Joonhong Min and Shinuk Suh have recently completed a UK based residency programme with the Camden Arts Centre and Unit 1 Gallery respectively. Both artists’ work is influenced by past experiences of growing up in Korea and more recent observations of life in London.
Joonhong Min’s work is concerned with the effect urban life has on the individual. He presents cityscapes that capture the anonymity and isolation prevalent in big cities. A closer look reveals collages constructed from discarded everyday objects covered in repetitive pen drawings. A wall bearing dozens of small drawings, pertinently titled ‘Urban Methodology’, hints at a city’s individual inhabitants, with shapes reminiscent of each object’s past, and tight pen drawings cancelling out the lure of once colourful wrappers and packaging. A video at the back of the gallery zooms in even more closely, inviting a glimpse into the artist’s very personal experience based on a conversation with his mother. ‘Thank you for sharing’ provides a powerful insight into an Asian woman’s life within the specific context of South Korean history.
Shinuk Suh is equally influenced by memories of his upbringing and questions the effect of ideology on society with monumental kinetic sculptures. Human bodies are presented like goods manufactured on a factory production line, the latter itself painstakingly made by hand. Silicon body parts peeling from their moulds and slapstick hands turning and flopping on endless loops are comical and tragic in equal measure. Two of the most recent works combine static sculpture with video, further blurring the line between reality and fiction. In ‘The real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced’ we witness the artist within his sculpture, constructing and consuming parts of it, photographing and multiplying it – attracting a gaggle of visitors throughout the Private View who took their own photographs and videos to further reproduce the work.
Rendered Reality does for contemporary art what Oscar-winning Parasite did for South Korean film
and reminds us of our shared humanity in a world divided by material possessions.
All images Installation view and Opening reception, Rendered Reality (2020), Courtesy the artist and Korean Cultural Centre UK. Photograph by Dan Weill.
Exhibition continues until 18 April 2020 and is open Monday to Friday: 10:00-17:30, Saturday: 11:00-17:00, free admission
Korean Cultural Centre UK, Grand Buildings, 1-3 Strand, WC2N 5BW (Main Entrance on Northumberland Avenue)
Since being opened by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in January 2008, the KCCUK has presented year-round exhibition programmes, film festivals as well as traditional and contemporary music performances. From the KCCUK’s central London location, the institution’s dedicated cultural team work to further develop established cultural projects, introduce new opportunities to expand Korean programmes in the UK and to encourage ongoing cultural exchange.