The Hayward Gallery will present the first UK exhibition of South Korean artist and filmmaker Heecheon Kim from 1st December 2023 to 7th January 2024, in the gallery’s Project Space.
Developed in collaboration with Seoul’s Art Sonje Center, Heecheon Kim: Double Poser is a free exhibition and will include a new moving image commission alongside an existing video work, Deep in the Forking Tanks (2019).
We are delighted to collaborate with the distinguished team at the Hayward Gallery to introduce Heecheon Kim to London audiences for the first time. His videos empathise with our feeling of helplessness, while offering a playful escape.Je Yun Moon, Project Director of the Art Sonje Center,
Heecheon Kim was recently awarded the 2023 Hermès Foundation Missulsang Art Prize, which cemented his status as one of the leading emerging artistic voices in Korea. Kim’s practice explores how technology affects our perception of society, culture and the world at large. His work often conflates virtual and physical realms, considering how our bodies, memories, emotions, identities, physical experiences and, particularly, the banality of daily life are constructed and represented in digital space.
In his video works, Kim manipulates both filmed and found footage in ways that challenge our habitual manner of processing visual and sensory information, using technology such as GPS, augmented reality, virtual reality and face-swap applications. Additionally, in an effort to destabilise conventional storytelling, Kim deploys techniques of looping and repetition to create ambiguous and, at times, decidedly nonsensical narratives.
I am honoured to have the chance to introduce my recent video pieces at the Hayward Gallery. Living and working in Seoul, I am very much looking forward to knowing about the new audiences in London and having conversations with them.Heecheon Kim
For his new commission at the Hayward Gallery, Kim reinterprets components from his previous work Cutter III (2023), which was originally created for his exhibition Game Society at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul. This new project takes inspiration from the brutalist architecture of the Hayward Gallery and brings together elements of computer-generated imagery, video game aesthetics and skateboarding culture. The work is created using a “game engine” which is a software platform for developing video games. Taking real-world locations as found objects and placing them in speculative scenarios, this video also draws on Kim’s background in architecture.
An existing video work, Deep in the Forking Tanks (2019), will also be featured in the exhibition. Commissioned and produced by Art Sonje Center, this video explores the ways in which bodily senses can be transformed by technologies. The 43-minute video was inspired by the experience of being immersed in a sensory deprivation tank and scuba diving in underwater caves. Much like the sensation of being submerged in total darkness, the work’s structure is designed to create a disorienting effect, leading viewers through different stages of altered perception, from confusion to acute awareness. This is achieved through the overlaying of images and sounds to blend the boundaries between the real world and the realm of perception.
Heecheon Kim has created worlds that reflect how the reality of our mundane existence is mirrored in the digital sphere. His works are expressions of an absurdist viewpoint that embraces yet questions our obsession and trust in advanced technologies.Yung Ma, Senior Curator of the Hayward Gallery,
Heecheon Kim: Double Poser, 1st December 2023 to 7th January 2024, Hayward Gallery, HENI project space.
This exhibition is a part of Korean Season 2023. Korean Season 2023 is hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Korea) and organised by KOFICE (Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange) and KCCUK (Korean Cultural Centre UK).
About the artist
Heecheon Kim ’s solo exhibitions include “Deep in the Forking Tanks” (2019) at Art Sonje Center in Seoul, “Lifting Barbells” (2018) at Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, “HOME” (2017) at Doosan Gallery in Seoul, and “Wall Rally Drill” (2015) at Common Center in Seoul. He has participated in group exhibitions across Asia and Europe, such as the Julia Stoschek Collection, Germany (2022), MMCA (2021) in South Korea, ZKM (2019) in Germany, MCAD (2019) in the Philippines, Gwangju Biennale (2018), Istanbul Biennale (2017) at Istanbul Modern, and more.