Soon Yul Kang solo show: Spiritual Journey, at Mokspace

  • Opening Reception: Wednesday 23 January 2013, 6 – 8 pm
  • Exhibition: 23 January – 18 February 2013
  • Venue: MOKSPACE | 33 Museum Street | London | WC1A 1LH
  • Opening Hours: 11am – 6pm, Every day

Soon Yul Kang: Spiritual Journey

On viewing Soon Yul Kang’s woven tapestries, the observer is immediately calmed by the still, simplicity of her work. Each of us has a memory of some quiet, meditative space once experienced, but crowded out by our busy lives. Her work places us immediately in that personal space, where seeing and thought come together. There is a universal, Zen-like, character to her tapestries, evoking the pure essence of landscapes, bringing us back to our centre.

The woven form adds a subtle counterpoint, focusing our attention but not distracting. Suggesting the hues and texture of soft tree bark, it reminds us of the innocent curiosity of our childhood, touching, exploring, experiencing. Together with the imagery, we are each led to our own inner place of calm and truth, and in doing so through the same medium, affirm the commonality of our experience.

Beyond this is the artist’s skill. The play of colour and textures, the careful choreography of thread, each lost in the whole but nevertheless essential. The raw physical nature of the work reinforces the meditative theme, as if the artist’s own creative contemplation has been knotted within the tapestry. In her collage work, she expresses these themes through a different medium, which in its coarseness allows her to realise new forms.

A deeply personal note is added through inscribing the word ‘father’ on each piece of cloth as if in homage to a lost loved one, while yin and yang is expressed through the juxtaposition of contrasting two colour elements. This adds a perceptible weight to the work, reminding and connecting us with the artists own still place. |

Seyoung Jeong designs English Pocket Opera production

English Pocket Opera Company presents unique ‘promenade’ performances of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. The production is a collaboration with the BA (Hons) Performance Design and Practice course of Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design (part of University of the Arts London), including KAA member Seyoung Jeong (정세영).

Hansel and Gretel poster

From English Pocket Opera Company’s website:

Come and join Hansel and Gretel on their journey into the fairytale forest as they meet a cuckoo, a ‘sandman’ and triumph over Rosey Lickspittle, the grimmest of all witches who wants to eat them after turning them into gingerbread. A ‘promenade’ operatic adventure for all the family the like of which you will never have had before. EPOC’s cast of professional soloists will lead you round Central St. Martin’s spectacular new building at Kings Cross (including the Platform Theatre, Studio Theatre and ‘Street’) through 8 scenes in 8 different locations designed by 8 up-and-coming young designers. Come and join the adventure!

Eight designers from Central St Martins were each commissioned to design one scene in the production, taking charge of the set, costumes and lighting design. KAA member Seyoung Jeong (정세영) is one of those designers, and is responsible for the first of the scenes.

Dates: Tuesday 22 – Sunday 27 January 2013
Schools Performance: Tue 22 – Fri 25 Jan, 1.30
Tickets: £5
Performance: Tue 22 – Fri 25 Jan, 6.30
Family Performance (Incl Free Art Workshop for kids 12.00 – 1.00): Sat 26 & Sun 27 Jan, 1.30 and 4.30
Tickets: Adult £12, Concessions £8, Family ticket (2 adults plus 2 children or 1 adult plus 3 children) £35
Audience members will be asked to walk from scene to scene.
The performance will last a maximum of 90 mins. It is suitable for wheelchair users.

Venue: Platform Theatre, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, University of the Arts London, Handyside Street, King’s Cross, London N1C 4AA.


오방색 O BANG SAEK – a review of the exhibition

By Philip Gowman of London Korean Links

With the KAA residency at the KCC having become a regular annual fixture in the latter’s calendar, it is possible for the organisers to plan with greater certainty, more secure in the knowledge that there will be a space ready to showcase their talents. The fifth such programme fell in the fifth year of the KCC’s having a permanent home in Northumberland Avenue. 오방색, O Bang Saek, the five traditional Korean colours, with their rich range of symbolism and associations, was chosen as the theme, and this nicely complemented the theme of Korea’s participation in the London Cultural Olympiad, 오색찬란, which roughly translates as ‘five colours shining bright’.

