‘Slant Rhymes’ move walls of contemporary art Apr 29 2013
Kukje Gallery holds a group exhibition of seven young Korean artists with experimental ideas

Drawings of artist Lee Mi-yeon are posted on the inclined wall of the K2 exhibition hall at Kukje Gallery. The inclined wall serves as a metaphorical image of the exhibition title “The Song of Slant Rhymes,” which aims to explore “imperfect relationships” that young artists have with society. (Kukje Gallery)

No matter how experimental artworks have become, the exhibition wall that functions as a backdrop of the artworks has remained the same. The wall is just part of an empty room waiting to be filled.

Kim Hyun-jin, an independent curator for Kukje Gallery’s group exhibition of young artists, however, said if the exhibition hall were to house experimental and creative artworks of young artists, the space should be altered to meet the style of the exhibition.

“The title of the exhibition, ‘The Song of Slant Rhymes,’ alludes to this process of planning with an emphasis on the visual space, but furthermore it highlights the artists who, instead of creating works that are perfectly syncopated, create more complicated, inconsistent and compelling slant rhymes,” wrote Kim in the curatorial note.

Just as slant rhymes do not create completely perfect rhymes, Kim tries to show the “imperfect relationships” artists have with society.

The exhibition features 20 works by seven artists aged between 27 and 45. To house the artworks, the curator designed a slant wall that cuts across the exhibition space on the first floor.

On this wall, drawings of Lee Mi-yeon are hung, but this time on an incline, with the drawings dangling from the wall. Lee’s drawing series is based on images taken from press photographs that document scenes of natural disasters.

On the floor sit egg cartons and an egg made of clay by Nam Hwa-yeon, a witty scene depicting the sunlight that reaches deep into the corner of the exhibition space, baking the egg.

Nam set up an installation of sculptures that focus on the relationship between the sculptural column and the floor.

Moon Young-min presents repeated images of a man in a suit bowing to the ground. The Korean-American artist examines the irony of the bowing during the memorial service for ancestors and the Western suit the man is wearing.

“The artist also found similarities in his attempt to develop his painting skills that involve repeated practice and the repeated bowing during the ceremony,” said Chun Zoe, public relations director of the gallery, which plans to hold the group exhibition focusing on young artists once a year.

Hong Young-in presents works that feature an unusual combination of painting and embroidery. Characters in her paintings such as a dinosaur, a deer and a centaur are embroidered by machine on a cotton fabric.

Video works also draw attention to artists’ unique perspectives on today’s society.

Cha Jeamin documents the new city development project of Songdo, Incheon, in his 20-minute video “Fog and Smoke.” He captures both the remaining fishing village and fishermen’s lives and the quickly expanding urban landscape in a scene where a fisherman walks out from a mudflat dragging a net and a high-rise development seen from the mudflat.

Cha also examines old Korean men and women who collect recyclables in his short video “Trio, Trot, Waltz.” Although the video seems to reveal small details of the recyclables pick-up work, the artist said he wanted viewers to not see it as revealing some problems inherent in society, but simply as a series of poetic images.

The exhibition “The Song of Slant Rhymes” continues through June 16 at Kukje Gallery in Jongno, Seoul.

For more information, call (02)―735-8449.

By Lee Woo-young

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