Exhibition review: Delayed Sojourn – London, home away from home

9 December 2011

in Events reports

It was good to see the KCC so busy last Saturday afternoon. The attraction was the Korean Artists Association’s one-week exhibition: Delayed Sojourn – London, home away from home. And while there was plenty to enjoy inside, it was an unusual exhibit in the window that was drawing people in: 48 small glass bowls, each containing a small goldfish.

Hyun Jun Kim and Taeyoung Kim: Swarm With Me

Hyun Jun Kim and Taeyoung Kim: Swarm With Me - attracting attention outside the KCC

Entering the exhibition space was a calming experience: Soon Yul Kang’s hand woven tapestry Blue Moon (2011) welcomed you on the side wall,

Soon Yul Kang: Blue Moon (2011). Hand Woven tapestry, diameter 67.5cm

Soon Yul Kang: Blue Moon (2011). Hand Woven tapestry, diameter 67.5cm

while beyond were works by Joo-hee Chun (her abstract work built up with layers of acrylic) and Kitty Jun-im McLaughlin (her muted paintings based on hanji and calligraphy); and further on was an installation by Bada Song:

R to L: work by Kitty Jun-im McLaughlin, Joohee Chun and Bada Song

R to L: work by Kitty Jun-im McLaughlin, Joohee Chun and Bada Song

Song’s work was a tribute to Richard Serra’s Verb List Compilation: Actions to Relate to Oneself (1967-1968)

Bada Song - Korean verb list

Bada Song - Korean verb list

But her work was also in part an attempt to explore the Korean language – for Korean does not have words which are the direct equivalent of some on Serra’s list, for example “entropy”.

In the opposite corner of the space was something more down-to-earth:

Jean Kim: Naked Journey - tempo di minuetto (2011). Oil on linen, 140 x 185cm

Jean Kim: Naked Journey - tempo di minuetto (2011). Oil on linen, 140 x 185cm

Jean Kim’s Naked Journey is accompanied by a verse:

    Long and winding roads
    Off she goes
    Naked as she is
    Dancing to the city rhythms
    Oh, here she comes
    Naked as she is

In the multi-purpose space was a video projection and sculpture by Jung-gyun Chae:

Chae Jung-gyun: Maitreya (2011)

Chae Jung-gyun: Maitreya (2011)

The video contained interviews with members of the public about the nature of beauty and divinity. Chae himself gave an impromptu performance at the exhibition opening, holding up a protest placard containing the words 주먹이 운다 – in homage to Ryu Seung-wan’s Crying Fist – postcards of which line the reception of the KCC since the recent retrospective at the LKFF.

Hyunseok Lee: Spiritual Journey (2010). Print on canvas, 100 x 38 cm

Hyunseok Lee: Spiritual Journey (2010). Print on canvas, 100 x 38 cm

Hyeonseok Lee’s digital animations of Buddhist temple construction lined the video wall facing the street. Lee has just exhibited at the exhibition at Haeinsa celebrating 1,000 years of the Tripitaka Koreana.

Joon Hwan Lim: Cultural Flows (2011). Printed paper, dimensions variable

Joon Hwan Lim: Cultural Flows (2011). Printed paper, dimensions variable

At the end of the wall of video screens Joon Hwan Lim’s origami boats were pinned to the wall: an attempt to encapsulate the cultural diversity you find in London as an armada of tiny ships intermingling with each other.

Miso Park: Untitled. Photography and C-print, 62 x 84cm

Miso Park: Untitled. Photography and C-print, 62 x 84cm

Miso Park’s creative photographs took a more pessimistic view of the foreigner’s life in London, focusing on solitude, anonymity and the difficulty of managing their new life. In one work, a bewildered girl holds a duvet while waist-high in water, with the London skyline in the distance.

Shera Hyunim Park: Memory of Richmond Park (2010). Mixed media print on canvas, 65 x 65cm

Shera Hyunim Park: Memory of Richmond Park (2010). Mixed media print on canvas, 65 x 65cm

Shera Hyunyim Park gave a more naive, pastel-coloured view of London in her Memory of Richmond Park…

Unmi Lee: Fulham (2010) Mixed media

Unmi Lee: Fulham (2010) Mixed media

…while Unmi Lee’s collages of fabric and found objects presented a lively impression of West London.

In the final room the emphasis was on the crafts.

Myung Nam An’s Eyes dominated one of the walls…

Myung Nam An: Eyes (2011). Porcelain, 200 x 200cm

Myung Nam An: Eyes (2011). Porcelain, 200 x 200cm

…a selection of colourful porcelain items with shiny glaze – sea anenomes, artichokes and other delicately made circular objects.

Sun Kim’s ceramics were arranged against another wall, with delicately muted colours and matte surface…

Ceramics by Sun Kim

Ceramics by Sun Kim

… some of the items looked as if they could almost have been made out of carefully folded paper.

In the same room was a chandelier by Soo Ji Shin…

Soo Ji Shin: A Cluster. Polypropylene paper, 70 x 80 x 80cm

Soo Ji Shin: A Cluster. Polypropylene paper, 70 x 80 x 80cm

… with wisps of polypropylene paper sewn together like sails.

Returning back to the entrance along the video wall you were faced with Yonghyun Lim’s Oak Barrel inside which kaleidoscopic designs were projected, somewhat reminiscent of the Dr Who opening title sequence.

Yonghyun Lim: Oak Barrel (2011). Video Projection on oak wood, 69 x 69 x 100cmYonghyun Lim: video projection in Oak Barrel (2011)

Yonghyun Lim: Oak Barrel (2011). Video Projection on oak wood, 69 x 69 x 100cm

It was the end of the afternoon, and the 48 goldfish needed to be put to bed for the night. Young children were intrigued as Hyun Jun Kim carefully netted each fish one by one, putting them in a large bucket whence they could be safely deposited in a decent sized tank overnight to get some properly oxygenated water. The installation, entitled Swarm with Me by Hyun Jun Kim and Taeyoung Kim, represents the “personal journey of finding a home in London through the repetitive process of relocation.”

Putting the fish to bed for the night

Putting the fish to bed for the night

Delayed Sojourn – London, home away from home only lasted for a week, until 8th December. It’s a shame it couldn’t last longer, because it contains more of interest than many of the KCC’s longer-running shows. But maybe the fish will need a rest from being constantly on show.

This review was first published on London Korean Links.

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