NATURAL SELECTION: Evolution in the Post Internet Era
Korean contemporary art is a dynamic, ever-evolving, cultural and aesthetic ecosystem. Like Korea herself, it has rapidly developed and continues to advance in both expectant and surprising ways. The Korean diaspora, especially its artists, have now studied abroad in leading international art academies and with the rise of globalism, the ubiquitous use of social media and search engines; Korean artists draw inspiration from endlessly renewed and discovered pools of sources. Regarded as one of the most wired places, and positioned on the political powder keg of the day, Korean contemporary artists find themselves perched on top of a volatile and venerable history. Clearly the complexities of social strata have permeated into the groundswell of artistic terroir, enriching studio practices and artistic visions.
Notably, Korean Artists throughout its storied history have always expressed themselves through painting. Remarkably, in today's multifarious artistic usage of so many mediums, and ever-expanding contemporary theory, Korean paintings are able to provide a clear indication of the contextual whole. It would be impossible to accurately represent the details of any complex aesthetic ecosystem, especially for a country that has constantly found herself on the threshold with only 13 artists. However, what can be conveyed is an accurate sense of the current aesthetic evolution of Korean contemporary art's Natural Selection process. Meaning through this group of artists' works, a viewer unfamiliar with the detailed intricacies of the Korean contemporary art scene can begin to understand the larger dynamics at work today.
While our post war art movements, Dansaekwha and to a lesser extent Minjung (People's art), and perhaps most significantly our popular culture has become regionally and internationally recognized and celebrated, our contemporary art has largely been unrecognized or misunderstood through simplification. Hopefully with this, the first curated section of Korean contemporary art here at Christie's Hong Kong, a larger audience can begin to understand and appreciate the extremely diverse and sophisticated ecology that currently thrives and is at work today.
Curated by CHOI DU-SU