press release

Asia House is delighted to present the first major UK exhibition of Korean contemporary art in the year of Think Korea 2006, celebrating the diplomatic relationship between the UK and Korea. Through the Looking Glass derives its title from the second adventure of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. In just the same way that looking at one’s reflection in a mirror can be exhilarating, enlightening and is always back-to-front, Through the Looking Glass challenges our preconceived image of Korea through an eclectic mix of ten internationally claimed Korean artists.

Korea a fast moving country which on a surface looks very similar to any country in the West, but where every object, every visual symbols are imbued with extra meaning and context. The exhibition looks at various happenings when two cultures meet and clash by facing the ‘looking glass’.

Ten Korean contemporary artists are invited to participate in this exhibition and their works challenge the traditional Western value implicit within the interior space of venue and transform it with their fresh view points. Some of the works are weaved through the Asia House building which is a traditional Georgian building. As Alice enters a new world via the looking glass in Lewis Carroll’s novel, the exhibited works at Asia House will invite us to enter the pre-existing place in different meanings and contexts. For example, Chinese imperial porcelain vases are not from Ming or Qing dynasty but from this year. A library is considered as a ‘sound poem’, and photographs shows overlapping time frames.

With the generous support from LG Electronics, Through the Looking Glass includes five new works by Duck-Hyun Cho (painting), Jeong-Hwa Choi (installation), Sora Kim (installation), Yong-Baek Lee (new media) and Meekyoung Shin (sculpture). These new commissions who the full diversity and innovation of Korean contemporary art, which has in recent years established a high profile in the international art scene. The exhibition includes bespoke furniture, ‘Room Salon’, in Café t at Asia House by Jeong-Hwa Choi, which will replace the existing chairs and tables in the café. These specially-designed works will be available for sale exclusively at Asia House.

The exhibition will be accompanied by panel discussion at 11am-1pm, on 25 November 2006 with the panelists including Beth McKillop, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Alessio Antoniolli and Jiyoon Lee and other lecture programmes.

Artists: Kyuchul Ahn, Duck-Hyun Cho, Jeong-Hwa Choi, Yeondoo Jung, Beom Kim, Jiwon Kim, Sora Kim, Youngjin Kim, Yong-Baek Lee and Meekyoung Shin


Through the Looking Glass: Korean Contemporary Art
Kurator: Jiyoon Lee

mit Kyuchul Ahn, Duck-Hyun Cho, Jeong-Hwa Choi, Yeondoo Jung, Beom Kim, Jiwon Kim, Sora Kim, Youngjin Kim, Yong-Baek Lee, Meekyoung Shin