As the first group exhibition introducing the wide-ranging work of South Korean political art to the American audience, Being Political Popular showcases 16 artists and art collectives and more than 40 artworks. At once an art historical investigation and a curatorial exercise, this exhibition attempts a historiographical investigation and epistemological exploration of artistic practices as a particular sort of public culture, one that benefits from the languages of both popular culture and political resistance.
Placing today's artists in conversation with the 1980's minjung art ("people's art"), the exhibition's inter-generational juxtaposition will shed new light on both minjung and contemporary periods. This new genealogy of South Korean political art fully takes into account the shifts in the visual technologies and mediums from the 1980s to the present, effectively interlinkinking the following six themes: Sites of Resistance (Choi Byung-soo, Kim Dong-won, Seoul Labor Collective, Park Jae-dong); Reenacting History (Kim Min-gi, Hong Sung-dam, Oh Hein-kuhn); Between One and All (Mixrice, siren eunyoung jung); Seoul Tour/Pyongyang Express (listen to the city, Park Chan-kyong, Back Seung Woo); Past is Future (Lee Ho-suk, Park Bul-dong); and Play to Fly (Kim Sangdon, Minari and Hackie).
Co-sponsors: Academy of Korean Studies (AKS), Arts Council Korea (ARKO), Critical Theory Emphasis, and Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at University of California, Irvine.
Artists receptions are held at 6:00 p.m. on the opening night of each exhibition -- the public is welcome and admission is always free.
NOTE: Artists, titles and dates are subject to change.