The Buk drum started the evening
The Buk drum called the audience to attention at the start of the evening

With the theme chosen in plenty of time, it was possible for the visual artists to create new work inspired by that theme, thus aiding the curator’s task in the selection process. And it was similarly possible to plan the opening performance to harmonise with the theme of the residency.

Dancers from Roehampton
Dancers from the University of Roehampton opened the event. Behind them (L to R: Soon Yul Kang: Unity (2012) Harmony (2012) Spiritual Journey (2012 – mainly hidden); Bada Song Ta-il 16 (2012 – partially hidden)

Dancers from Roehampton University joined as guest performers in a work entitled Bridging Colours, in which the dancers unveiled and re-folded long sheets of fabric in the O Bang Saek primary colours, as if reinterpreting a shamanistic ritual. Guest percussionists brought the audience to attention with their drums, and a small ensemble of musicians playing western and traditional Korean instruments performed a new composition by Jee-soo Shin.

A video of the opening performances can be found here.

Kitty Jun-im
Kitty Jun-im: Facing the Imprint 1 (2011). Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 107 x 107 cm

Kitty Jun-im‘s work greeted you as you entered the exhibition itself. Her painting is abstract but is inspired by calligraphy, and one of her works was virtually a self-portrait, with her name Jun Im inscribed boldly on the canvas. The background, in reds, blues, creamy yellows, white and black respected the O Bang Saek theme.

Soon Yul Kang: Spiritual Journey (2012). Cotton collage, ink, 96 x 96 cm (detail)

The next works to catch your eye as you proceeded through the exhibition were by Soon Yul Kang. She is best known for her tranquil tapestry work, and it was interesting to see a different side to her practice at this exhibition. The most prominent work was A Spiritual Journey, a large white circular collage made of countless tiny pieces of white cotton (something laden with funereal significance), each of which at the word abeoji (아버지) hand-written on it – The repetition of the word forced a meditation on the memory of a beloved father.

Her other two works formed a complementary pair – circles of red and blue like celestial maps . The contrasting colours explore the concept of Yin and Yang, emptying and filling, and visible and invisible in harmony and unity.

Bada Song
Bada Song: Ta-il 16 (Cheong-wa) (2012). Printing Ink on paper, 30 x 320 (each: 20 x 30 cm). Far left: Soon Yul Kang: Spiritual Journey (2012)

Bada Song‘s work references traditional Korean roof tiles – of which one was included in the BBC’s History of the World in 100 Objects. While the BBC roof tile was an august Silla dynasty tile from Gyeongju, Song’s are more homely, based on the tiles on the roofs of traditional hanoks, such as those in Jeju where Song grew up. In this exhibition 16 deep blue prints of a roof tile in different perspective views were laid side by side, as if vanishing into infinity.

Joohee Chun: 복, 福, Bok, Blessing (2012)
Joohee Chun: 복, 福, Bok, Blessing (2012). Acrylic on paper: 16cm diameter; Acrylic on aluminium panel: 60 cm diameter, 2.5cm floating, 318 x 650 cm

Joohee Chun’s work dominated the side wall as you approach the KCC’s multi-purpose space. As her first major work since becoming a mother, this work had special significance for Chun. 복 福 Bok – Blessing (2012) involved experimenting with new techniques – it was the first time she had used aluminium, or applied her acrylic layers to unmounted paper. The rich palette of colours respected the title of the exhibition without being bounded by it, and the mauves and purples were particularly effective.

