* This post is written by Korean Class Massive, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers.
Korean Eye is a not-for-profit organisation which was founded in 2009 by David and Serenella Ciclitira. Its aim is to provide a platform for emerging and more established Korean contemporary artists to showcase their work internationally.
Last weekend we popped over to chilled out Sloane Square for some culture. The Saatchi Gallery is currently holding an exhibition featuring over 30 Korean artists in one of the largest Korean art events seen in our capital city. There are a total of 3 floors featuring a vast range of art. From the modern and wacky to the more traditional with a twist; all art lovers are bound to find something to fall in love with. Even if you are not a keen appreciator of art, it is still worth checking out as some of the structures featured are seriously impressive. This collection is so different from what you usually see in galleries, yet thankfully not too “out there” and questionable. With the artists’ works spread across 12 gallery spaces, we thought we would talk about a few of our utmost favourite pieces, giving you guys a chance to go and discover the exhibition and make up your own minds.
Bae Joonsung has one of the most interesting and refreshing pieces in the exhibition. Bae incorporates paintings and photographs together to create a fun multilayer holographic image. As you walk pass the painting and look at the image from various angles, you see a number of different images. Bae’s aim in this funky technique is to encourage people to look at art differently. Come and check out what you can see, it’s an image that can never be captured and needs to be experienced first hand.
We’ve mentioned that this exhibition features some really impressive sculptures. One of the first you’ll encounter is an amazing “Floating World” structure by You Myung Gyun. This giant sculpture looks surreal as if it’s just hovering in the gallery space. Make sure you take a closer look to see if you can figure out what this amazing sculpture is made out of. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, be ready for what’s upstairs. Gallery 10 features 2 of our favourite structures by Lee Jaehyo and Kim Byoungho. This gallery space is dominated by a giant sphere made of wood, it’s absolutely MASSIVE with a viewing deck from the upper floor as well. Next to this giant is something that looks like it came out of Studio Ghibli. This seemingly ball of fluff is actually huge and made of twigs. Not so fluffy after all; very impressive.
The back of Gallery 8 features something a bit more abstract and nostalgic. It seems as though Ahn Doojin has collected all the bits and pieces of their childhood and laid it out for everyone to study and explore. This collection has countless amounts of knickknacks and it was very fun spotting all the little references to our childhoods too like Doraemon, Ninja mutant turtles, Pikachu! Another rather contemporary piece of art work is A Storm in a Teacup by Choi Chongwoon. It looks like just a normal coffee table, some people might have even walked pass and not realise it’s an art piece. But look closely into the teacup and see whats happening. It’s mind boggling.
But if all that is a bit too modern and abstract for you, there’s also Cho Duckhyun. His piece features old photos but with a modern twist. The themes of his pieces are history, nostalgia, romance, identity, family and spirituality. It was really interesting looking at the old photos of Korean families, the fashions are amazing! But it’s not just photos. Cho has replicated these images and when you step back, you’ll see that most of the pieces are mirrored. Cho has also chosen to feature Nora Noh in his collection. Nora Noh is a lady who left Korea for the US when she was 19 and returned to become a renowned and visionary fashion designer, introducing contemporary style and glamour to conservative Korea. Cho’s customisation of Nora’s portraits really capture her life. But art isn’t all about being abstract and being able to create pieces with hidden message. Some of the pieces also portray the amazing skills some artists have. For example after taking a look at Oh Jeong Il and Lee Kwang-ho’s paintings, you’ll noticed that all the little details are actually scratched on strand by strand to give a “fluffy” and realistic hair-like effect. The time and precision it took must be immense!
A highlight of the Korean Eye exhibition is Shin Meekyoung’s collection. We’ve talked about Shin before, who currently has an amazing plinth at Cavendish square. Here you get to experience a number of her pieces. Shin’s signature is making ornaments out of soap as the texture is so similar. This impressive exhibition features so many of Shin’s pieces it looks like a collector of China showcasing a really impressive collection. The colours of the soap pieces are so vibrant and the details are so strong, it’s absolutely surreal. It’s looks so glossy and touchable (Note: DO NOT TOUCH THE ART!). You almost forget it’s soap until you get a whiff of floral fragrant when you lean in for a closer look. The yellow piece had such a strong lemon smell to it! It’s really interesting to see how intricate the designs are and all the attention to detail Shin puts into her pieces.
This exhibition features such a wide and varied collection of art that we definitely recommend everyone visit! Along with these Korean artists, the Saatchi Gallery is also featuring the works by the likes of Jon Rafman which is very interesting and hilarious at times. It’s basically his collection of screen captures from Google earth and it features some hilarious moments. We even spotted baby Tao from EXO M, possibly…
Saatchi Gallery is located by Sloane Square. You can find out how to get there via their website. Korean Eye Exhibition is on until the 23 September and features the following artists:
BAHK, Seon Ghi
CHAE, Mi Hyun
CHO, Duck Hyun
HONG,Euyoung HONG, Seung Hee
HONG, Soo Yeon
HONG, Sung Chul
KANG, Hyung Koo
KIM, Dong Yoon
KIM, Hyuen Jun
LEE, Jaehyo LEE, Ji Yen
LEE, Kwang Ho
OH, Jeong Il
YOU, Myung Gyun