Weaving Time: An Exhibition from the Archive of Korean-American Artists, Part 3 (2001–2013)
April 22 – May 28, 2015
Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 6-8PM
- Organizers: AHL Foundation and Korean Cultural Service New York
- Location: Gallery Korea, Korean Cultural Service New York
460 Park Avenue at 57th Street, 6th floor
New York, New York 10016
Weaving Time is the third installment of a long-term project titled the Archive of Korean Artists in America (AKAA). The third installment of this exhibition presents a younger generation of artists who set up their studios in the 2000s. The first two installments of this series showcased the creations of Korean artists who arrived in the United States to live and work, and thus became the first generation Korean Americans; a handful of Korean artists settled down in New York in the 1960s followed by a large number of artists who enrolled at various MFA programs in the 1980s.
Most artists in the third installment are still in their 40s and are making the transition from emerging artists entering their mid-careers. Many of them are conceptual, installation, or interdisciplinary artists. A few artists from this generation pursue mediums such as painting, sculpture, or photography. Unlike earlier generations, they are mobile artists, simultaneously living and working in two or three different countries. Consequently, the Archive of Korean-American Artists has been renamed the Archive of Korean Artists in America to encompass a wider range of artists who come from Korean and multicultural backgrounds, but are active in the US.
Forty-six artists were invited to participate in the third installment, Weaving Time. Instead of a chronological arrangement of their works, the artists are grouped in five themes to highlight vital issues aligned with the currents of contemporary art around the world. These artists have moved from one country to country, chasing opportunities and ideas. This is an exciting occasion to observe what they have accomplished so far and to foresee where they are headed next. Twenty years from now, this exhibition will become an indispensable part of the Archive of Korean Artists Abroad.
Participating artists include: Hong Seon Jang, Jongil Ma, Yusam Sung, Boonsun Lee, Yun-Woo Choi, Kyung Han Kim, Jesse Chun, Sang Wook Lee, Buhm Hong, Eunjung Hwang, Eun Hyung Kim, Jaye Rhee, Kakyoung Lee, Jiyoun Lee-Lodge, Heeseop Yoon, Haeri Yoo, Inyoung Seong, Kyung Jeon, Leeah Joo, Jang Soon Im, Chang-Jin Lee, Inmi Lee, Kira Nam Greene, Flora Choi, Suyeon Na, kate hers RHEE, Hayoon Jay Lee, Songyi M. Kim, Sangwoo Koh, Jung S. Kim, Yunjung Kang, Eunah Kim, Jayoung Yoon, Hein Koh, Eunnye Yang, Elly Cho, Heejung Cho, Sang-Mi Yoo, Jin-Kang Park, Inhye Lee, Eunkyung Lee, Grace Euna Kim, Hye-Ryoung Min, Zaun Lee, Yoon Cho, Taeseong Kim
Weaving Time: An Exhibition from the Archive of Korean Artists in America, Part Three, 2001–2013 is supported in part by the Cultural Development Fund of the Department of Cultural Affairs in New York City and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.
More about the exhibition:
Comprising approximately 70 works by 46 artists as well as documentary materials, Weaving Time: An Exhibition from the Archive of Korean Artists in America, Part Three 2001-2013 is organized into five thematic sections and spans the first decade of the twenty-first century:
1) Dismantling Boundaries
Artists who arrived in the United States in the late 1990s were college students during Korea’s prosperous years following the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Exposed to strong economic growth and development in Korea, they had traveled abroad and chose New York among other cities to pursue their artistic careers. Those who arrived immediately after 9/11 and those who experienced the events of 9/11 focused much on the connectivity of human beings within a larger community. Emerging from Korea’s rigorous training in art studio programs, these artists were seeking innovative ways to express themselves. Just like the Generation X in the United States, these artists welcomed and embraced new technology. Artists of this period also strived to reach out beyond their individual shell and trace the connectivity between the self and the community, the self and the universe, and the self and the alter ego. Stretched across both worlds in Asia and North America, they extend their artistic experiments into an intricate network of social relationships and global encounters.
2) Transcendent Narrative
At the turn of the 21st century, many artists sought out the emerging field of technology and multidisciplinary approaches. Yet artists in this group were eager to develop their own language of formal quest. Reminiscent of the steel sculptures of the 1950s or the minimalist works of the 1960s, the artists’ constructions are reserved, refined, and sophisticated. Instead of focusing on external changes of global society, they cultivated a new vocabulary and insinuated the underlying problems of post–Cold War and post-colonial politics. Many artists in this group create ambitious installations or public art projects. Materials are diverse, from eco-friendly wood to video, thread, and paper. They constitute a new age of constructive formalism with social activism.
3) Cosmopolitan Citizen
At the start of the 2000s, world politics were being reshaped. East Asia presented itself as a shining image of progressive strides in art and culture as Korean heritage is continually being reinterpreted with growing confidence from economic success and the growing popularity of K-pop, Korean cinema; the country emerges as a key center of urban cool. At the same time historical awareness is represented in visual arts with more nuanced and contextual approaches. Many problems disseminating from Korean history are now perceived as part of East Asian geopolitical legacy, such as Japanese Imperialism and post–World War II Nationalism. Using video installations, performances, or public art projects along with oil painting, drawing, and collages, artists unearth new genres and critical voices.
4) Difference and Self-Reflexivity
Body politics from the last decade of the twentieth century remained crucial for the artists of the generation. In continuity of body representation of the 1990s, these artists focused on the images of self and also of significant others. A woman’s physique is represented in conventional or unconventional ways in which their roles are exaggerated, reduced, or transformed, and at the same time, attention to Korean exceptionalism and universal cosmopolitanism also appear in this exploration of corporal sensitivity.
5) Subjective Community
A predominant trend among artists of this exhibition is the focus on self, though many artists also transcend individualism into a unique sense of communalism or community-inspired artworks. For some, self is defined through the relationship with the world surrounding oneself. This conscious effort of situating oneself within a complicated urban fabric is noticeable among this group of artists. Sometimes embedded sometimes distanced, artists observe and decode communities, buildings, streets, and landscapes that they encounter across their global journey.
Weaving Time: An Exhibition from the Archive of Korean Artists in America, Part Three, 2001–2013 is co-curated by Kyunghee Pyun, Assistant Professor in history of art at the State University of New York, Fashion Institute of Technology, and Hee Sung Cho, curator of Gallery Korea at the Korean Cultural Service New York. Dr. Soojung Hyun at Manhattanville College and Donghwa Cultural Foundation is a chief researcher of the project.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated, 100-plus page catalogue with essays by Kyunghee Pyun, Hyewon Yi, Soojung Hyun, and Hee Sung Cho.
Education and Public Programs
For complete information about the range of public programs presented in conjunction with Weaving Time, please visit www. koreanculture.org and www.ahlfoundation.org.
Korean Cultural Service NY
Inaugurated in 1979, the Korean Cultural Service New York (KCSNY) is a branch of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) of the Republic of Korea. Under the authority of the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in New York, KCSNY works to promote cultural arts exchange and stimulate interest in Korean culture through various opportunities. KCSNY provides diverse activities including exhibitions, concerts, film festivals, and educational programs. KCSNY is located at 460 Park Avenue (at 57th Street), New York City. www.koreanculture.org.