Unmi Lee: Five Emotions (2012)
Unmi Lee: Five Emotions (2012). Acrylic on linen, 70 x 100 cm

Unmi Li‘s bold acrylics were a re-interpretation of the five elements of Korean culture – wood, fire, earth, metal and water, each of which has one of the five O Bang Saek colours. Her work explores the relationship between the external and internal, the macrocosm and microcosm. The characters in Five Emotions showed feelings ranging from sadness via envy to desire, the range emphasised by the vibrant use of contrasting colours.

Jean Kim: Untitled (2012)
Jean Kim: Untitled (2012). Oil on linen, 91 x 120 cm

Jean Kim‘s pair of works were dominated by the colour black – symbolising deep water and wisdom. In one, her father’s head is sketched in a simple white outline, viewed from above as if the viewer himself is having an out-of-body experience, looking down into a deep pool of unattainable knowledge. In the other work, a grinning face similarly in white outline looks slightly schizophrenic, but again against a background of deep, dark water.

Taehyung Kim: Black recycled garbage bag (2012)
Taehyung Kim: Black recycled garbage bag (2012). Installation, photographs, bin bag 270 x 280 x 240 cm

Taehyung Kim continued the black theme, his work being based on recycled black bin bags. His photograph of a melting refuse sack looked like a distant nebula, a galaxy created afresh from waste. And although the raw material for the photograph was black, somehow in the photograph, hints of blue come through.

Sunju Park: A moment in Rain (2012)
Sunju Park: A moment in Rain (2012). Fusing glass, 15 x 85 x 10 cm (detail)

Sunju Park presented a glass sculpture in reds and blues. The surface of the glass looked as if it had just been sprinkled with water, with large drops seemingly wanting to make their way to the ground, but frozen in time, motionless on the surface.

Young-shin Kim
Young-shin Kim: Historical Recipes: Chosun Dynasty (2012). Full leather binding, gold tooling on leather, 195 x 52 x 145 mm; Selected Poems (2006). Full leather binding, paper onlay, silver tooling, painting on paper & leather 230 x 30 x 165 mm

Bookbinder and restorer Young-shin Kim presented an interpretation of O Bang Saek through her own craft. For her, bookbinding is a form of Gesamtkunstwerk that has five elements: History, Culture, Senses, Science and Craftsmanship. The volumes she chose to present for this exhibition, richly and colourfully bound, were a selection of poems and some recipes from the Joseon dynasty. Definitely too precious to be used in the kitchen.

Photographs by Miso Park
Photographs by Miso Park (installation view)

Miso Park‘s photographs, taken in the area of Jikjisa (직지사) in Gimcheon, (김천) at the foot of Mt Hwangaksan in Gyeongsangbukdo showed a pair of temple roofs with the traditional dancheong colour scheme, while two monks live harmoniously both with each other and with the landscape in which they are set.

Jeesun Hwang: Red Moth (2012)
Jeesun Hwang: Red Moth (2012) (part).
Digital painting printed on paper. Each: 33 x 28 / 33 x 19 / 33 x 24 cm

Jeesun Hwang‘s work told the story of a journey in five different colour spaces. The work was laid out like a manhwa, with each canvas subdivided into cells in which the three main characters explore the five O Bang Saek colours and grow psychologically and physically as they continue their quest.

Enya Elswood
Enya Elswood: Glacier Waterfall (2011). Watercolour on paper, 72 x 55 cm. Birch trees (2011). Watercolour on paper, 72 x 55cm

Enya Elswood explored the beauty of nature in her watercolours. In her Birch trees, the slender black trunks stand out against a misty white background, while a carpet of yellow flowers and vegetation gives colour to the forest floor.

Eunjung Feleppa
Eunjung Feleppa: The Ghosts of the Flowers Lean towards the Light (2012) and (right) We Dreamed of the Jujak (2012). Oil on canvas, each 50 x 40 cm

Eunjung Feleppa‘s paintings inhabit a dreamworld of lost innocence and vividly-remembered childhood. Her colour palette recalls the bright colours on traditional Korean folding screens and fabrics which she remembers as a child.

