The Korea Herald


Whistle gallery intrigues audiences with works that push boundaries

By Park Yuna

Published : Feb. 14, 2023 - 09:38

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An installation view of An installation view of "Approximation" at Whistle (Courtesy of the gallery)

What is interesting about art is that a piece can be interpreted in a multitude of different ways that depend on the viewer.

Whistle, an emerging gallery in Yongsan, Seoul, has opened the show “Approximation,” presenting three Korean female artists -- sculptor Hwang Sue-yon, painter Kim Ji-pyeong and painter Yang Ja-zoo -- whose works provoke interesting ideas.

“As viewers, we have our own sense of interpreting artworks, which never perfectly aligns with the artist’s ideas. Sometimes we find it difficult ourselves to describe the works that we saw. The concept of the title 'Approximation' came from the idea that we have many gaps in interpreting art,” Park Suzy, guest curator of the exhibition, told The Korea Herald.

“#4 Chaekgeori” by Kim Ji-pyeong (Whistle) “#4 Chaekgeori” by Kim Ji-pyeong (Whistle)

Based in Seoul, Kim explored traditional Korean painting at Ewha Womans University, leading to her embracing both Korean and Western elements in her art.

Kim’s interpretation of traditional Korean elements in a contemporary way intrigues audiences. Her painting “#4 Chaekgeori” is an abstract work inspired by Korea’s unique “chaekgeori” genre that depicts books and other assorted items. The genre flourished in the Joseon era (1392-1910).

“Hanok, Yeongdeok” by Yang Ja-zoo (Whistle) “Hanok, Yeongdeok” by Yang Ja-zoo (Whistle)

Yang, on the other hand, collects fragments and debris found in a city and creates works of art using collage techniques. Based in Berlin, the artist’s works on display at the gallery contain traces of Berlin and England. At Whistle, she shows her new painting “Hanok, Yeongdeok,” created with earth and materials she collected from a hanok, or traditional Korean house, in Yeongdeok, North Gyeongsang Province.

Seemingly made of steel, a sculpture on display at the gallery entrance is titled “Small and sharp, an evenly slight and shallow wind.” Hwang's artwork is in fact created with paper and graphite, exploring materiality in art and breaking away from the conventional perception of materials.

“Small and Sharp” by Hwang Sue-yon (Whistle) “Small and Sharp” by Hwang Sue-yon (Whistle)

Established in 2017, the gallery has introduced emerging Korean artists at international art fairs, including Frieze Seoul and Art Basel Hong Kong. The exhibition of the three artists runs through Feb. 25.

By Park Yuna (