Museums, galleries and exhibition spaces have been falling like skittles, such has been the pace of closures over the past few days due to coronavirus. The latest is the Korean Cultural Centre (KCC) near Trafalgar Square, which, when I visited earlier in the week, was pretty deserted.
The KCC does a great job of bringing contemporary – and sometimes challenging – South Korean culture to London, with art shows in its gallery space overlooking the red buses and black taxis of Northumberland Avenue.
As you walk by, you see twisting white hands coming out of the gallery. Will they break through the glass window and grab you and drag you in? Shinuk Suh’s work ‘How Real is Reality’ is symptomatic of his kinetic sculptures which explores how much of our lives are controlled, whether we know it or not. ‘Who is controlling your unconscious, creed, values, character, thinking, inclination, and even sexuality?’
Shinuk’s work is playful, mad, but controlled and therefore slightly sinister. He and Joonhong Min explore different aspects of modern life in their joint exhibition ‘Rendered Reality’ at the KCC which awaits to be reopened once the current crisis is over.
In contrast Joonhong Min focuses on the stress, emotions and encounters of 21st century life in the urban environment of cities, using materials which he finds lying around the urban environment – unwanted and abandoned objects, which once had a use and a value, then discarded, and now given a new life as sculptures covered with his own pen drawings and waste paper, while in his latest work ‘Thank You for Sharing’ Min shares a conversation with his mother and her life through the changing political situations she has experienced in South Korea.