Alumnus Heng-Gil Han's (ACC 2017), exhibition AN ERA OF PEACE, A PEACEFUL LAND (Somewhere between No. 4 and No. 5: MAKE PEACE BY MEANS OF ART, or ENHANCE PEACE THROUGH ART) opens on May 9 and runs until June 6.
Materializing the idea that peace is not an absence of a hot war, but a living process of interacting with others, while mutually understanding values and perspectives, the exhibition creates a platform for people to engage with one another via creative means. One of many functions that this exhibition serves is the operation of inserting art into the life of society: here is an inquiry into the possibility of a third realm in which art is not a member of a class, nor a fashion or a style, but an active force that makes intercultural or inter-communal connections among people possible. As a result, this exhibition is bound to be in transition from one point to another in time and space, evolving through exchanges and encounters with the artists and the public.
Alejandro Salgado Cendales contributes a text-based painting using a quote from TOWARD A THIRD CINEMA by Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, Cinéaste (Vol. 4, No. 3, Latin American militant cinema (winter 1970-71), pp. 1-10). The quote highlights the unity of art and life for the liberation effect of disrupting the post-colonial processes that happen everywhere around the globe in the form of economic and cultural domination and subordination.
Young Sun Han presents a part of his large photographic documentaries of locations visited in Korea, reconstructing poignant narratives of victims and loss caused by the Korean War (1950-53) or the 4.3 Jeju Massacre (April 1948 to May 1949). The series is a reminder of the Korean War or “forgotten war” in the United States, while returning to the Jeju Massacre, a historically misrepresented genocide of Jeju islanders, committed by the South Korean police and armed forces under the control of the United States Military Government.
You Hong Kim shares a portion of his ambitious production of 10,000 paintings entitled Faces of Mind. Here, shapes and forms emerge by association in the artist’s response to intended chance operations, such as dripping, spreading and flowing colors. The outcomes are quirky humorous figures that hide a sense of despair, pain or sadness, reminding of a passage from Tears of a Clown sung by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: “But don’t let my glad expression give you the wrong impression. Really I’m sad, oh I’m sadder than sad.”
Yong Seob Kwon, a specialist for quick drawing in ink, presents four landscape ink paintings from a rare series of work produced on location in outdoor public spaces while the artist was traveling throughout parts of North Korea. Following the Korean tradition of literati ink painting, he often includes short texts in calligraphy within his ink paintings and they enhance viewer’s understanding of the paintings.
The Estate of Dennis Oppenheim generously contributes the Oppenheim’s seminal photograph Reading Position for Second Degree Burn (1970) which is a piece documenting the artist’s body. Challenging the act of painting, in particular to aspects of color, Oppenheim utilized his body as canvas and skin as pigment controlled by time and solar energy. The outcome was the “reversal” of the typical relationship between an artist’s felt energy and the intense color instigated by the former. In his performance, the artist felt the sensory intensity caused by “the act of becoming red.”
Seol Park’s painting fuses the image of an iconic Korean ink painting, After Rain at Mt. Inwang by Jeong Sun in 1751, with today’s urgent relevant issues of refugees from Central America and Syria, connecting dots between seemingly unrelated events, which occupy completely different places in time and space, to create new narratives of contemporary significance.
During his 2014 artist residency on the island of Baekryeong, a maritime demarcation between North and South Korea in the West Sea of Korea, Taesoo Shin produced a scroll depicting the scenic landscape of the renowned ridge, Jansang Got, in a red hue. Located in the North Korean territory, the ridge offers many South Koreans, particularly those originally from the North who were displaced in the South, an ironic sense of both comfort and intense discomfort—being so close, yet so far away.
Connecting the polarities between text and image; tradition and modernity; as well as solidity and fragments, the exhibition presents conditions of global contemporary art that transcends ideological, geographical and cultural boundaries.
This exhibition is generously supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council and are co-hosted with OZANEAUX ArtSpace. The curatorial research of this exhibition was made possible by the generous support from the Asian Cultural Council in New York.
OZANEAUX ArtSpace is a philanthropic, artist-run exhibition/project space created by Nikki Schiro and Frederic Ozaneaux in 2009. It hosts Contemporary Art exhibitions for Artists and Curators in the couple's community. The exhibitions highlight Artists from underrepresented demographics as well as foreign exchange. The gallery is planted in the back end of an accounting office, in the heart of New York City’s Gallery District.