Dean Shim
Dean Shim: Listening to Dance No.3 – Ballet (2012) and (right) Listening to Dance No.4 – Salpuri (2012). Each, C-type print, 60 x 70 cm

Dean Shim’s multiple-exposure images showed the same female dancer performing western classical ballet and Korean salpuri, both in white against a dramatic black background. The costume of both dancers was transformed into a cloud of energy by the trick of laying one exposure on top of another, layer upon layer.

Sooyung Lee & Hyunseok Lee: 108 Agonies (2012)
Sooyung Lee & Hyunseok Lee: 108 Agonies (2012). Animation, hanji, wood, acrylic, lighting 460 x 319 x 457 cm

Possibly the work which attracted the attention of the passers-by in Northumberland Avenue was the installation by Sooyung Lee and Hyunseok Lee entitled 108 Agonies. The centrepiece was a construction which could have been a stylised city – a 6 x 18 grid of towers made of yellowish-white hanji and wood lit from below – symbolising the 108 agonies with which man is afflicted. From the top of each tower a square character was resting, or from some towers the character was lifting off and floating heavenward, perhaps symbolising the prayers we intone when performing the 108 bows. An animation of these same prayers floating upwards was projected onto the back wall, and faint music in the background made this exhibit one to linger over.

Kihyun Kim‘s Romance was displayed in the KCC’s multi-purpose space – which meant that unfortunately if you visited the KCC over the weekend you were likely to miss this work, as the K-pop Academy were rehearsing their end-of-term song there.

The work shows Shakespeare’s 18th and most famous sonnet, set in a passionate or anguished blood-red typeface against a sombre black background, whose colour perhaps symbolised the wisdom achieved through a painful parting – or maybe the depths of despair. Each letter Y in the text was coloured white – as the artist asks Why the parting had to happen. The words ebb and flow like waves in the sea, while individual letters shrink and grow in font size giving an uneasy feeling of disquiet. In the background, Ccotbyel’s haegeum playing provided a soothing soundtrack to contemplate the text.

The week’s residency of exhibition and performance left one wishing that the KAA was permitted longer than just seven days for visitors to enjoy their work. We look forward to the 2013 residency, to be entitled Collaboration.

Other reviews of the exhibition can be found on London Korean Links | Korean Class Massive | Beyond Hallyu | Roehampton University websites.

오방색 O BANG SAEK: the 5th KAAUK event at the KCC

Obangsaek exhibition invitation

The Korean Artists Association UK (KAAUK) is delighted to present Obangsaek at the Korean Cultural Centre UK.

Obangsaek refers to the five traditional Korean colours of blue, red, yellow, black and white. These symbolize: tree, fire, iron/gold, water and earth respectively, associations which percolate deeply through Korean culture.

The UK based Korean Artists of KAA here explore Obangsaek through visual arts, music, dance and performance.

Visual artists present diverse media; painting, sculpture, illustration, video, photography and installation.

Music is performed on the keyboard, kayagum, flute and traditional percussion instruments (kanggwari, jang-go, jing, and buk). The main rhythmical pattern is the traditional chil-chae in which percussion holds a complex rhythmical structure in four long sections while other instruments improvise.

The dance performance, Bridging Colours, brings out the relationships of the five colours to the seasons and the elements.

Exhibition: Soon Yul Kang, Bada Song, Jean Kim, Young-shin Kim, Kihyun Kim, Miso Park, Sunju Park, Eunjung Feleppa, Sooyung Lee, Hyunseok Lee, Eunmi Li, Enya Elswood, Jeesun Hwang, Joohee Chun, Kitty Jun-im, Dean Shim, Tae Hyung Kim

Performance: Jieun Jung, Sabrina S.D.H.Y Park Kim, Jee Soo Shin (composer), Jeunghyun Choi, Ae Jin Han, Seyoung Jeong, Yong Min Cho, Woojae Jung (stage manager)

Guest Musicians: Gina Ha-Gorlin (Korean percussion), Jin Kyung Park (Flute)

Guest Performers: Dance Department, University of Roehampton

Supported by
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea, The Korean Cultural Centre, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Company, The Anglo-Korean Society, The Dance Department of the University of Roehampton.


