“The One - 1” by Koh Myung-keun
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Art lovers in Seoul can get a sneak peek at the upcoming ``Moon Generation'' exhibition featuring rising Korean contemporary artists that is to be held in London next month.
Works can be previewed on the 5th floor of the SC First Bank building in Chungmuro through Saturday.
Banking giant Standard Chartered, Phillips de Pury & Company and Korean Eye have organized ``Moon Generation'' to promote Korean contemporary art abroad. They have brought together a group of leading artists for simultaneous exhibitions at the renowned Saatchi Gallery from June 20 to July 5 and at the Phillips de Pury space, Howick Place from June 20 to July 1. The art will be sold at the Phillips de Pury contemporary art sales from July 2 to 3.
Curator Lee Dae-hyung chose the artists who he felt were not only relevant in Korea, but also interesting for international collectors.
As for the title ``Moon Generation,'' Lee explained, ``The moon has traditionally been associated with the East and the sun with the West. In the complex process of an eclipse, the sun and moon reconfigure themselves as one passes by the other, often casting a shadow of reflection. In a way, the eclipse suggests an encounter between Korean and Western Contemporary Art, and instead of establishing a hierarchy, the new relationship between the two has become one of symbiosis.''
As can be seen in the preview, the works show the diversity and creativity of Korean artists. There's Bahk Seon-ghi's sculpture of flattened chairs, Lee Yong-baek's fake fish, Sim Seung-wook's black line sculptures and Lee Hyung-koo's playful but realistic skeletons of cartoon characters.
Kim Joon's ``bird land-donald duck" shows digitalized tattoos of Donald Duck on naked bodies. Debbie Han's ``Secretive Three Graces" shows images of Korean female bodies with faces based on the Greek goddess Venus. Park Jung-hyuk made a ``flesh landscape" out of photos from magazines, movies and porn sites.
Some artists offered a new twist on traditional Korean art.
Whang Inkie recreated a traditional landscape with plastic Lego blocks for ``Pla Mountain 09-188.'' Lee Lee-nam breathed life into the iconic images from traditional Asian folding screens by making a digital version for his ``Digital Eight-fold Screen."
The ``Moon Generation'' exhibition is the brainchild of Parallel Media Group chairman David Ciclitira, who became enamored with Korean contemporary art after several visits to the country. He founded Korean Eye, with the aim of promoting understanding of Korean contemporary art internationally.
``As a collector, I see the talent here as probably superior to Chinese or Japanese art. The challenge is to find people to promote Korean art for the long term. I think this exhibition will attract a lot of attention in London,'' Ciclitira said in March.
Standard Chartered has also given its full support for the project, as it hopes to act as ``a bridge between Korea and the rest of the world in promoting Korean contemporary art in the international arena.''