Nice Red Hat for Nobody1, Oil on Canvas, 91X72.7cm, 2009

Being Alone1, Oil on Canvas, 116.7X91cm, 2011

A current trend in contemporary art is the desire to represent the past in the present. Art theorist, Craig Owens has defined this trend with the conceptual term “allegorical impulse.” The archetypal materials used in the past are brought to the allegorical structure of this present time. The past and the present come together in the process of structuring a story. An artist may reinterpret the story in his/her own view and the new story may represent other stories and overlap with them.

Island of Flightless Birds1, Oil on Canvas, 91X72.7cm, 2011

Although the allegorical images are barely considered as invented or newly created, they could be termed “adopted.” Thus, artists who apply this allegory to their work could not only refer the common rule in the culture but also take on a role as an interpreter who can translate the hidden cultural meanings. Moreover, images do not normally indicate direct meanings but can be read as symbolic codes. This is why details of an image - regarded as pictographs - trigger a complicated labyrinth of semiotic meanings, and they desire to sort out the puzzle.    
- Ode to Strawberry Fields by Ho Kyung Chung (art theorist/historian)

Egene Koo

‘In-Between Hotel’ reinvents unnoticed small spaces

‘Travelers will look for historic landmarks…Some travelers, like me, find joy in exploring in-between spaces and times.’ There are two kinds of tours, says renowned installation artist Do Ho Suh.

One we immediately associate with sightseeing; it moves from one famous attraction to the next. The other, less common, explores the areas in between landmarks. For travelers who prefer the latter, the 50-year-old Korean artist - based in New York, London and Seoul - offers the “In-Between Hotel,” part of the 2012 Gwangju Biennale that starts tomorrow.

“In-Between Hotel” is a tiny hotel room inside a truck. It will appear in between houses and shops, here and there throughout Gwangju.

The interior is not markedly different from ordinary hotel rooms, with a bed, TV, toilet and minibar. But on the outside, it is a truck covered with patterns of brick and slate “to quietly merge into the neighborhood of Gwangju citizens,” Suh explained.

Exterior:Perforated Annodyzed Aluminum Panel on 1.5Ton Truck,
Interior: Birch Plywood, Stainless Steel, Carpet, Glass, Stone

In between hotel

Einöde 2009 Ink and Acrylic on Canvas 250x160cm

Headlong Flow of Lines

Kwanyoung Jung’s pictures are a silent and forceful means of penetrating and knowing the world.

Kwanyoung Jung, a friendly, cheerful researcher of the unknown who comes from South Korea and lives in Berlin, is animated by the urge to communicate and by absolute determination. He belongs entirely to himself. He is a specialist of the line. He most likes to work on primed canvas, sometimes on paper. He uses 2-4 mm broad brushes, Korean ink, and acrylic paints.

Kwanyoung Jung’s decelerated gaze finds its place within hurtling modernity in his own labyrinths of lines, which tell how life can look in the expectation of intrusion into its structures. Stringently and as if it could be no other way, they penetrate the strata of time, softly elapsing, floral, in complex order and the greatest possible simplicity. Despite all the abstraction of the results, Kwanyoung Jung follows a representational way of thinking. The titles of his works also bear witness to this; they carry on a dialog with what is real as what is seen. The only question is where the artist is at a particular moment – in the micro- or the macro-perspective.

Hügel 2009 Ink and Acrylic on Canvas 260x150cm detail

Hügel 2009 Ink and Acrylic on Canvas 260x150cm

Kwanyoung Jung, who studied in Halle, paints and draws details of the world, thereby creating moods. Nuances of hue, responsible for what is idyllic and anti-idyllic and tied to the earth, reeds, or stone, stimulate the tightrope walk between accessibility and inaccessibility. In any case, they dismember the coziness in which the German bourgeoisie has set up house in the period after the fall of Communism.

When Kwanyoung Jung works on his pictures, it is a strict, quiet, monological procedure. The artist turns to himself. A quite tone of communicativeness does not begin to sound until these pictures are brought among people, but also only if someone indeed desires entry to these labyrinths. Sometimes one has the impression that Kwanyoung Jung is the visionary monk by the sea, that enigmatic man in Caspar David Friedrich’s painting (1810) who stands in a salient position on a deserted beach. He turns his back to us and looks out into the depths of the universe. If he were to see something we don’t see, he would communicate it to us only in a whisper.

Christoph Tannert (Business Manager of Künstlerhaus Bethanien)

Kwan young Jung

Organic Solidarity, Mixed Media on canvas, 72.7 x 60.5 cm, 2012

Seoul in the 21st Century has been made rapid progress since the Korean War in 1950. Outwardly it looks remarkable but it has caused side effect, Defeatism. The defeatism – an acceptance of defeat without struggle – is endemic in our society. For example, the Salvation Army which is the biggest charity organization in Korea had become a hotbed of corruption. Nowadays we know that no matter who donated a lot, the poor cannot get any help. Also a turnout of vote of the National Assembly is getting lower. Because we know it will not make any changes, but make a fat purse. Moreover the members of Korean Alliance progressive movement even are old fashioned men whose thoughts are all wasted. It is like assembling too old parts into an Ipad4. All of media, structures and systems delude us into thinking we are living in the new glittering world. However they actually make us be alienated and isolated with desperation toward genuine progress what we eagerly wanted.

Images which are embodied in my painting have narratives about incidents and accidents that are caused the defeatism in the society. The images are spurting throughout the land and blowing up to the progress as uprising and movement in the past. But it produced byproducts. They break cover themselves and then finally they are about to embark on pollution and metastasis against the main systems, structures and media with sneering.

The Face no.29, acrylic on canvas, 125 x 110cm, 2011

The Face no.34_acrylic on canvas_53.0x 45.5cm _2011

Jazoo Yang is a visual artist from South Korea. Her works take a variety of forms, including painting (excretions), installation (excavation), and performance.

As an elaboration on her own solitude, a product of the constantly shifting physical and cultural landscape of South Korea’s urban space, Jazoo endeavors to explore notions of history and loss in her work. Influenced by the present-day neglect of social legacy and the ‘culturelessness’ of the modern city, Jazoo aims to salvage that which lies on the fringe of our social consciousness.

Platoon Kunsthalle, Seoul 1012

Traditionally, populations settle in certain areas for extended periods of time. By establishing places of habitation, work and leisure, individuals construct a sense of community and belonging. As such, the interminable demolitions, reconstructions, and renovations of the modern erahave led to a loss of familiarity, alienating individuals within the city that is their home. This trend is not unique to Seoul; the uprooting of one’s physical and cultural history is a global phenomenon that is both felt and observed in major cities the world over. - The Ehren

Jazoo Yang

Question Mark 72.7x60.6cm  2009

During the last week of August 2012, German painter Hendrik Beikirch, created not only a stunning work but an iconic piece that stretches over 70 meters (230 ft.) high and is yet to be considered as Asia’s tallest mural. Located in South Korea‘s second largest city, Busan, this piece showcases a monochromatic mural of a fisherman, set in contrast with the Haeundae I’Park building at the background, constructed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind.

The Haeundae I’Park is a residential building and is also a symbol for the rapid development and accumulated wealth in Korea, a poor country not too long ago. The mural that depicts an image of a fisherman represents a significant portion of Korea‘s population that has not been affected by the economic growth and until now, lives under very different circumstances compared to their affluent neighbors.

Responsible for this project is Public Delivery, an organization who has made waves across Asia and Europe through the promotion of contemporary art.

Hendrik Beikirch

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