The Page Gallery: IM Heung-soon 'The Observatory'

12 - 27 May

The Page Gallery is delighted to present The Observatory, a solo exhibition of Korean artist and film director IM Heung-soon at Frieze No. 9 Cork Street, London. Featuring new film and video installations, this presentation is informed by the artist’s focus on the Korean Peninsula’s current situation after the division.

Early in the artist’s career, he worked with the ‘Seongnam Project’ (1998-1999), an artist group dealing with the problem of unequal distribution of capital in Seongnam City in Korea. He was also part of the ‘Mixrice’ (2002- 2004), a group that explores the concept of migration in contemporary society in various ways, including collaboration with migrant workers. With this awareness of the problem, he continues to speak about located on the margins of social, political, and capitalist ideology, such as victims of a massacre by the state, North Korean defectors, and female workers. IM Heung-soon highlights the voice of the people who went through a particular incident or from a region, and sympathy for pain is an emotion that permeates IM Heung-soon’s works. The artist finds the possibility of embracing the unresolved pain of history and the lives of those who cannot even be mourned through interview scenes and images sketching nature.

The exhibition will be presented off-site at No. 9 Cork Street, Frieze's permanent London exhibition space and will be a rare chance to experience IM Heung-soon’s distinctive language of moving images.

IM Heung-soon was born in Seoul in 1969. Currently, IM is working between Seoul and Jeju as a visual artist and filmmaker. His works deconstruct and expand the genres of visual art and film. IM has been organising and producing works in diverse forms, crossing the areas of documentary film as contemporary art and public art, individual and collaborative works, exhibition space and theatre, and sites of everyday life.

IM started a career as an artist in 1998 and held a total of fifteen solo exhibitions. His major solo exhibitions include Reincarnation (MoMA PS1, 2015), Things that Do Us Part (MMCA Hyundai Motor Series, MMCA, 2017), Ghost Guide (The Page Gallery, 2019), and Title Match: IM Heung-soon vs. Omer Fast «Cut!» (Buk-Seoul Museum of Art, 2022). IM has also been invited to a number of international exhibitions and film festivals, including the Gwangju Biennale in 2002 and 2010, the Sharjah Biennale and Venice Biennale in 2015, the Taipei Biennale in 2016, and Carnegie International in 2018. As a filmmaker, IM released eight feature films, starting with Jeju Prayer (2012).

He received the Silver Lion Award at the 2015 Venice Biennale for Factory Complex (2014) and the Audience Winner at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival for Ryeohaeng (2016). His works are in the collection of major Korean and international art museums such as the MMCA (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art), Seoul, Centre Pompidou in Paris, LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Stavanger Art Museum (Stavanger, Norway), in the Sharjah Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates.

IM Heung-soon, 2015
IM Heung-soon, Bukhansan, 2015, Inkjet print, 137×197cm. Courtesy of the artist and The Page Gallery