An Exhibition & Performance by The Korean Artists Association UK
Korean Cultural Centre UK
28th Nov. – 4th Dec.

Opening Reception
Wed. 28th Nov 2012 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Performance 7.30 – 8.00 pm
Please register for the Opening Reception via

KAYA – in concert

KAYA logo


Traditional Korean harp and acoustic guitar played by Ji Eun Jung and Sung Min Jeon

Saturday 20 October at 3.00 p.m.
The Barn Theatre, 24 Greencoat Place, SW1P 1RD

KAYA - Ji Eun Jung (kayageum) and Sung Min Jeon (acoustic guitar)

KAYA will present an afternoon of traditional Korean music. The name Kaya derives from the Korean instrument ‘kayagum’. Ji Eun Jung will play the modern twenty-five string kayagum and Sung Min Jeon the acoustic guitar. They have been performing together since 2002 in Korea and since 2005 in Europe after they settled in U.K. KAYA has performed for various diplomatic, corporate,cultural and charity events including London City Hall, the British Museum, Asia House, Oxford University and the Chelsea Flower Show.

Ji Eun Jung studied for her BA in Korean Traditional Music at Ewha Woman’s University and followed this with an MA in Asian Music at Dong Gook University. She has since performed all over the world.

Sung Min Jeon is a Korean guitarist and folk singer-songwriter who mainly plays a steel string acoustic guitar with a harmonica. He started playing the guitar when he was thirteen years of age and his passion for music was inspired by his family. His father plays various instruments and is also a singer, whilst his mother used to run a record shop. His uncle is the leader of the greatest Korean folk duo, ‘Sunflower’ (해바라기).

To reserve seats
Phone: 020 7798 6000
Write to: Friends of Renewal Arts (UK),
24 Greencoat Place, London SW1P 1RD

How to get to Barn Theatre (click for larger version):

Soon Yul Kang (강순열) at Portland The Gallery

Autumn Exhibition

Date: 5th September – 31st October 2012
Venue: Portland The Gallery
80 Hill Rise, Richmond, Surrey, TW 10 6UB
Gallery opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 9am – 3pm.

Portland the Gallery Autumn Exhibition poster

Three artists are invited for Autumn Exhibition at Portland The Gallery in Richmond from the 5th September until the 31st October.

Works on Exhibition include Hand Woven Tapestry, Acrylic, Watercolours and Mixed Media artworks.

Soon Yul Kang: Sea of Silence (2005), Hand Woven Tapestry, 61x85cm, wool & cotton
Soon Yul Kang: Sea of Silence (2005), Hand Woven Tapestry, 61x85cm, wool & cotton


Chelsea Postgraduate Summer Show: Jean Kim (김전), Yonghyun Lim_Jackie (임용현), Joon Hwan Lim (임준환) & Sooji Shin (신수지)

Chelsea Postgraduate Summer Show

The show features work of graduating students from Chelsea’s MA courses and will be held across the college’s campus on Millbank, opposite Tate Britain and next to the River Thames.

Private View: Friday 7 September 2012, 6-9pm
Exhibition Dates: Saturday 8-Thursday 13 September 2012
Venue: Chelsea College of Art and Design, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU

Jean Kim, Yonghyun Lim (Jackie), and Joon Hwan Lim are exhibiting in rooms CG11, CG01 and CLG17 respectively. Sooji Shin’s room sadly lacks a number.

Chelsea postgraduate show poster

Yonghyun Lim_Jackie & Sooji Shin at Mokspace Gallery

Date: 23 Aug – 3 Sep 2012 / Opening Hours : 11am – 6pm, Every day
Venue: MOKSPACE Gallery / 33 Museum Street, London WC1A 1LH

Symposium poster

Following the East meets West: Art and Design Now exhibition, Mokspace has put together a competition in order to create a talent pool for professional designers and artists.

