KOREAN CONTEMPORARY ART
There is perhaps no greater indicator of changing tastes in London’s contemporary art scene and the West’s hunger for fresh cultural and artistic influences than the masses of people who came to witness the ‘Korean Eye: Moon Generation’ Exhibition, which showcases the finest contemporary Korean art at the renowned Saatchi Gallery in London. In fact, over 40,000 gallery-going visitors
came to experience contemporary Korean art in just 2 weeks. The Saatchi Gallery originally planned to host the Exhibition from June 20th-July 5th, but the unexpected crowds inspired Charles Saatchi to request the exhibit continue until September 13.
‘Korean Eye’ is a groundbreaking show for Korean contemporary artists, who have had very little prior exposure in London and the West.
Of the choice to extend the show, Simon de Pury, Chairman of Phillips de Pury and Company, comments: “The interest in Korean Eye has been so great that we felt the Exhibition must be extended. Korean contemporary art is not that well known in Europe and it is a privilege to host such original and exciting work.”
Among the honored guests at the exhibition’s London opening on July 2 were Cherie Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Sir David Tang, the founder of Hong Kong’s China Club and its acclaimed art collection. Cherie Blair was no doubt one of London’s art enthusiasts who discovered the richness of contemporary Korean art that evening, saying, “I didn’t realise that Korea had such a thriving modern art industry but this exhibition is extraordinary. The breadth of the works is fantastic and it has been a real privilege to meet some of the artists and view the works first hand.”
The show’s curator, 35 year old Lee Dae-hyung, came up with the idea for the show last March, and secured sponsorship and support from David Ciclitira, president of Parallel Media Group, the auction firm Phillips de Pury & Company, and Standard Chartered Bank. Lee is the head of the curating company Hzone, and has been promoting Korean artists in Seoul, Tokyo, London, and Beijing for the past 8 years. His next exhibitions include a showcase of experimental furniture designs titled ‘Mad for Furniture’, and the December exhibition ‘Korea Tomorrow’, both to be held in Seoul.
The show’s popularity and enthusiastic London reception indicate a bright future for Korean contemporary artists on the Western and international scene, and suggest a new trend of Western fascination with Korean influence. Art enthusiasts, be aware: contemporary Korean art is certainly something to watch.
-contributed by Erin Wooters
Red River Flowing With Flowers Flame, by Kwon Ki-soo
- Collector Ciclitira, founder of Korean Eye, makes big plans for Korean art- June 09
- Troubles for Korean art at home, better reception abroad – Jan 09
- 13 Korean Artists in survey at Singapore Museum to March 2009– Dec 08
- Korean contemporary art spread through Asia threatened by meltdown- Sept 08
- How art from half of Asia has been missed–interview Leeza Ahmady ACAW director- May 09
- Rarely exhibited art and more firsts at Asian Contemporary Art Week New York 2009- Apr 09