Last weekend, I headed into Seoul to search out some Art. The gallery I was aiming for was the Kukje Gallery, described in my Rough Guide as being ‘North of Anguk Station’ in Samcheong-dong, the area around Samcheong-dong street. As well as containing the gallery, the area appealed because of its apparent similarity to the European streets of Lisbon and Naples… After exiting from Anguk Station, feeling rather disorientated of what direction I was to head, I was lucky to have two fellow art hunters along for the ride in the style of Mary and Samy. We managed to find a map, find the street and stumble into the right area, the similarities between the traditional European cities was clear, long winding streets and a mish-mash of buildings littered with galleries, cafes, restaurants and boutiques. I can’t help but thing in some ways the Koreans were somewhat deliberate in creating this atmosphere, especially with the amount of European style restaurants.. It was still a great place to be and refreshing from the usual architecture and atmosphere and crammed with Koreans, we barely caught sight of any other of those annoying foreigners! The Kukje gallery was the first gallery we visited, and showed two great exhibitions, the best being the exhibition entitled ‘Night’ by Jack Pierson, which bizarrely Mary had already seen part of when it was in Malaga! Pierson creates sculptures using salvaged lettering from old American buisness’ to create narratives. Clearly linked to the concept of the American Dream, the pieces are glamourous and dreamy yet powerful. It lead to us trying to work out whether Pierson finds the letter then creates narratives, or does he create the narratives and then find the letters, finding the perfectly smashed bulb lights and matching coloured and textured pieces for ‘Movie Star’ for instance, or the broken linked letters for ‘Trust’… Pierson is an American born and trained in Massachussets, he has previously shown in LA, New York, Dublin, Miami and Malaga! http://www.kukjegallery.com
After the Kukje gallery, we headed back through the streets into a whole host of other galleries, stumbling across another two great exhibitions, both I would highly recommend.
The first was Kim Beon at the ArtSonje Centre(www.artsonje.org) and the second Jungsan Kim, Yung Sik a ‘space installation at Gallery Dam (wwwgallerydam.com).
Kim Beom creates work reflecting the world we live in through a variety of modes, including video, installation, fiction and illustration. He uses simple daily objects and subverts them. The exhibition includes for instance ‘Safehouse of a Tyrant’ a sketched blueprint for a house, featuring wolves and dogs and wolf dogs and a piece of video animation that includes 10 animated illustrations entitled ‘Spoon, Tree, Hands, Wolves on Grasses, Cows, A Thought, Origin of a Leopard, Substitute, Risk and Hestiation’, my personal favourites were Origin of a Leopard and Tree. What most attracted me to Kim Beom’s work was his translation of Art into fiction, alot of his work includes language and he also writes ‘books’ two of which I managed to pick up in the gallery bookstore. I have flicked through but have yet found the right time to sit down with a nice cup or Rose Tea and indulge in either ‘Hometown’ or ‘Noonchi’. I will of course let you know when I have.