Whistle is pleased to present The Snow Globe, a group exhibition featuring a selection of works by four Korean artists who create and convey stories about individuals, others, and society, examined in the crossing over between the virtual and the real. Much like a snow globe holds a miniature, remote world within its glass walls, the artist's work becomes a window, allowing the audience to encounter a brief separation from their reality and then face it, in turn. Spanning painting, photography, sculpture, media, and more, this exhibition includes the work of Youngle Keem, Jin Hee Kim, Youngjin Yoo, and Yeonhwa Hur.
As a writer and artist, Youngle Keem takes interest in the ulterior of familiar objects and social and cultural phenomena. Blue Land (2019) is a short documentary on the story of the Smurfs, who volunteer as technicians for the construction of a two-story stone architecture to be used as the Belgian Consulate in 1904 in Korea. The Smurfs, who now share in modern contemporary Korean history, scatter around the world but fail to return to their homeland due to international crises—yet they are left no acknowledgement of their contributions, and those that remain in our world seek answers to unsolved questions. Keem's cleverness, one that links truth and fabrication, can also be seen in Unposted Letters (2019). This work collages extinct animal stamps that the artist collected from all over the world onto a Bible card illustrating the Garden of Eden. In Eden, which symbolises the origin of humanity, the now missing animals are gathered in beautiful documentation of a reality that seems as if it once existed.
Jin Hee Kim captures the unfamiliar moments revealed when the function of space changes over time and uses the stage of the play as a metaphor to express these gaps in time and space. This tendency may be seen in The Gazer; Ikarus (2020) where a figure sits in a comfortable position in the middle of the canvas, taking contrast to the alarming nature of the original myth. If Icarus symbolised the human longing for the unknown world, this newly directed myth stands in line with Kim's attitude toward the intangible time and space. The character in the work stares at the viewer, suggesting a soaring back to where the light enters; the figure placed on a fictional stage, the canvas, looks beyond the surface or makes eye contact with the audience. Kim twists the moment by shifting the subject to the character, who normally is the object of attention.
Youngjin Yoo has been researching the attribute of 'editing the past' in photography, and since 2018 and on, discovered objects alienated within the city's landscape to create a new story. The work seen in this exhibition is the ongoing 'Cambrian Explosion' project, in which he works by taking on an attitude that is similar between the scientist and the artist. Yoo recognised the architectural by-products found in the city as small creatures that become insidiously parasitic. Pipes, insulation, urethane foam, and hardware commonly found in tenements and old buildings seemed to him to evolve on their own over time. Yoo replaces the assumption of unknown existence and the hypothetical life collected directly to prove it with real scientific examples. By naming the collected samples, it suggests a visual index that reveals the city as an illustrated specimen.
In her work, Yeonhwa Hur endeavours to overcome the limited space given to her. She visualises the environments where physical limitations have been resolved through planes and dimensions, with a particular interest in bodies and fluid substances such as water. Hur scrapes the epidermis of the space of significance and accumulates this material for printmaking. The artist then thinly flattens collected materials and completes them as an object by passing it through a 3D program, blurring its materiality and boundaries. Flash (2018) is a sculpture that takes as its skin the light shed upon a river that has long cut across a village. Water Door, White Island, Bubble rocky island (2021) symbolise visual information sensible underwater. Together, the changes in the artist!s sense while in water are recited as a single story.
Press release courtesy Whistle.