Influencing Exchange

Beginning in July, the Korea/UK season 2017 – 2018 kickstarts a year of cultural dialogues between two countries. 20 institutions across the UK are playing host to a sequence of creative events, including exhibitions, performances, public installations and workshops. In addition, a reciprocal programme is taking place, inviting leading and emerging artists to take up residencies in alternate nations. The season aims to forge new partnerships between organisations and individuals, enhancing valuable ties between Korea and the UK. The shows, taking place in London, Bristol, Gateshead, Liverpool and Sheffield, explore influential moments in contemporary Korean art and examine pivotal works alongside new commissions. The Korea/UK season launches with Rehearsals from the Korean Avant-Garde Performance Archive. This exhibition at KCCUK in London traces the development of South Korea’s performance art scene during the late 1960s and 1970s, and explores its contemporary relevance.

Turner Prize winning artist Douglas Gordan’s THIN AIR reveals the intimate process of being tattooed and, in doing so, calls into question our relationship to our physical selves by positioning the body as a territory. Accompanied by the music of several East Asian composers, the piece is open to the public in both host countries as well as internationally.

Another notable feature of the programme is Artist of the Year which occurs in collaboration with Spike Island, Bristol, to present the work of Kim Yong-Ik. Running in harmony, the two complementary shows celebrate the figure’s contribution to recent art history and mark his position as a leading modern master. Tirelessly inquisitive, Kim investigates fresh solutions to traditional aesthetic values, deconstructing his own compositions as well as the institution. With a characteristically independent stance, the pieces navigate dominant movements and complex cultural climates.

Responding to the rich migrant history of London’s East End, a new public sculpture by Do Ho Suh (b. 1962) will be unveiled later in the season. Following from a successful exhibition at Victoria Miro, the new installation will be the artist’s first large-scale outdoor work in London. Reflecting a signature style, the architecturally scaled piece emulate the hybrid constructions of the cityscape in an iconically sheer fabric. Previous works have replicated spaces such as Suh’s childhood home, revisiting the physical and psychological significance of familiar environments.

Find out more:

1. Do Ho Suh, Home within Home (2013). Courtesy of the artist.