Five Myles | Brooklyn, NY
North Korean Artists
South Korean Artists
Kelvin K. Park
JUN 25 – JUL 13, 2014
Saturday, June 28 from 5 – 8 pm
Heng-Gil Han reports on his
recent trip to DPRK from 6 – 6:30 pm
Thurs, Fri, Sat. Sun, 1 to 6 p.m.
or by appointment: 718-783-4438
558 St. Johns Place
Brooklyn, NY 11238
w/Gallery Ho & Korea Art Forum
KOREA features works by artists from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Korea has been divided for the last sixty-nine years. Koreans are a people cut in half. This exhibition collects artworks made by South and North Korean artists in one place, attempting to find a point of breakthrough for future cultural dialogue and mutual understanding between the two parts of Korea.
North Korean artists, Chang Ho Choi and Chang Ri, each have contributed an ink painting depicting the landscape of Chonji (The Heaven’s Lake) at the top of Mount Baikdu, which is considered “the Sacred Mount of Revolution” in North Korea. Choi’s powerful brushwork in the Molgol style, in which figures are shaped by coloring without preliminary contours, creates energetic painting of a scenic landscape, which instills the feeling of a great and strong fatherland. Ri’s fine detail-oriented brushwork captures Mount Baikdu’s warm, soft and intimate atmosphere, emphasizing the perception of the mountain as the birthplace of the Korean people and the mythopoeic origin of their motherland.
South Korean artists, Kakyoung Lee and Tcha Sup Kim deal with the self-referential idea of artwork as a window, a path to the real world behind the pictorial space. Through her video, Lee brings noise and the daily routines of commuters into a white-cube gallery, a sanctuary for pure art isolated from worldly life, while Kim depicts a rectangular window in his etching, referencing the modernist use of grids that led to the idea of abstractionism in the early twentieth century.
In their ink-paintings, Gye Keun Choi and In Soo Pang from Pyongyangrepresent the open air of a mountainous landscape from a bird’s-eye view. A nomad artist from South Korea, Sungsook Setton’s gestural painting in ink presents an abstract landscape that is torn in the middle, creating a metaphor for the divided country by means of literalness. Ildan Choi’sWhat Are You Lookin’ At (1983) is a kind of Zen painting done in a few brush strokes that the artist humorously calls “dog droppings.” However, beneath the humor is an unmistakable undercurrent of emotional drang, urgency, crisis and discontent.
SunTek Chung, born and raised in the US, contributes two bronze sculptures portraying Myongbak Lee, the former president of South Korea, and Kim Jong Il, the former supreme leader of North Korea. The figures are positioned facing each other so they look about to kiss. The outcome is a humorous satire about the escalating tension between the two states of the same homogeneous culture.
In their work, Yooah Park and Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, both from South Korea, discuss issues related to the state’s fast paced economic development in the 1970s and 80s. Yooah Park’s Music Box (2013) is a comment on modernization’s destruction of the intimate fabric of human relationships among family members, friends and colleagues, pointing out the loss of individuality. In his experimental film Cheonggyecheon Medley: A Dream of Iron (2011), Kelvin Kyung Kun Park retells the industrialization of South Korea through nostalgic images of scrap metal shops and historical footages woven together with haunting sounds, producing a sense of loss, trauma and angst.
FiveMyles is in part supported by Public Funds from the New York City Dept. of Cultural Affairs
in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Greenwich Collection, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
Directions: Take 2, 3, or 4 trains to Franklin Avenue. Walk two blocks against the traffic on Franklin. Walk ¾ block to 558 St. Johns Place. FiveMyles is within easy walking distance from the Brooklyn Museum.