in Frieze | 10 NOV 22

December at No.9 Cork Street: Barakat Contemporary

Barakat Contemporary (Seoul) presents solo exhibitions of three pioneering Korean artists Yunchul KimChung Seoyoung and Sojung Jun, from 1-17 December 2022.

in Frieze | 10 NOV 22


No.9 Cork Street concludes its 2022 programme with solo shows of Yunchul Kim, representative of 2022 Venice Biennale Korean Pavilion, Chung Seoyoung, a defining sculptor of the Korean contemporary art scene since 1990's, and Sojung Jun, awardee of 18th Hermes Foundation Missulsang. The exhibitions are presented by Seoul-based gallery Barakat Contemporary and will run from 1-17 December 2022, with an Artist Talk of Chung Seoyoung with Chus Martinez (Director of FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel) taking place on 1 December, 4-6pm at No.9 Cork Street.

Barakat Contemporary: Yunchul Kim, Chung Seoyoung & Sojung Jun

The ground floor exhibition includes a new variation of Yunchul Kim's installation La Poussière de Soleils (The Dust of Suns), 2022, first shown at the Korean Pavilion at 2022 Venice Biennale. A nod to French poet Raymond Roussel’s play ‘La Poussière de Soleils (The Dust of Suns)’, the installation is a living sculpture that merges the artificial and natural to create a kaleidoscope of colours. The exhibition continues with a new triptych drawing by the artist titled Dawns, Mine, Crystal, 2022, as well as the latest of his iconic kinetic installation series Chroma VI, 2022. At the foundation of Kim's "living" creatures is his interest in the essence or the innate physical properties of materials, making visible a different kind of reality from what is immediately perceptible to our human senses. Exploring the artistic potential of the "world of materials" - a universe perceived as an embodied, physical precursor of linguistic expression, Kim calls attention to the world where humans, objects, materials, and matter interact in continuous entanglement.

Yunchul Kim, Chroma IV, 2022, ccrylic, aluminum, polymer, LED, motor, microcontroller. Courtesy the artist. Photo by Studio Locus Solus

Gallery 2 presents a solo exhibition of Chung Seoyoung, previously shown at Seoul Museum of Art (Seoul) earlier this year. Chung explores the changed status of found objects through sculptural acts of casting, assembling, and balancing. She visualises the unknown area, which unexpectedly protrudes from the combination of objects that are seemingly unrelated or cannot be accessed through the existing semantics, while prompting the autonomous aesthetic language of sculpture. Since the 1990s, Chung has been an influential figure in shaping contemporary Korean art, most famously known for her sculptural investigation on the byproducts, which the artist refers to as “social evidence”, that came from the rapidly reorganising structure of Korean society. In using the commonly found industrial materials such as styrofoam, linoleum, plastics, sponges, and plywood, Chung exposes their material properties in their rawest state while presenting a form full of implications. As a result, her sculptures carry radical and commanding agencies of their own. Chung’s contemplation on the language-object relationship, multiplicity of sculptural practice, and transformation of an object into an artwork continues to expand the definition of matter and material.

Chung Seoyoung, Installation view of Chung Seoyoung: What I Saw Today, 2022. Courtesy the artist and Seoul Museum of Art. Photo by Dogyun Kim
Chung Seoyoung, Wave, 1998-2022, jesmonite. Courtesy the artist and Seoul Museum of Art. Photo by Dogyun Kim

Entering into Gallery 3 is Sojung Jun's site-specific video installation Despair to be Reborn (2020). Based on the poem ‘Au Magasin de Nouveautes’ by Yi Sang, a representative avant-garde of modern Korea in the early 20th century, Jun's work attempts to rupture reality by intersecting different spatio-temporalities: contemporary and modern Korea. The installation structure, which unfolds around the video functions as a kind of a labyrinth, a modern passage, an airplane runway, or a showcase at a department store. Using the language of video and writing, Sojung Jun is interested in creating a nonlinear space-time to awaken a new awareness of history and the present or in how the changes made in physical boundaries penetrate daily sensorial experiences. Her works often bring attention to those at the periphery of society - on the boundary amid the ruins of modernity and invisible voices. Through interviews, historical materials and narratives appropriated from classical texts, Jun carries out experiments intersecting personal, psychological and aesthetic factors with political ones in life.

Sojung Jun, Despair to be reborn, 2020, 24min 45sec, single channel video. Courtesy the artist and Fondation d'entreprise Hermès. Photo by Sangtae Kim

This exhibition completes the 2022 programme at No.9 Cork Street and the gallery will be closed for the holiday period from 18 December until the new year.

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Main image: Installation view of 'La Poussière de Soleils (The Dust of Suns)', Yunchul Kim, Korean Pavilion 2022. Courtesy the artist, Biennale Arte 2022. Photo by Roman März