Symposium is a selection of artworks and designs that remediates the possibilities of various expressions through use of differentiated genres and its interactions with each others.

Symposium exhibits works of 13 artists consisting of painting, drawing, flexography, sculpture, jewellery, pottery, accessory design, mosaic and photography.

The 13 artists included in Symposium – Karen Parry, Valeriya Vygodnaya, Taegyun Kim, Yonghyun Lim_Jackie, Sanghyun Kim, Hyerim Kim, Kyungmin Lee, Sungmin Han, Sooji Shin, Eunkyung Jeon, Sunsuk Ahn, U Hyun Bong, Miyeon Lee’s individual practices result in representations of objects and events that enticed each artist.

London is currently booming with artists who are constantly experimenting and challenging the public with different sources/forms to show.

Along with this exhibition, Mokspace is hoping to entice the public with differentiated medium that we can find easily around us used in unconventional ways. Also, this exhibition would bring synergy effect on the both young emerging artists and professional artist who are already participating in various biennales and art fairs as they would be able to see their works in a new light.

Each work accurately portrays events and objects as the artists see it and they hope to show beyond what they see – in their own construction and invite us to participate in interpreting them in our own way.


Sooji Shin (신수지) in POP-UP Design Exhibition

Located on Cheshire Street, just off Brick Lane, the shop will feature emerging designers in fashion, accessories, footwear, and interior product design. The shop will be also promoting indie book writers and their latest publications.

Date: 15th August – 14th September 2012
Venue: POP-UP gallery, Brick Lane, 28 Cheshire Street E2 6EH, London

Soojis poster


Francesca Cho at the Riverside Studios

A Pair of Fragile Glasses

Francesca Cho
Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, W6 9LR
12-31 August 2012

Study for Fragility
Study for “Fragility”, 2012. Ash, acrylic & pencil on paper

Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios, one of London’s leading arts venues, comprising a theatre, cinema and gallery, is hosting Francesca Cho’s Solo Show (12th – 31st August).

This influential gallery area has flourished since Channel 4’s opening night launch party was held at the Studios in 1982.

Alongside her new ash paintings, Korean born abstract artist Francesca Cho presents a series of study works and drawings on paper from 1996 – present, which have never before been seen in public.

“Art is an important part of our lives; it can be found and seen everywhere. When an artist says something is art people become aware of it, whether or not they entirely agree or disagree with the statement.” – F. Cho

Fragility 2012
‘Fragility’ 2012, Oil and mixed media on canvas, Francesca Cho
Box Office 020 8237 1111 Reception 020 8237 1000
Riverside Studios
Crisp Road
W6 9LR
Monday-Friday 8:30 – 23:00 | Saturday 10:00 – 23:00 | Sunday 10:00 – 22:30


Soon Yul Kang at Art in Action 2012

Soon Yul Kang: Inner Peace (2011)
Soon Yul Kang: Inner Peace (2011). Hand Woven Tapestry, diameter 80cm. Wool, cotton

Soon Yul Kang has been invited as a demonstrating artist at Art in Action since 2010. She will again be there from July 19 -22, at Waterperry House, Wheatley, Oxfordshire.

She shows her serene tapestries and demonstrates how she works in the Textiles marquee. She also will be exhibiting her woven tapestry at the Best of Best exhibition.

Art in Action is a festival of fine art and master craftsmanship staged in the grounds of Waterperry House, Oxfordshire. Each July artists set up their studios in one of the many marquees and work in front of visitors, giving them the rare opportunity to observe the creative process at first hand. Over 150 artists from around the globe will demonstrate their skills in a wide range of disciplines for an audience of enthusiastic and enquiring visitors.

Venue: Waterperry House & Gardens, Waterperry, Nr Wheatley, Oxfordshire, OX33 1JZ
Dates: Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 July 2012
Times: 10.00am – 5.30pm