In South Korean art museums and art foundations, solo exhibitions of the works of young and emerging Korean artists born in the late 1970s and 1980s are currently on display.
The SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation is presenting the works of soundscape artist Joon Kim; the Hanwon Museum of Art is showing a collection of Minwook Jin’s contemporary Korean paintings; and the OCI Museum of Art is displaying the works of Han Sang A, who creates fabric sculptures with Korean ink; and Lim Jihyun, who experiments with the materiality of wood and ceramics.
The SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation has been supporting emerging and promising Korean artists since 2001 through its annual art award program.
Joon Kim (b. 1976) won the 18th SongEun Art Award in 2018, and as part of the award, he is holding his solo exhibition Tempest at the foundation from October 25 through December 3, 2022.
Joon Kim is an artist who investigates and collects various sounds and stories that occur in specific places and transforms them into sensual soundscape installations.
The title of the exhibition, Tempest, alludes to a method of spying on information systems by leaking emanations from electronic devices. Borrowing this concept, the artist catches the subtle sounds of the urban ecosystem and presents them in the exhibition space so that the audience can experience the social structure in which we live in a new way.
In Tempest, Kim has enhanced the synesthetic experience of his previous soundscape works. For example, the work titled Tempest on the third floor amplifies the inaudible electromagnetic sounds of electric devices that surround us to make visitors aware of the modern system in which we live. The exhibition also features sounds collected from Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do, Nanji Park in Seoul, and Australia that compose diverse narratives in the form of various acoustic landscapes.
Joon Kim has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at Korean art institutions, including the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art (Ansan, 2019), Boan 1942 (Seoul, 2017), Ilmin Museum of Art (Seoul, 2017), Project Space Sarubia (Seoul, 2016), Arko Art Center (Seoul, 2016), and Art Sonje Center (Seoul, 2015). His works are in the collections of the Gyeonggi Children’s Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Busan, SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Seoul Museum of Art, and the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art.
The Hanwon Museum of Art was established in 1993 by the Hanwon Group to promote fine art through research and exhibition. The museum holds solo exhibitions of artists who have played a significant role in the Korean art scene and presents their new works to examine the creative process behind their artistic practices.
The road that I walked yesterday features new works by the artist Minwook Jin (b. 1980) until December 6, 2022.
Jin creates Korean paintings within the context of contemporary art. She paints a subdued and tranquil landscape by applying pigments to both the front and back sides of the silk as she contemplates the properties of silk and the transformation of the medium of oriental painting.
Jin presents a modern interpretation of Sangchoon, or an evergreen paradise. Traditional Eastern landscape paintings depict vast, remote landscapes, such as majestic mountains and rivers. Jin, instead, depicts a small paradise filled with everyday objects that she encounters while walking around the city.
The exhibition presents works created between 2019 and 2022. The Stroll and See series depicts the artist’s own imaginative paradise composed of objects she found, sensed, and remembered while repeatedly walking through specific locations in Seoul. In another group of artworks, the artist combines images from classical Eastern literature to depict nature that we cannot see with our eyes. These images are expressed on canvas in the shape of a traditional picture book or a folding screen and experiment with non-traditional Korean painting materials, such as charcoal and white clay with pigments.
Artist Minwook Jin has held solo and group exhibitions at a number of Korean art institutions and galleries, including Seoul National University Museum of Art (Seoul, 2022), Seongnam Cube Art Museum (Seongnam, 2019), Icheon Municipal Woljeon Museum of Art (Icheon, 2018), Daegu Art Factory (Daegu, 2017), and Sungkok Museum of Art (Seoul, 2015).
Every year, the OCI Museum of Art selects young artists who present a new paradigm to the art world and highlights their artistic activities through solo exhibitions. Among the artists selected for the 2022 call-for-artists program, the solo exhibitions of Han Sang A and Lim Jihyun will be held until November 19.
Pointed Mind is Han Sang A’s first solo exhibition in three years. On wet cotton cloth, Han uses ink sticks, the main material of traditional Eastern painting, to create a landscape combining everyday life and the artist’s imagination. The landscape is a mixture of reality, memory, and fantasy and is expressed through different shades of black ink and delicately expressed lines.
Han went through marriage, childbirth, and parenthood in 2018, and as a result, her work has shifted from flat paintings to soft sculptures created by cutting and sewing painted clothing.
In this exhibition, the artworks depict the ambivalent feelings the artist has as both an artist and a caregiver. As an artist, one has to be sharp and sensitive, but as a caregiver, one must be easy-going and generous. The double-sided identity is reflected in the Korean title of the exhibition. 용기, or Yonggi, has two meanings. As artists are required to confront new situations, courage is an essential quality. A mother who is able to store love for her children should resemble a container.
This dual identity is also expressed through pointy shapes in her works. These sharp symbols, however, are not threatening but rather warm, like stars and glitter. The shapes of hands, fire, the moon, and stones were inspired by the artist’s thoughts and aspirations to commemorate the well-being of the family.
Han Sang A has had solo exhibitions at SongEun Art Cube (Seoul), Weeknd (Seoul), Gallery Dos (Seoul), and Seongnam Cube Museum of Art (Seongnam). She has participated in group exhibitions at the Seoul National University Museum of Art (Seoul), Space Willing & Dealing (Seoul), Asian Culture Center (Gwangju), Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art (Ansan), Seoul Calligraphy Museum (Seoul), space776 Gallery (New York), Unité d’Habitation (Marseille), and CHENGART (Beijing).
Artist Han Sang A is concurrently holding a solo exhibition at the BYFOUNDRY in Hannam-dong, titled Pointed Warmth, until December 18.
The title of Lim Jihyun’s (b. 1989) solo exhibition at the OCI Museum of Art, Arch Motion, refers to the pole vaulter’s movement of bending the body like a bow to make a high jump.
Lim creates three-dimensional works that emphasize the physical properties of wood and ceramics. In Arch Motion, Lim attempted to reveal the characteristics of each material when bent. Compared to wood, porcelain is heavy and tends to bend inward, while the elasticity of wood causes it to bend outward. In one of her curve series, the artist compares and contrasts the elements of each material that create the arch shape.
Using wood’s elasticity, Lim also investigates how the material occupies space. She connects curved wood sculptures made of laminated wood and bamboo to compare the densities of each wood. She also presented a video work for the ceramic series that focused on attempting to control the outcome of ceramic creation. Unlike other genres, such as painting and sculpture, it is difficult to predict the outcome of ceramics because it is difficult to control the glaze’s flow or the color, which can change depending on the combination of soil, water, air, and fire.
Lim Jihyun has held solo exhibitions at Onsu Gonggan (Seoul, 2021) and KSD Gallery (Goyang, 2019). She has also participated in group exhibitions at the Sochang Youth Mansion (Daegu, 2019), the POSCO Art Museum (Seoul, 2017), the Clayarch Gimhae Art Museum (Gimhae, 2017), and other art museums in China and Taiwan.