The Korean Cultural Centre UK (KCCUK) is delighted to announce their ‘2019 Artist of the Year’, Kang Jungsuck, in his first London solo exhibition. Also chosen by South Korean artist Haegue Yang for the BALTIC Artists’ Award 2019, Kang’s work spans across sculpture, video, installation and writing. Presenting new and recent work, the artist harnesses his experience of technology, gaming culture, K-pop, and wider society, as inspiration to form unique environments with multiple realities.
Taking the Futurama exhibit shown at the 1939 New York World's Fair as a departure point – which reimagined the world 20 years into the future – Kang adopts the exhibit’s multi-perspective model. Reintroducing three ‘creatures’ that populated the BALTIC exhibition, a Lilliputian, Self-driving Car and a Human, Kang explores how objects can contain, or be produced from, multiple, intertwined perspectives.
The Lilliputian, taking her name from the small, satirized race of people from Lilliput in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726), is an animated doll-like character that inhabits the gallery space via various screens and as a physical model. Dressed similarly to that of a K-pop star, she shares a space with the Self-driving Car; an autonomous vehicle which can be likened to the Tesla Model 3, a car with an inbuilt autopilot function. Lastly the Human gestures to a third, outsider party: the viewer. Playing an ambiguous, voyeuristic role within the exhibition, the Human also nods to contemporary society’s current state of transition, in line with, and a product of, such new technological developments.
Kang uses the video game engine as a medium itself, designing his projects simultaneously within this software and in real life. Transgressing the typical boundaries between simulated content and physical sculpture, the spaces in the game and the artist’s physical studio are mapped to one another, so it is both the ’studio’ and exhibition that are eventually embodied in KCCUK’s physical gallery space. Positioning the mainstream within an artistic context, Kang observes how changes caused by technological advancements can affect our own perspectives, prompting us to question the future possibilities of such a multi-dimensional world.
The exhibition is organised by Korean Cultural Centre UK and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. Curated by Emma Dean (BALTIC) and Jaemin Cha (KCCUK).
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Notes to Editors
About the artist
Kang Jungsuck (b. 1984) observes the latency between physical cognition and technically mediated cognition, explaining the correlative sensations that arise by comparing them to video games. Kang postulates that today’s real-life experience has come to resemble a video game, and he pursues a publishing practice that aims to deliver this reality.
Kang has been the subject of solo exhibitions including READY-MADE 人生 IV (Seoul Art Space Seogyo, Seoul, 2013), Home Movies with vapor-X (Insa Art Space, Seoul, 2014), and Game I (DooSAN Gallery, Seoul, 2016). He has participated in various group exhibitions held at Art Space Pool (Seoul, 2013), Audio Visual Pavilion (Seoul, 2014), Trading Post (Seoul, 2014), Ilmin Museum of Art (Seoul, 2015), 800/40 (Seoul, 2015), nowhere (Seoul, 2015), HITE Collection (Seoul, 2017), Art Sonje (Seoul, 2017), SEMA Buk-seoul (Seoul, 2018), Kunsthal Aarhus (Aarhus, Denmark, 2018), Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead, England, 2019) and chaos*lounge (Tokyo, Japan, 2019). Kang has been involved in curating projects such as Video Relay TAANSAN (Seoul, 2012-2016), Dungeons (Seoul, 2015), Goods (Sejong Center, Seoul, 2015), and After-School McDonald ~Mosquito and Cheese Burger (Pia★After, Seoul, 2016). Since 2016, he has also published the game magazine entitled Magazine.
The KCCUK (Korean Cultural Centre UK) operates as an organisation promoting Korea’s vibrant cultural scene to UK audiences. The KCCUK holds exhibitions across the visual arts, dance, music and design fields, alongside an education programme which seeks to develop knowledge of Korean heritage, history and culture. Showcasing work by both emerging and well-established Korean artists, KCCUK have previously presented dual exhibitions with prominent UK institutions including Ikon, Birmingham, Spike Island, Bristol, Delfina Foundation, London, amongst others. By acting as a platform for collaboration, KCCUK aims to exhibit and introduce some of the most exciting Korean artists to wider audiences.
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
BALTIC is a major international centre for contemporary art situated on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead, England and has welcomed over eight million visitors since opening to the public in July 2002. BALTIC presents a distinctive and ambitious programme of exhibitions and events, and is a world leader in the presentation and commissioning of contemporary visual art.
Housed in a landmark ex-industrial building, BALTIC consists of 2,600 square metres of art space, making it the UK’s largest dedicated contemporary art institution. BALTIC has gained an international reputation for its commissioning of cutting-edge temporary exhibitions. It has presented the work of over 4500 artists of over 60 nationalities in 230 exhibitions to date. www.baltic.art