19 February – 9 May
19 February, 5:30-7:30pm
Korea has a long and distinguished history of craftsmanship, one that today is held in high regard worldwide. First Impression in the first collective Korean sculpture exhibition in Australia where 22 Korean contemporary sculptors present their artisan spirit developed with modern flavour.
Byung-doo Moon, Sculpture by the Sea People’s Choice Prize Winner
Some of participating artists will not be introduced for the first time to Australian audiences. For example, Byung-doo Moon’s beautiful artwork, I have been dreaming to be a tree…II, was loved by Australian and international audiences at the Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi in 2011 with its People’s Choice Prize winning. The tree branch motif of the prize winning artwork is used in subtly different way in his new series, Your Place, exhibited at First Impression. Sang-bong Lee and Tae-guen Yang’s sculptures have also exhibited at the Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, so their forms and styles will be familiar to some Australian audiences. In addition, those who have travelled Korea, especially its capital city Seoul, they would remember the huge statue of King Sejong, the inventor of Korean language (Hanguel), in Gwanghwamun. Young-won Kim, who made the statue, will also exhibit his relevantly smaller piece artwork than the statue King Sejong, which describes a person’s investigation of their inner self.
There will be two participating artists at the opening to provide a brief introduction of their artworks and contemporary Korean sculpture in general. With the high interests on traditional Korean crafts from Australian audiences, this exhibition will give you a chance to take a look at the level of contemporary Korean sculpture at a glance and it will make your First Impression on contemporary Korean sculpture.
21 May, 5:30-7:30pm
About 120 years ago, Australian missionaries landed in Korea. During their stay, they experienced its culture and left behind photo journals representing honest portrayals of their impressions of Korea. The exhibition introduces you to a recent history of Korea in the form of pictured memories of the Australian visitors.
First Australian visitors to Korea
The first Australians to ever visit Korea were missionaries led by Rev. Joseph H. Davies in 1889. They are believed to have been the recipients for the first ever passport and visas Korea has issued. They built schools, hospitals and churches, improving the social welfare in Busan and Gyeongsangnam-do Provinces. During their stay, they experienced its culture and left behind photo journals representing honest portrayals of their impressions of Korea.
Photographs of Korea from the 1890s to 1950s
The Korean Cultural Centre offers an exhibition of these rare photograph images taken by the missionaries, spanning the years from the 1890s to 1950s. At first the photographs taken by the missionaries present the people and the culture of Korea as exotic, and hence, distant. However, through years of involvement and communication, the latter photographs reveal a familiarisation and deeper understanding of the culture they have come to encounter and accept.
The contemporary photographs exhibited alongside illustrate the immense growth that was undergone, possible with the support from Australians who began the modernisation of the country and gave sincere support during the Korean War. The exhibition shows how Korea has come as far as it has today.
This exhibition is made possible through the support of the Christian Review and the Photo Artists Society of Korea in Sydney.
2 September-24 October
2 September, 5:30-7:30pm
It is impossible not to mention Nam-june Paik when the history of video art is discussed. The pioneer of video artist, Nam-june Paik is the most well-known Korean artist and he is a great senior, mentor and the ideal for most of media artists in Korea. For the internationally acclaimed Korean media artist, Lee Lee Nam, whose artworks will be exhibited at the KCC Gallery, Nam-june Paik is an artist he most respects. Lee Lee Nam is well known for his iconic style of video art that breathes new life into famous classic paintings. Lee Lee Nam: Digitally Traditional will introduce the creative and imaginative video art world of Lee Lee Nam, focusing on traditional Korean ink painting masterpieces re-interpreted by the artist in a contemporary video art form.
Breathes into Korean traditional ink paintings
Lee Lee Nam said he borrowed the images from classic paintings to make contemporary art
friendlier for the public after he found the intimacy that people feel being in front of an artwork with deep and serious philosophical discourses. Following these intentions, KCO has decided to bring Lee Lee Nam’s artworks, particularly focusing on the works based on traditional Korean ink paintings in order to introduce traditional Korean paintings in a more approachable way for Australian audiences. Lee Lee Nam breathes new life into masterpieces created in the Joseon dynasty (1392 – 1920), Korea by using his signature skills. The butterflies are flying around crossing the different screens of Shin Saimdang’s (1504-1551) painting, Egg Plant and Grasshoppers, mountains of Gyumjae Jeongseon’s (1676-1759) landscape paintings transform their colours, changing their flowers and trees in the four seasons and the sound of hammering at a Korean traditional blacksmith’s shop gets louder as the workers continue in Kim Hong-do’s (1745-1806) folk paintings. Audiences also will be able to experience the beauty of calmness and emptiness in Korean traditional landscape paintings through the wide projections in our gallery space.
Lee Lee Nam’s digital transformation of famous classic paintings
Lee Lee Nam has been known for his inventive video art style that enlivens the well-known
European paintings, such as Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci or Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe (The Luncheon on the Grass) by Edouard Manet, alive. With Lee Lee Nam’s touches, Mona Lisa makes a bigger smile – that made us always confused – and the environmental surroundings of Manet’s painting are transformed into a Korean landscape. Not only that, the characters and backgrounds in the painting are constantly moving in lively movement in his works. The visual illusions, which seem very real with his cutting-edged techniques, keep the momentum generated in the original works, but at the same time they break the tradition of 2-dimensional painting by turning it into an animated and interactive being.
Lee Lee Nam will visit Sydney for the exhibition and an interview will be available at the opening Reception. Also there will be a special
workshop for children to make their own re-interpretation of Korean traditional painting by using the images in Lee Lee Nam’s artworks.
The KCC thanks the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) for its support. QPAC first
presented a collection of Lee Lee Nam’s artworks for ‘Hello Korea! Korean masters reimagined’ as part of its Out of the Box festival for children in June 2014.
27 November 2013 – 29 January 2014
<strong>Exhibition Opening &amp; Awards Presentation</strong>
<strong>29 November, 5-7pm</strong>
The Korea-Australia Arts Foundation Prize (KAAFP) is the annual art competition organised by the foundation. The KAAFP 2013 is open-themed and only medium of 2D works is eligible to apply for the competition. The prize entry is open to all Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents of at least 12 months, but they should be over 18-year-old.
The artworks of 37 finalists will be exhibited at the Korean Cultural Centre.
<A World of Difference> by Vladimir Barac
<Where Do I Live> by Yiwon Park
<The Gate> by Caroline Zilinsky
The Korea-Australia Arts Foundation (KAAF) is an organisation comprised of Korean people for promoting and supporting a wide range of visual artists in Australia. KAAF is a non-profit organisation which was established with the purpose of providing specialised activities in visual art, as well as supporting artists and art organisations within the visual arts field.
KAAF provides an annual art competition which is supported by the Korean Cultural Centre in Sydney and also provides information to Korea on a wide range of Korean art and other art matters including Artist in Residence, Art School, local artists and art organizations that are based in Australia.