K-Artists in New York
K-Artists in New York
The Korean Art Fair (March 8-11) is proud to announce its special exhibition K-Artists in New York which presents the work of seven Korean contemporary artists who have had a foothold in New York City, the center and the hub of the contemporary art scene, for over a decade.
With South Korea’s recent economic growth and rise in international status, new artistic and cultural developments are taking place. These developments continue to draw attention and curiosity from international audiences and as a result, a new wave of Korean art and culture is developing abroad. Korean artists are beginning to make a name for themselves outside of their own country.
The seven-selected artists for K-Artists in New York (Buhm Hong, Changha Hwang, Haeri Yoo, Hyungsub Shin, Ok Hyun Ahn, Heesub Yoon, and Youngsuk Suh) are of Korean descent and have social and emotional ties to their home-land, but have instead chosen to build a unique artistic foundation here in New York City.
Hyungsub Shin’s sculptures and installations symbolize life in continual flux, expansion by division and fragmentation, and identity as social relationship. Hyungsub’s new abstract sculpture series Rhizome. Rhizome is characterized by the possibility for unlimited expansion in that the sculpture can grow. However, adding or subtracting elements does not significantly affect the whole structure of the installation, because the installation displays its self-similarity. In this exhibition, Shin emphasizes the relationship not only between the various forms within the sculpture, but also between the sculpture and its environments.
Buhm Hong’s video works express the tense and dramatic situations influenced by time and space. Human perception is not logical based on our experience of reality, but can be experienced as real by personal memory, illusion, and imagination. Thus, the moments of particular experiences on their own are encompassed and overlaid with the artist’s own memory. He delicately encapsulates intimate moments within that space that reflect and affect upon their imaginations.
Changha Hwang has created complex images that defy beginnings and endings like images of labyrinth lines. He explores the relationship and how they are related. The spatial dimension in painting is one of his interests. Hwang plays with the positive and negative space by layering many colors and lines to create visual tension. This exhibition features his paintings that stem from his interests in stained glasses in Christian churches, traditional Jewish paper cuts, Islamic tile patterns, and the Abstract paintings that came before him.
Ok Hyun Ahn’s photography and video works questions the realms of truth and fiction found in between the imaginary and the real. Her videos lead us to consider how emotionally susceptible we are by empathizing the images of suffering shown in the mass media. In this exhibition, her photography and video works show us how feelings such as pain and sorrow, which may in fact be the most fundamental and the closest in nature to our own subjectivity, can become hollow utterance or mere mimicry of others’ responses.
Haeri Yoo’s works create surreal narratives that explore the darker side of human nature. She visualizes the image of duality through the juxtaposition of opposites: the plane and solid, the abstract and the figurative, and the beautiful and the grotesque. By working through various states of creation and destruction, she evokes a sense of continuity while suggesting the possibility of transformation. In this exhibition, Yoo creates painterly abstractions, which segregates and playfully mutates the realities present.
Heesub Yoon constructs a work by drawing freehand without erasing. As he corrects "mistakes", the work results in double or multiple lines, which reflect how his perception has changed over time and how it makes him question his initial perception. He continues to find the inaccuracies and unreality of the images that he draws as he explores more and more. In this exhibition, he creates site-specific installations that deal with memory and perception within cluttered spaces.
Youngsuk Suh creates straight photography with warm colors and crisp compositions to chant the sublime in the American landscape. In this exhibition, he features monumental size photographs that explore California landscapes using the visual vocabulary of smoke. He used the smoke as the medium through which light is made visible and it renders everything invisible. We are betrayed by our desire to clime high and see everything underneath, and we end up only looking at the mist, blinded by our own desire.
K-Artists in New York is a great opportunity to see art created by Korean artists living and working in New York City. The exhibition provides a survey of the current practices seen in Korean contemporary art and allows us to contextualize Korean art within a larger global setting during Armory Week.