and Rob Whitworth. It’s an interesting watch and does show the capital in a less common light. Though, I can’t help but be distracted by what lays beyond the capital and what isn’t pictured.

Despite not living there anymore, Chicago and the people in it are still close to my heart. In honor of that, check out Zane Davis’s new Tumblr dedicated to a Chicago bridge.

For anyone who is curious, I’m based in San Francisco now.

Posted: August 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Body, Sunday Morning Coffee | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sunday Morning Coffee [from San Francisco]

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: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Korean Landscape, Photographs by Sungseok AHN

North Korea Notes

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An image I took this summer looking across to North Korea from Paju

North Korea is mentioned on occasion in this space. Below is yet another collection of links about the country.

David Guttenfelder is the only western photographer allowed to take photos of North Korea. In this short video he discusses that experience.

“I was born a [North Korean] Unicorn.”

An essay by Kim Jong Il’s former cook. He traveled all over the world to satisfy Kim Jong Il’s decadent cravings. In the end, he used one of those trips to escape.

An article about North Koreans in Japan. A friend of mine, Kim Insook, has an ongoing photography project about the subject.

Art Asia Pacific’s succinct article about what it means to be an artist north of the DMZ.

If you’re on the Korean peninsula next September you should check out the DMZ Korean International Documentary Film Festival. September 17-24, 2014 in Paju and Goyang.

North Korea and Choco pies, one of our favorite convenience store desserts when we’re in South Korea.

Apex Art’s exhibition from 2012, A Postcard from Afar: North Korea From a Distance curated by Mark Feary.

Posted: January 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Visual and Critical Studies | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on North Korea Notes

Contemporary Korean Art Roundup

By North Korean artist, Kouk Kun Son, as part of the DMZ International Installation Art Exhibition (2013)

PARA SITE in Hong Kong just opened Great Crescent: Art and Agitation in the 1960s: Japan, South Korea, and TaiwanPart of the statement about the exhibition reads: “A small essay of comparative art history, this exhibition highlights “anti-art” performative tendencies in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in the 1960s—a decade of turbulence and transformation worldwide, which was also a critical period in the social and political, as well as cultural and artistic histories of the three neighboring countries.”

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea is now open! According to e-flux, “MMCA Seoul will approach citizens as a familiar and inviting museum by leading public-friendly programs, and aspires to be a “comprehensive museum integrating the past and future in the present,” a “central museum for Korean art in enhancing global diversity,” and an “open museum inducing cultural development.” The MMCA website is here. For other contemporary art space in the area click here.

This week thinkers in Korea will be thinking about the Busan Biennale upcoming in 2014: “The Busan Biennale, which is set to celebrate its eighth biennial event in 2014, seeks to explore differentiation strategies in an increasingly competitive global biennale ecosystem and reflect on the characteristics of the ecosystem which can benefit the Busan Biennale and the methods of establishing the system.” via e-flux

A few months ago I wrote a post about art around the DMZ. Projects are continually popping up. Most recently, I ran across DMZ International Installation Art Exhibition (see image above). I found the project via the artist Jung S. Kim who I found through this investment advice.

Posted: November 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Contemporary Korean Art Roundup

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

“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 [North Korea]

From Jean H. Lee’s Instagram Feed

There are a couple of photographers I follow on Instagram that feature images of North Korea. One of the photographers, Jean H. Lee, was interviewed back in May.  Her Instagram handle is newsjean (David Guttenfelder’s handle dguttenfelder is the other; I recommend following both).  When asked about what would surprise the outside world about North Korea she says, “When I show my photos and videos of daily life in North Korea, or share anecdotes about what it’s like to live and work with North Koreans, people are most surprised by how “human” North Koreans seem because the picture we usually get is so orchestrated. But like the rest of us, they laugh, they cry, they joke, they fight. They love to tell jokes, they love to dance, they love to sing.”

On another noteThe Real DMZ Project opened July 27, the sixtieth anniversary of the cease-fire.  According to the project’s website, “The Real DMZ Project is a contemporary art project based on researches of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) and the border district. It began in 2012 and will be proceeded as a long term project with interdisciplinary researches and practices. This year, it aims to elaborate on geopolitical meanings of the border region of DMZ in Cheorwon through the frames of art, humanity, sociology, and science with ‘borderline’ as the keyword. Moreover, the project will seek to provide a sustainable platform where the studies of the DMZ conducted in diverse fields can be shared.” For more information visit the review on e-flux where I became aware of the project and The Real DMX Project website.

The conference I attended in Macau had film screening along with the panels. They featured two films about North Korea, each representing a different approach to the situation there: Unfortunate Brothers: Korea’s Reunification Dilemma and Memory of Forgotten War. I only viewed the second but after talking to the director of the screenings I would recommend both of the films.

If you’d like to dig deeper into the visual politics of North Korea I recommend looking into Visual Politics and North Korea: Seeing is Believing by David Shim. It will be published by Routledge later this the fall.

On a lighter note, I prefer this to this.

After this post goes live I’ll have just enjoyed a scone and coffee sitting next to Lake Michigan at sunrise with my parents and husband. A much needed pause from this (wonderful) and crazy summer. If you’d like to follow along you can find me on Instagram. Enjoy the last few days of summer.

Posted: August 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Sunday Morning Coffee | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sunday Morning Coffee [North Korea]

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]

“Trickle, Splash, Shoot” published with Modern Art Asia

Modern Art Asia’s Issue 14, Standing, Sitting, Crooked, features the extended version of my piece on Chang Jia’s photographs Standing Up Peeing. The introduction to the issue states, “The issue opens with Kate Korroch’s analysis of Chang Jia’s Standing up Peeing series. Chang Jia, a South Korean photographer, documents the feelings of compromise, jubilation or rebellion women experience in the act of pissing, upright, under the camera’s gaze.”

Posted: July 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art Review, Body | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “Trickle, Splash, Shoot” published with Modern Art Asia