Space So aims to provide stable support to young and mid-career Korean artists through various exhibitions. The first exhibition of this year is a group show, the teardrop running down your cheek is mine, introducing young and emerging painters born in the 1990s.
Space So(巢) is named after the Chinese character “So(巢),” which means “nest house.”
The gallery, run by CEO and curator Heejung Song, opened in 2017 in Seogyo-dong, Seoul, with the support of a collector couple Injoo Lee, a craft artist, and Seungju Kim, a former director of a children’s hospital.
The couple did more than just collect art; they were also patrons of contemporary art on a broader scale. For instance, the couple used to run a residency space on one side of Kim’s children’s hospital, allowing artists to expand their work.
Remodeling a two-story building formerly occupied by the Korean Association for Children with Leukemia and Cancer and financially supporting Space So for the past five years, were also one of the ways the couple supported contemporary art, as running a gallery means sponsoring various aspects of the art world in that it supports curators’ artistic activities, encourages artists’ creative practices through exhibitions and sales, and ultimately introduces Korean contemporary art to a broader audience.
Heejung Song, CEO of Space So, has been active in the Korean contemporary art world since 2004 and has known the Lee and Kim couple for over 15 years, making her the ideal person to expand their engagement in the contemporary art world through patronage.
Song was a curator known for working with young artists since her earlier days, and she is still working with some of the artists she discovered in her youth, including Han Sungpil, Hyung-Geun Park, Byungho Lee, and Guem MinJeong. Now, these artists have advanced to a higher level as mid-career artists.
Space So is a gallery that focuses on curating exhibitions featuring artists at various stages and works of various genres. The gallery particularly introduces photography, sculpture, installation, and media works that receive relatively less attention than paintings in the art market and highlights the works of mid-career artists who have relatively fewer opportunities to showcase their works than young or established artists.
According to Song, “Space So aims to provide stable support to young and mid-career Korean artists through various exhibitions, thereby introducing them to a wider audience and providing a positive impact on the art world.”
The first exhibition of this year is a group show, the teardrop running down your cheek is mine, introducing young and emerging painters born in the 1990s. The exhibition aims to shed light on the artistic practices of young painters and feature the genre of painting, which has received less attention in the gallery compared to other genres.
the teardrop running down your cheek is mine presents 24 works by Dajeong Kim, Kim Hyewon, Bang Soyun, and Jeong Juwon from February 23 through March 31.
The exhibition, curated by Susie Choi, aims to provide an experience of being intuitively immersed in painting as if shedding tears in response to the tears of others.
Dajeong Kim strictly designs her work process as if applying a formula to a computer program. Working with strict rules, the artist attempts “automatic image generation” for painting by algorithmizing the ratio of the screen, the material of the work, and the movement of the lines.
Dajeong Kim (b. 1995) had a solo exhibition at N/A (Seoul, 2021), O’NewWall (Seoul, 2022), Rainbow Cube (Seoul, 2021), Parplume Gallery (Kanagawa, 2019), and 2/W (Seoul, 2019).
Kim Hyewon paints dry landscapes easily captured with a mobile phone camera. Her paintings incorporate materials, proportions, and perspectives that are readily accessible through the camera. The artist separates “what is seen” from “what has come into sight” by expressing the focused object thickly, as if making a relief, and the background rather plainly.
Kim Hyewon (b. 1993) has held exhibitions at various institutions, including Museumhead (Seoul, 2023), Soshoroom (Seoul, 2021), One and J Gallery (Seoul, 2020), CAN Foundation (Seoul, 2020), and Daelim Museum (Seoul, 2020).
Bang Soyun expresses the texture of digital images through her paintings. These scenes depict fictional characters embodying the artist’s cultural experiences and ideas. After making a sketch, she uses an image editing program such as Adobe Illustrator to create a specific shape and an airbrush to recreate the image on the canvas. In the process, the artist creates confusion by expressing the difference in texture between real and virtual images.
Bang Soyun (b. 1992) has had a solo exhibition at Sangheeut (Seoul, 2021) and has participated in exhibitions at AnnPaak (Seoul, 2022), One and J Gallery (Seoul, 2022), and Gallery 175 (Seoul, 2021).
Jeong Juwon, who majored in Korean painting, draws landscapes of surrounding situations and personal stories, but the artist blends reality with her own thoughts. By emphasizing the pictorial character of paintings, Jeong embodies the materiality of paint, which is regarded as the exclusive property of oil painting, with the techniques and materials of oriental painting.
Jeong Juwon (b. 1992) has held numerous solo exhibitions at institutions, including Gallery Koo (Seoul, 2017) and Graphite on Pink (Seoul, 2022). Jeong has also participated in exhibitions at Art Space Hue (Paju, 2020), Art Space Pool (Seoul, 2018), Space K (Gwacheon, 2018), and Geumcheon Art Space PS333 (Seoul, 2017).