By Brooklyn Reader

June 12, 2014, 1:30 pm

 

Artist Suntek Chung

Artist Suntek Chung

Five Myles Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit entitled, “Korea,” featuring works by artists from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea), beginning Wednesday, June 25 – July 13.

The exhibit Korea is curated by Heng-Gil Han, in collaboration with Gallery Ho and the Korea Art Forum.

About the Exhibit:

Korea, as nation of people, has been divided in two for the last 69 years. This exhibition collects artworks made by South and North Korean artists all in one place, representing a starting point for future dialogue and mutual understanding between the two parts of Korea.

North Korean artists, Chang Ho Choi and Chang Ri, each have contributed an ink painting depicting the landscape of Chonji (The Heaven’s Lake) at the top of Mount Baikdu, which is considered “the Sacred Mount of Revolution” in North Korea. Choi’s powerful brushwork in the Molgol style, in which figures are shaped by coloring without preliminary contours, creates energetic painting of a scenic landscape, which instills the feeling of a great and strong fatherland. Ri’s fine detail-oriented brushwork captures Mount Baikdu’s warm, soft and intimate atmosphere, emphasizing the perception of the mountain as the birthplace of the Korean people and the mythopoeic origin of their motherland.

Artist Chang Ri

Artist Ri Chang

 South Korean artists, Kakyoung Lee and Tcha Sup Kim deal with the self-referential idea of artwork as a window, a path to the real world behind the pictorial space.  Through her video, Lee brings noise and the daily routines of commuters into a white-cube gallery, a sanctuary for pure art isolated from worldly life, while Kim depicts a rectangular window in his etching, referencing the modernist use of grids that led to the idea of abstractionism in the early twentieth century.

In his ink-painting, Gye Keun Choi from Pyongyang represents the open air of a mountainous landscape from a bird’s-eye view. A true nomad artist from South Korea, Sungsook Setton’s gestural painting in ink presents an abstract landscape that is torn in the middle, creating a metaphor for the divided country by means of literalness. Ildan Choi’s What Are You Lookin’ At (1983) is a kind of Zen painting done in a few brush strokes that the artist humorously calls “dog droppings.” However, beneath the humor is an unmistakable undercurrent of emotional drang, urgency, crisis and discontent.

SunTek Chung, born and raised in the US, contributes two bronze sculptures portraying Myongbak Lee, the former president of South Korea, and Kim Jong Il, the former supreme leader of North Korea. The figures are positioned facing each other so they look about to kiss. The outcome is a humorous satire about the escalating tension between the two states of the same homogeneous culture.

In their work, Yooah Park and Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, both from South Korea, discuss issues related to the state’s fast paced economic development in the 1970s and 80s. Yooah Park’s Ressentiment – Hyo (2011) comments on modernization’s destruction of the intimate fabric of human relationships among family members, friends and colleagues. In his film A Dream of Iron (2013), Kelvin Kyung Kun Park explores a sense of loss through haunting images woven together with fascinating shipyard sequences and magnificent industrial complexes in the city of Ulsan.

FiveMyles Gallery is located at 558 St. Johns Place.


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