On February 22, Gallery Hyundai announced that they will be representing media artist Ayoung Kim.
Now based in South Korea, Ayoung Kim (b. 1979) works on various media such as video, Virtual Reality (VR), sound, performance, and text to deal with issues that occur in today’s society and history, such as those related to migration, capitalism, or contemporary Korean history. Kim goes through intensive data collection and research on each topic to reconstruct them into unusual, complex narratives.
Kim worked as a motion graphic designer after majoring in visual design and spent her late 20s and her 30s outside her homeland studying contemporary photography and visual art in Europe. These experiences are reflected in her speculative works, where she frequently deals with topics about migration and refugees with abundant graphic images and visual and sonic effects.
Kim connects the extensive collected information to create a speculative fictional world but only to recognize the reality that already exists in a new and unfamiliar way. Her research is created as new multidimensional narratives that have a potential of deconstructing and subverting history rather than reaffirming the facts.
Porosity Valley 2: Trickster’s Plot (2017), for example, is one of her works in the Porosity Valley series that was featured in Korea Art Prize 2019 at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA).
The main character in this piece is Petra Genetrix, a data cluster consisting of minerals. Migrating from one dimension to another, Petra one day falls on a shoreline of an island called Crypto Valley and goes through a migration review led by authorities who do not really welcome immigrants. After failing the review and getting detained at the alien detention center, Petra hears and follows the voice of Mother Rock, a data center and transcendental existence on the island, and eventually merges with Mother Rock becoming a contributing part of the island.
In this speculative artwork, Kim connects the issue of refugees and migrants to completely different subjects.
Ayoung Kim has participated in leading art institutions around the world, including the Busan Biennale (2020), Gwangju Biennale (2018), Palais de Tokyo (2016), National Museum of Contemporary Art (2020, 2016), the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), and Leeum Museum of Art (2021, 2012). She has also participated in several film festivals such as the 70th Berlin International Film Festival (2020), the 21st Jeonju International Film Festival (2020), and the 1st and 3rd Sarza Film Platform (2020, 2019).
Marking its 52nd anniversary this year, Gallery Hyundai is one of Korea’s oldest art galleries specializing in modern and contemporary art.
It also played an important role in reevaluating some of the most important artists in Korean modern art history, including Park Soo-Keun (1914–1965) and Lee Jung-Seob (1916–1956). The gallery also took the lead in introducing Korean artists based abroad, including Lee Ufan (b. 1936), Kim Tschang-Yeul (1929–2021), and Chun Kyung-ja (1924–2015).
Gallery Hyundai currently represents artists of various generations including Lee Ufan and Kim Guiline (1936–2021) as well as Moon Kyungwon (b. 1969), Jeon Joonho (b. 1969), and Kang Seung Lee (b. 1978). The gallery also works with several international artists such as Fred Sandback (1943–2003), Iván Navarro (b. 1972), and Ryan Gander (b. 1976).
Ayoung Kim’s solo exhibition featuring her new works is scheduled to be held at Gallery Hyundai in August.