Barakat Contemporary will present The invisible enemy should not exist (Northwest Palace of Kalhu, Room F, Southeast Entrance; Room S, Southwest Entrance), the first solo exhibition in Korea of Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz (b. 1973), from May 10 to July 30.
The artist’s work reached a turning point after the Iraq War in 2003, and this exhibition presents a selection of his major works from the two decades since then. The exhibition’s title, ‘The invisible enemy should not exist,’ is a series of works that the artist has been working on since 2007, reviving artifacts looted from the Iraqi National Museum after the Iraq War.
The exhibition’s eponymous work, <The Invisible Enemy Must Not Exist (Northwest Palace, Calhoun, Room F, Southeast Entrance; Room S, Southwest Entrance)>, is installed by the artist throughout the first floor of the exhibition and is open to the public for the first time, pointing to the exact location of the looted palace spaces that the artist and his team recreated. The work is created using the ‘Papier-mâché’ technique on the walls, utilizing Arabic-English newspapers and food packaging found in the neighborhood.
The exhibition also includes works that recreate and reclaim Iraq’s Mesopotamian cultural heritage that was looted or lost during the war, as well as the family’s displacement from Iraq to the United States. The exhibition listens to the stories of all the things that have been pushed aside by force and disappeared along with people and proposes tangible healing from invisible trauma.
Tang Contemporary Art Center Seoul will present The Shepherd’s Touch, a solo exhibition by Wu Wei (b.1981), from April 28 to June 3. It will be the artist’s second solo exhibition in Korea and will feature more than 40 works, including new works.
The exhibition will feature artist’s signature series ‘Paper-fur’ and his new series ‘Cut and Substitute,’ which offers a new perspective on the image and history of Western painting. ‘Paper-fur’ is a series of works in which paper is cut to resemble animal fur. From a distance, they appear to be sculptural representations of animal fur, but on closer inspection, they are labor-intensive works made of very thin paper. Through these works, the artist revisits the primitive thinking and violence of our ancestors.
The series ‘Cut and Substitute’ takes classical Western paintings and makes them three-dimensional, cutting the surface into various shapes. The cuts reveal various layers of form and color. Through this act, the artist transforms the sacred flatness of classical paintings into an installation and reorganizes it into a visual and tactile field, challenging the visual dictatorship of Western art history.
China-based artist Wu Wei (b.1981) explores the relationship between humanity and savagery, civilization and nature, domestication and wildness, and finds new sensations and possibilities in materials and space. The “Godly creatures” represented by beastly patterns and vividly colored paper fur appear in partial or completely different compositions, suggesting new meanings through pure and abstract formal elements.