“Space of Contemplation” — a new exhibition by Korean artist Jheon Soocheon, featuring a series of new installations — is on view at the Korean Cultural Centre UK in London. The show runs through July 21, 2018.
Pushing the limits of the materials that the artist uses to create these new installations forms the focus of the exhibition. “The monumental installation ‘New Wolincheongangjigok’ (2018) consists of 1,000 stainless steel super mirrors and is inspired by the lyric poem ‘Wolincheongangjigok’ (One moon is reflected in thousands of rivers), written by King Sejong approximately in 1449 during the Joseon Dynasty,” the centre says. “In the poem, the King praises Buddha’s mercy in letting the soul of his deceased Queen rest.” Jheon reinterprets this historical narrative and gives it a more modern outlook where the sadness of ordinary people is represented.
“Game & Play” (2018) is the second installation on view and is made out of more than 35,000 pieces of transparent polycarbonate. Together these form a cube and use the dice as a metaphor which represents the human desire for play. “Jheon believes this desire manifests itself not only in games but also through interaction, competition and collaboration in politics, society, culture, religion, and philosophy,” the centre writes.
Also on view are his recent charcoal drawings on paper from the series “Space” (2017–18). These works encourage viewers to engage in a dialogue with themselves or meditate for a few minutes. According to the centre, “The exhibition becomes an interactive space for contemplation, where audiences are invited to experience a space in between the virtual and the real, the past and the present, and to reflect on modern social phenomena.”
The artist has incorporated a wide range of media including painting, video, performance, and installation practice since the 1970s. Jheon’s installations of clay figures and neon tubes earned him international fame in the 1990s. The following decade saw him producing his famous of clay figures and neon tubes. “He has been a central figure of Korean contemporary art since winning the ‘Menzion d’onore’ for his installation ‘Tou: Mother-Land’ for Korea’s inaugural pavilion at the 46th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia (1995) and subsequently being chosen as the ‘Artist of the Year’ by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea in 1997,” the centre adds.
Jheon Soocheon (b. 1947) is a Korean artist. He studied at the Wako University in Tokyo and the Pratt Institute in New York. He worked as a professor for the Academy of Art, at the Korea National University of Arts between 1997 and 2011. “The artist has often questioned the relationship between human existence and modern civilization and the interaction of people and the environment,” the centre says. “His new works shown at KCCUK demonstrate how the artist has turned his focus to combining constructed and deconstructed materials, while continuing to explore these overarching ideas.”
Jheon Soocheon’s works have been exhibited and are part of permanent collections of major museums and public spaces including the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea; The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Samsung Museum of Art, Korea; and Seoul City Hall, Korea; among others.
“Space of Contemplation” runs through July 21, 2018, at the Korean Cultural Centre UK, 1-3 Strand, London WC2N 5BW, UK.
For details, visit: http://london.korean-culture.org/en/welcome
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.
Founder: Louise Blouin