The Korea Herald


[What to see] Korea's emerging artists at Arario Gallery, Choi Wook-kyung at Kukje Gallery's hanok space

By Park Yuna

Published : March 1, 2024 - 09:45

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If you are a fan of art, you may be familiar with the neighborhood of Jongno-gu in Seoul, which is home to a cluster of galleries. The two leading galleries in the district -- the Kukje Gallery and Arario Gallery -- have opened exhibitions introducing contemporary Korean artists.

An installation view of An installation view of "Noh Sangho: Holy" at Arario Gallery in Seoul

Rising artists at Arario Gallery

Painter Noh Sang-ho unveiled his new paintings, which he created based on images he found "floating in the online realm." Having collected, duplicated and transformed images he encountered daily in the digital world, Noh reinterpreted them into paintings, sculptures and videos. The exhibition showcases the artist's “Holy” series, spanning across the gallery building. The gallery is located next to the Arario Museum, formerly the office building of Space Group, also known as Gonggan Saok, which was designed by the late Kim Swoo-geun, head of the architecture firm and one of Korea’s pioneering modern architects.

An installation view of An installation view of "Hwang Sueyon: Magma" at Arario Gallery in Seoul

Along with Noh, another emerging Korean artist Hwang Sue-yon is showcasing her new works at the gallery. While the artist is known for her paper sculptures created with paper and graphite, her new works at the gallery diverge from the trajectory of her previous works. The three sculptures on display are the result of the artist selecting specific images captured from short-form content on social media. She reinterprets and physically realizes these images through performances using her own body. Noh and Hwang's exhibitions run through April 20.

An installation view of An installation view of "Wook-kyung Choi" at the Kukje Gallery in Seoul (Courtesy of the gallery)

Choi Wook-kyung at Kukje Gallery's hanok space

Although the Kukje Gallery is well known, the gallery's hanok exhibition space is less familiar. The gallery's hanok, or traditional Korean building, space showcases paintings by Choi Wook-kyung (1940-1985), a pioneer of Korean contemporary art at a time when female artists received little attention.

The exhibition shows 21 works by the artist, including black-and-white ink drawings. Best known for her expressionist use of bold brushstrokes and vivid colors, Choi started constructing her unique abstract works during her early years of studying in the US. The exhibition runs through March 3.