LONDON.- The Korean Cultural Centre UK
with Art Center Nabi present their new exhibition Our Friendly Neighbours, on view now until 5 November at the KCC Exhibition space at 1-3 Strand, London, featuring major works by Yiyun Kang, the artist duo Bang & Lee and Jinjoon Lee.
For the exhibition, The KCCUK and Art Center Nabi have invited three artists working with new media and installation based performances to exhibit works drawing on human-nonhuman ecologies in the virtual realm. Our Friendly Neighbours focuses on the connection between art, technology, and the environment in a post-pandemic world. During the enforced isolations of the Covid-19 era, the understanding of the neighbourhood has increasingly expanded beyond immediate borders to encompass the global and non-human. Reflecting on global human expansion, the cause of the continuing climate crisis and the unequal pandemic response, the exhibition hones in on the virtual ecologies made and the artificial perceptions of space and time as communities collectively experience the destruction of the planet. Exploring the themes of commonality, harmony, and empathy, the exhibition asks us to consider both the extended definition of neighbourhood and how we can form shared value systems in todays secular, ever increasingly individualist society.
The artists responses are site-specific and immersive installations, new works employing large video projections, multi-channel video and sound installation with 3D animation, drawings, paintings, free verses overlaid on the window, and data visualisation using AI and game engines on real-time photorealistic image data. Experimenting with technology and large-scale media, the artists intend to transport visitors across concepts of borders and reflect on the planetary crisis we all face.
The exhibition will be open to the public from 8 September - 5 November and will be free of charge.
Yiyun Kangs immersive audio-visual installation Finite 2.0 is inspired by the overlapping fluidity of ideas in ancient Eastern and Western cultures, which understood the perfect nature as simultaneously infinite and finite, unbound and undetermined.
As introduced by the artist, Finite 2.0 allows us to confront the uncomfortable fact that humanity's perpetual desire is to exploit limited natural resources. An immersive experience of digitally rendered imagescapes and soundscapes narrates new ways of thinking about nature beyond the dualistic models of nature-culture, wilderness-civilisation, through which history has justified the widespread destruction and exploitation of mankind in nature.
Built with a combination of screens and translucent fabrics, the installation is designed to transmit and form the image at the same time, expanding the image beyond the screen and inviting the audience to freely navigate the space through this membrane.
Bang & Lees artwork The place that has no name is a continuing series of dystopian landscapes. Reflecting on how to transform the creative process during the pandemic, the artists continue their exploration of the subject of terra incognita (Latin, unknown land), a place recalling a remote wilderness, which explores a route across the prairie like in a game world waiting for the first level to load. The imagery in the installation expresses interwoven memories and experiences, visualising desolate lands and collapsed architectures to form a kind of Sisyphean journey of endlessly repeated activity; driving a rental car on a desert road without end.
For this exhibition, the artwork has been configured as part of the facade of the KCCUK building facing out into the Strand. The 3D animation is pieces across 3 screens, with free verses overlaid on the window. Five pieces, two black-and-white drawings and three oil pastel paintings of the main scenes of the work matching the keyframes of the 3D animation, will also be shown as part of the artwork. The animation sequence illustrates a desolate land through the eyes of the artists, whose circumstances appear to be in jeopardy in a limitless world.
Finally, Jinjoon Lees series Wandering Sun continues the artists exploration of liminal spaces and further questions the relationship between natural and artificial through AI-generated sceneries. For Lee, the piece expresses the need to reconnect with time and space in an increasingly virtual world;
As the concept of lived time has disappeared from our age of instant information, we have become virtually unable to feel space through our senses. If we hope to not lose that in-between space, where, ever shrinking, it sits between start and finish, we will have to pay closer attention.
Wandering Sun is a data visualisation project employing AI and game engines on real-time photorealistic image data. The installation draws from the iconography of the Irworobongdo, the majestic decorated folding screen behind the royal throne during the Joseon Dynasty depicting the Sun and the Moon in a mountain landscape. Lees Wandering Sun is a visualisation of NASAs data related to the climate crisis, imported into the world originally depicted in the Irworobongdo, rendered as a photorealistic natural scenery of the sun in its celestial navigation on the immense scale of a 3 x 5 metre LED screen. Audiences are invited to witness the Wandering Sun over time to challenge our conception of what it means to be natural or artificial, in a space -as Lee says- which exists somewhere but isnt anywhere, a nowhere in somewhere.