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An overview of Korean contemporary art

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Ham Jin

Ham Jin - Korean contemporary art - Ham Jin

This Seoul-based artist's miniscule sculptures - usually tiny, human-like figures created in clay - are an intriguing mixture of the cute and the grotesque.

Due to their size a magnifying glass is needed to view their exploits as they mingle with everyday objects.

In the installation 'Airplane', for example, a nose-diving paper plane is surrounded by what appears to be a cloud of insects. Only in close-up does their true nature become apparent - Ham Jin's miniature figures, each with an expression of grotesque alarm carefully etched onto its face.


Oh Yong-Seok

contemporary korean art - So-Young Choi

Born in 1976, this acclaimed Korean video artist is becoming steadily more visible on the international circuit.

His works consist primarily of montaged footage drawn from sources such as mass media or popular culture. Painstakingly re-assembled, Oh Yong-Seok manipulates already manipulative imagery.

'Drama', his best-known series to date (above and below), re-arranges scenes from a popular Korean movie by editing the original into small pieces. The action and cinematography is then seamlessly re-ordered through a 'patch- work' process to create an entirely new cinematic vehicle.

Contemporary Korean video - Oh Yong-Seok


Suejin Chung

contemporary Korean painting

Suejin Chung's paintings are packed with colourful figures and resonate with restless energy. Seemingly random objects interspersed with symbols of consumption invade almost every spare inch of canvas.

Partly a reflection of the bustling society that is modern Korea, notes of concern are also hidden in these works. While the figures appear to form part of a cohesive, organic whole, each is in fact engaged in solitary pursuits and rarely interacts with other inhabitants of the heaving pictorial space.


Sook Yung Yee

Like many young Korean artists, Sook Yung Yee's practice encompasses a variety of disciplines, yet the notion of transfiguring objects or concepts into new forms is often present.

In a recent project for the UK city of Liverpool, the artist created 'Very Best Statue', a life-size sculpture developed from a survey in which participants were asked to complete questionnaires regarding their preferred physical attributes.

Similarly, her series of 'translated' vases (below) rebuild fragments of traditional ceramics into entirely new and unexpected vessels.

current Korean art contemporary Korean sculpture


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